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Positive Reinforcement

As the nasty red blob heads your way, the national weather service already has a plan in place to communicate with you – and to reinforce the message about the impending storm.  Likewise, a communication plan should be a key element of your Customer Strategy.  An often overlooked step in communicating with customers, partners, and employees is to reinforce the message. This step is every bit as important as defining your audience, crafting the message, and choosing the right vehicle(s). 
It struck me as a powerful storm came through Indiana this past week – another in the increasing list of dangerous storms that have hit the U.S. recently. This particular storm was determined to be a “potentially dangerous situation” and had a history of tornados. Local weather forecasters did everything possible to get the word out and convey the need to take shelter.

The message was reinforced in many ways throughout the event. Television stations broadcasted the live radar. Radio stations reported on the situation across the state. Tornado sirens sounded in neighborhoods. Websites communicated the information online. And, news stations sent text and email alerts.  It was critical that people were aware and prepared. 

As a customer strategist, you need to do your due diligence to ensure your message is reinforced. Whatever you do, don’t just deliver your message and walk away. The message needs to be consistent and reinforced in order to really have an impact. Consider some of the following best practices:

          Use multiple communication vehicles

          Send follow-up messages

          Provide status or progress reports

          Ensure leadership actively supports the effort (when appropriate)

Positive reinforcement just might make the difference in taking action and achieving your goals – what are you waiting for? 

Kitty Radcliff
Vice President 

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