Communication is the single most important piece of the puzzle for your action-oriented customer strategy. Without it, nothing happens. When nothing happens, nothing changes.
I recently saw Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And while we have to repeat some of our actions, I think the point is this: If we don’t change how we have been communicating and work toward being more effective in our communications, then why in the world would we expect to see action occur and change happen that will increase the value we bring to our customers?
I have recently seen the benefits of effective communication first hand. As part of a new fun phase in my life, I made the decision to sell my home. In consultation with my Realtor we determined the list price and put together a plan to sell the home. The house was “listed” on Monday, I had two showings on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, another on Saturday, a second visit on Sunday, and an offer on Monday. That was a week in total – wow – in today’s housing market!
So, what are the key elements for getting to that point? There are five essential steps for communicating:
To get the word out about my house:
1. We discussed who would be the target market for my neighborhood (defined the audience).
2. The main selling points of the home were included in all communications (craft the message).
3. Then, several methods were identified to communicate the selling points of the home (chose the vehicles).
4. We implemented the plan by posting the listing online, placing a “For Sale” sign put in my front yard, putting a virtual tour of the home on the internet, and even spreading the news using my social network (deliver the message).
5. Lastly, my Realtor committed to keep promoting my home in weekly meetings and other advertising opportunities (reinforce the message).
Those same five steps can be leveraged when developing the communication plan for your customer listening program. Sometimes we get so focused on gathering data, that we miss the point of getting the word out.
Who is your audience? What do they need to hear about the voice of the customer? What is the best way to get that information to the different groups/types of information users? Do you need a different strategy for different groups? Once you have the answers to those questions, it’s up to you to deliver the message.