Effective internal communication in a company is crucial for a successful impact on revenue and relationships with existing, loyal customers. When you disperse responsibility for customer retention throughout a company, you can get some unexpected—and negative—consequences. You can also hurt sales efforts with new customers.
Consider the findings from a Workforce.com study, 60% of companies don’t have a long-term internal communication strategy. In another study by IBM, researchers found that among the companies that do have a long-term internal communication strategy, 72% of their employees don’t have a full understanding of it.
So what ways are there to combat this problem? Developing a strong internal communication strategy is the first way to provide and influence a positive customer experience.
An example of a poor internal communication strategy
First, let’s review an example of a poor internal communication strategy. I chatted with someone at an event recently, and she shared a story that perfectly demonstrated poor communication methods within a company. The person, we’ll call her Morgan, told me about a customer experience with a product she was thinking about buying to solve a problem for her company.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a visually compelling ad online, which drove me to click through and sign up for a free trial with a project management tool.
Immediately afterward, I received the standard welcome email. About 10 minutes later, I got another email that explained what my next steps should be. Less than three hours after that, a third email arrived. Two hours later, yet another email pinged, inviting me to attend a live webinar.
With all of that inbox action, in one afternoon’s time, I was driven to unsubscribe.
I played in the tool for about fifteen minutes but never took the time to dig in. Given my poor experience getting too many emails, I was afraid I would be bombarded if I continued using the platform.
Failed internal communication methods negatively impacted Morgan’s interest
This story is a prime example of departments not communicating or considering the customer experience. Three different departments within the company reached out to Morgan within the same time period. The welcome came from marketing. The webinar invitation was from customer success. Another email seemed to come from the sales team. The intent was positive. The departments were trying to introduce her to the product, but the effort didn’t seem coordinated. Who was monitoring the overall experience from the customer’s perspective?
The initial barrage of emails caused Morgan to unsubscribe, which cut off future communication. When companies fail in one area of the customer experience, it bleeds into customers’ feelings about the company overall. Companies often think that customers are won or lost based on the quality of their solutions, but in reality, customers buy when they feel confident their needs will be met. Not just with the product, but by the relationship. In this case, the emails meant Morgan didn’t feel like it was a relationship at all.
How do you effectively communicate in sales?
To effectively communicate in sales, companies have to look at their customer experience and develop an internal communication strategy to identify how departments are going to work together.
Companies may assume the customer experience falls to customer success or customer service departments, but customer success teams can end up competing with sales and/or marketing to engage with prospects and customers. In Morgan’s case, communication from too many departments undermined her experience.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to help you avoid undermining relationships with prospects and customers. It begins with an objective customer experience audit. This is a comprehensive assessment of your target customers’ interactions with (and perceptions of) your brand. In general, it considers all of the key ‘touchpoints’ during your customer’s shopping journey, from finding and choosing your brand or product, to interactions after the sale.
Here are some questions to answer during an audit to begin developing a strong internal communication strategy:
- What are all the touchpoints a customer receives from your company?
- Are touchpoints coordinated in both tone and strategy?
- Are they optimized for the company’s overall objectives?
- Does the experience make prospects and customers feel barraged, ignored, or valued?
Mapping out the answers to these questions with customers in mind can help your company avoid negative customer experiences and develop a stronger internal communication strategy. When your communication is delivered thoughtfully and strategically it will inspire new and existing customers to believe that your services will be equally targeted to their benefit.
Internal communication methods to improve your strategy
Today, 39% of employees believe that people in their organization don’t collaborate or communicate enough. It’s important to implement strategies that are suitable to the needs and goals of your company. So, what methods can you use for effective internal communications?
Here are three methods to implement that will support effective internal communication which in tern can help your company improve its overall communication strategy:
- Alignment: Create a customer experience goal that all departments and employees can aim for. Make sure everyone understands the touch points of the customer experiences so there are no miscommunications.
- Engagement: Develop a communication system that is consistent and is clearly shared across all departments. This way customers are always getting the right amount of engaging information without being bombarded from several departments all at one time.
- Achievement: Setting a specific time for departments to meet and touch on their communication efforts is a must so that everyone in the company understands wins and challenges, new product developments, company goals, etc.
You can also review our blog post on effective internal communication for more information on building an internal communication strategy.
Implement strong internal communication methods with Alignmint Growth Strategies
With a detailed audit of your company’s internal communications, you can be on your way to creating a successful impact on revenue and relationships with loyal customers. Working with Alignmint Growth Strategies is like hiring a personal trainer. We look at the current state of your operations and objectively determine the key exercises and improvements that must happen first. Then we help you grow from that foundation to achieve long-term wellness and happier customers. Learn more about ways Alignmint Growth Strategies can help you apply these practices in your company. Let’s talk!