The three C’s: How to keep your customers engaged
28 October 2020
If there is anything that the last 8 months or so has taught us, it is that nobody likes uncertainty.
Poor communication or the lack of a clear plan can cause frustration as there is no end in sight. The same can be said for your projects and service delivery.
The lack of a clear, actionable plan along with poor or infrequent communications can lead to damage being done to your customer relationships. Avoiding these pitfalls can often be seen as a chore or even a burden.
Here we explore three ways you can keep your customers engaged and onside even if your project is not going according to plan.
This one is not rocket science. The longer the gap between communications, the less well managed their expectations are.
It is impossible to over-communicate with your customers. They may not always respond or engage with the message that you are sending, but the fact that they have been communicated with regularly and kept informed helps to prevent escalations.
It is also a good way of delivering bad news, because, inevitably, you are communicating any delay or issue straight away. This gives the customer the best chance of digesting and understanding the impact.
Even still, if a customer is not happy with the news you have delivered, it gives you the best chance to rectify their concerns. You are giving both parties the opportunity to understand the impact.
Beyond frequent communications, you need to ensure your communications are consistent. Consistent in tone, but also in frequency.
If it is a lengthy project, like construction or large manufacturing project, a consistent communication schedule will help to avoid unpleasant surprises at any stage of the project.
Consider how these project updates could be automated to ensure the consistency of the message and that they are being sent every two weeks. Creating a project update workflow that keeps your customers informed will serve the dual purpose of keeping your customer engaged and save you time.
Nobody wants to spend an hour trying to digest the information that you think is vital for your project updates. Keep the message short, simple and to the point.
It is vital that your communications do not contain jargon or unnecessary information. Stick to what they absolutely need to know: Is it on time? Does the customer need to do anything? What happens next?
Your customer will ask you if they are unsure but communicating concisely ensures that your full message gets through, and information is not missed. If you cannot keep the update concise? You probably need to call or arrange a meeting.
Keeping customers engaged is so important, yet so simple. You can implement simple workflow systems that automate your communication structure and messaging, meaning your customers remain engaged throughout the process.
The workflow systems do not even need to send the communication directly; they can prompt you to send a more personal communication by triggering a notification when the next communication is due to be sent.
How do you manage your customer expectations and keep them engaged on lengthy projects? If you would like to discuss how a workflow system can ensure your customers remain engaged, get in touch.