Customer Communications Considerations

by Jeannie Walters

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We, as customers, are inundated. We are caught in a deluge of communications. We don’t necessarily ask for it or really care about the messages.

Companies take advantage of cheap communication channels like email and direct mail because they believe their communication is important. Sometimes, it is. But how are customers to know?

Before you press send on another email blast, consider:

1. Is it relevant?

While your latest press release might be fascinating to your investors, your employees or the media, it is probably not fascinating to your customers.

2. Remember your company priorities are not your customer’s priorities.

Your customers might love your product. They might love your company. But rarely do they use your product every day (or even every week) or think of your brand every day. (Yes, there are exceptions, like, ahem, Apple.) But for most of us, our companies serve a particular need and it’s served at a particular time. Don’t confuse your internal view with what customers care about.

3. Are there too many words?

Please. Be concise. If you have an important message, get right to it! Too many words kill many messages.

4. Consider the next step for the customer.

If you are asking your customers to do something, make it EASY. If I get a message from the salon about a promotion for new customers, the phone number for appointments should be right there. If you are asking the customer to review an important document due to changes, how about highlighting the changes made? Those credit card booklets are insane, right?

5. Ask for feedback and mean it.

If you request feedback from customers, be prepared to respond to it quickly. And please check the links before you hit send. Broken feedback links send a message to your customers – you don’t really care.

6. Be nice. Be human.

It’s ok to be funny. It’s grand to be human. Lose the corporate-speak and remember you’re talking to a person. Treat the interaction that way.

7. Humans prefer to opt in.

Make it easy to opt out. If the customer lets go of the communications but becomes a happier customer that is worth more than any amount of email.

These are just a few considerations since, you know, I didn’t want to use too many words. What drives you crazy as a customer? What do you do in your organization to address the customer’s need to know?

Image credit: P Shanks and JASElab via Creative Commons licenses

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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