Communicating with your customers; collapsing the distance

Two people using two cans and a string as a telephone

Helping others is the single most important values for many of us. We want to make a difference and for our lives and jobs to have purpose. As a leader, communicating a strong sense of purpose and collapsing the distance between your team and the people they serve is vital to building motivation, understanding and commitment.

It’s what you do that makes a difference

Companies big or small, back-office or sales team, we all have customers.  When you make the connection between people’s everyday jobs and the value they bring, you tap into a deep-seated desire to help others and make a difference.

At Severn Trent, we created a video with the simple title: “It’s what we do”.  It focused on the everyday jobs of people in the business from customer care representatives to water engineers out and about in the community.  In an understated, very human way, it recognized the unique connection between people and society and the legacy they leave over time.  When we played it at the company conference, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Starting with the purpose which drives your organization can uncover powerful emotions.  People are much more motivated to hear about the value they bring, rather than a hollow slogan or corporate jargon.

Collapsing the distance

From creating a ‘virtual seat’ for the customer at the executive table to customer surveys and forums, there are many ways of giving your customers a voice and keeping their views and needs at the front and centre of your thinking.

Here are some tried and tested methods which should be part of every organization’s customer engagement strategy:

  • Customer Forums – create a regular forum with a diverse mix of customers and share your plans and roadmap.  Members will quickly help you spot gaps and see emerging opportunities and risks.
  • Customer Surveys – are you getting feedback on a regular basis from your customers? From online customer surveys, social media monitoring and traditional research, there are many ways of getting insights. The best insight of course is more often than not from your front-line employees, so find a way of getting continuous feedback from them on how your service and products are landing.
  • User Groups – whether your end user is a software developer or a consumer, you need to understand how your product or service is being consumed in real life.
  • Customer video and recordings – are you able to record the voice of your customer providing feedback on your product or service? What do they like or dislike about what you do? Recordings like this are guaranteed to make the CEO and director sit up and take notice if played in one of their executive meetings!

Success stories and testimonials – positive customer stories, testimonials and endorsement are the proof points of your service and product and of a job well done. They reassure buyers and get your teams out of bed in the morning. They recognize that every success has many parents. Are you capturing their stories?

A feeling of appreciation

Whilst we all want to make a difference, the second most important feeling we all want is to be appreciated.  Bringing the outside in and helping your team realize the difference they are making is one way of saying ‘thank you’ to the people who make a real difference everyday, in every part of your organization.

If you would like more information on telling your customer stories and collapsing the distance, then please contact us and our experts will be happy to have a chat.