With so many gadgets and communication devices around today, it is easy to get personally disconnected from others. More and more conversations are taking place via e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, etc. without sitting down face to face or speaking with others. The advent of all of these communication vehicles has no doubt brought a certain level of efficiency to our lives, but are we losing personal connections?
As a customer loyalty advocate, I believe that the changes in the way that we communicate with those around us have had an impact on our effectiveness in driving people to take action. When disseminating customer feedback, automatic pushes, e-mail distributions and postings to internal web sites serve as obvious and effective choices for efficiently distributing information across the organization. However, these methods may not be the most effective for all stakeholder groups. It is harder to motivate people to take action if they have no personal connection to the information.
As a supplement, and in some cases, an alternative to pushing information out to your stakeholder groups, consider where it might make sense to take a more personal approach. Here are 2 methods that have been successful for our clients:
1. One on one meeting with account teams managing strategic accounts. For strategic accounts, organize key pieces of information that would be most interesting to an account team: areas to leverage, areas requiring intervention, and identification of growth opportunities or vulnerabilities. Set up 30 minutes to an hour with the account team and review the feedback their customers provided. Devote part of your time with the team finalizing 3-5 actions that they are going to take based upon customer feedback.
2. Workshop sessions with functional/regional areas. Organize your stakeholders into groups who have common interests. Set up 1-2 hours with them to share with them the results for their function or region, talk to them about what the feedback means and the impact to the organization, and then identify the actions they will take a as a result of the learnings.
These more personal methods can be difficult to scale across the entire stakeholder base, so it is important to identify the areas where this approach would be most effective, such as with strategic accounts and those functions that are most critical to customers.
As you plan and execute on your communication plans, make certain to include a mix of dissemination methods, and not lose sight of the importance of personal connections.
VP, Client Service