Internal communications plays a key role in developing a customer-centric company culture. It enables everyone in the company to work towards the ambitious yet extremely important goal of ensuring customer satisfaction.
Why is effective internal communications important?
The quality of a company’s internal communications plays a key role in their company dynamics. Through internal communications, the various different parts of a company can work together with a common goal in mind, move in the same direction and generally be more productive.
We can compare the different departments in a company to the parts of a car - internal communications is the fuel that enables them to them work together. Internal communications addresses the challenges that can result from dividing up tasks, allowing different departments to maintain a “global perspective”. Moreover, internal communications bridges the gap between a company’s many different collaborators, helping to foster teamwork and increase engagement among all of the company’s stakeholders.
Internal communications also helps connect all collaborators in a company through a common objective, vision and company culture. If these elements are not clearly defined, internal communications can lead to information overload and end up being counterproductive.
Internal communications helps build a customer-centric company culture
Nowadays, all companies are aware of the importance of customer relationships, customer knowledge and customer satisfaction. Knowing your customers, responding to their feedback and aiming to increase customer satisfaction are keys to making any business sustainable. It’s important to remember that customers lead to sales revenue: a data-driven company culture, while it can be effective and encourage employee engagement, should always go hand in hand with a customer-driven culture.
To be productive and effective, businesses must keep customers at the heart of their company culture. It is now more important than ever for companies to be customer-centric. Aiming for customer satisfaction is what connects the various different departments of any company, and is both a key objective as well as a way of bringing team members together.
Psychological factors are one explanation for this. Everybody likes seeing the people around them experience happiness, even more so when they are contributing to this happiness. When employees work towards increasing customer satisfaction and succeed at it, it brings new meaning to their work. Far from simply being a cog in a machine, these employees are playing a key role in creating customer satisfaction and happiness. For this to be the case, customer satisfaction must be measurable, which is why collecting and communicating information on customer satisfaction is so important.
When a company culture is focused on customer satisfaction, team members are more motivated and involved in their work, and find new and positive meaning in their daily tasks. To build this kind of company culture, it is important to develop an effective internal communications strategy.
Take a look at why evaluating employee satisfaction is important.
How 3 types of internal communications can be used to increase customer satisfaction
Any customer satisfaction initiative must include all collaborators in a company. For a company to be considered customer-centric, all departments need to be actively working towards increasing customer satisfaction - not just the sales and marketing teams.
Effective internal communications is essential to developing this kind of company culture. But what does an effective internal communications strategy involve? Here are the three types of internal communications strategies to focus on when building a customer-centric company culture.
Top down internal communications
Top down communications refer to communications addressed to all employees, whether or not these messages are shared via management.
Top down communications allow executives to keep employees informed of key figures, such as those related to customer knowledge and satisfaction. These messages must be as transparent as possible. One effective internal communications tool is a dashboard, updated in real-time, that presents data on customer satisfaction indicators over time.
Remember that with top down communications, it’s always important to offer context when sharing data and figures, providing commentary that gives readers a global vision of the subject. Sharing the context behind these figures will help employees feel more connected to the company’s vision and goals.
Upward internal communications
Upward communications refers to collaborators sharing information with those in executive and management roles.
Upward communications is extremely important, as it enables team members who are working directly with customers to share important information and ideas for improvement. Employees working in customer service are sure to have many insights on their work to share with executives. A customer-centric company must trust their team members, and offer ample opportunities for them to contribute their ideas. It’s also important to structure this feedback using tools such as surveys, and even offer employees an opportunity to freely communicate any issues they are facing by providing the option to share anonymous feedback.
Lateral communication allows different departments and services to communicate amongst themselves, without necessarily needing to first share this information with those in management and executive roles.
Lateral communication within a company is extremely important, and is also based on the idea that all all collaborators have something valuable to share. It also allows for quicker and more open communications between departments.
First and foremost, companies should facilitate information sharing among the marketing, sales and customer service departments. These three departments can learn many things from each other. Lateral communication helps to create a sense of productive synergy throughout the company.
A customer-focused company must involve all collaborators as much as possible by facilitating communication, whether top-down, upward or lateral. Effective internal communications offers all team members the chance to play a more active role in the company, leading to increased customer satisfaction.