5 May 2017
I get asked this question often, “what is the secret to good customer communication?”
I believe the answer is a 2 part answer and it might not be what you expect……..
- Get to know your customer and learn what they think excellent communication looks like and their preferred channels of communication.
- Understand the risks associated with your contribution to their business activities and create a proposition which includes any additional communication channels / touch points that mitigate those risks.
Let me explain….
You may think that good communication means ‘keeping the customer informed every step of the way’. I see this time and time again and wonder how many customers really want to be informed every step of the way?
In truth, we are all different and have differing needs & priorities so why should we expect every customer to want the same levels of communication?
It is worth noting that too much communication can become a nuisance to a customer!
To create a proposition that adds value, contractors must be prepared to communicate using a number of channels and today that may mean a combination of email, social media, the phone and in person.
“Get to know your customer and learn what they think excellent communication looks like”
Ask the customer what their preferred channels of communication are depending on the nature of the communication. For example, an email may not be appropriate for communicating an emergency, however a follow up email may be necessary as a formal record and audit trail.
Once you have the communication channels agreed, relevant tools can be used to streamline and automate some of the communication activities. There is a vast array of affordable tools available today so there really is no excuse for poor or onerous communication, no shows or late visits to your customers’ premises!
Do you have any communication success stories or examples of where communication can be improved? If so, I would like to hear.
Please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and feedback with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn here.
Want to know more?, please take a look at my related article, ‘Service Contracts… Getting it right at the outset (part 1)’
Nick W Calcutt