We’re currently in the midst of planning a holiday trip to Florida for our family. All of our conversations lately focus on which day to leave and return, where to stay, the route to take, what impact on the holiday it may have, what activities will be available when we are there and concerns of the weather. The planning phase is so intense, with so many aspects to consider and debate and negotiate, I actually asked the question if taking a trip to Florida (in the dead of Indiana winter) was worth it!
Planning for anything, including a Voice of the Customer program, is intensive but without a plan, the outcome may fall short of expectations. And when there are significant investments towards learning what your customers think, the planning phase is critical to ensure that investment is fully recognized. As customer advocates, we develop strategies around contact gathering and survey development. But do we spend as much time on planning our internal and external communications throughout the program?
With a well-developed and executed communications plan, continual awareness building of the program can be attained, clearing the path internally to take action on the feedback gathered. Plan key communications for customers throughout the customer survey cycle to garner buy-in, participation and awareness of actions being taken. Leverage current communication avenues already in place, be creative in the messaging and send information out at key junctures in the program to help keep awareness levels high. The upfront planning stages may already be intensive and adding another area to plan is not necessarily what we’d want to do. However, the efforts put forth in creating a communications plan will be worth it in the long run.