As coronavirus prompts economic and social transformation, communication is more critical than ever. Not only what, but how we communicate can make the difference between simply being heard to being completely understood.

The way that customer experience (CX) findings are communicated is just as important, if not more so, than the results themselves.

In fact, communicating those findings can be an essential component in driving change throughout an organisation.

Below are some best practices to consider when communicating key CX insights to busy executives and stakeholders:

Know your audience

An essential first step is knowing your audience. When it comes to a CX programme, there’s a substantial difference in the results that are shared with executives compared to middle managers and even individual contributors.

Understanding your audience will allow you to develop material that is appropriate for each group, whether that’s high-level insights for executive stakeholders or in-depth results for product managers. The ability to dig further into the stats, depending on the questions asked, is a vital skill when presenting results to diverse teams.

When it comes to engaging executives, this group should be given access to results dashboards where they can filter, search, and drill into specific segmentation. This allows them to do a deep dive into NPS, persona, solution, and customer-owners, for example. As you get to know the different ways your executives work and think, you’ll be better able to decide which executives to target for dashboard access, versus those that prefer delivery of high-level summaries.

Mid-level managers and individual contributors should be urged to use dashboards for continuous monitoring of target customer segments. This type of “experience” information can be married with internal “operational” data (“X+O”) to look for trends and patterns over time. Ongoing dashboard monitoring makes fast identification and remediation of root cause easier.

Make content easy to read

When sharing written results, it’s important to remember that your readers are busy, often in a hurry to finish consuming your document so that they can move on to their next urgent task. To overcome this, results must be made easily digestible.

Use bite-sized learnings in materials that are “skimmable” and include generous white space and bullet points. Don’t assume busy readers will invest their time to understand your message — spell it out for them.

An additional step of including a “read time” metric at the top of the article will allow readers to set appropriate expectations for how much time they should allocate to your insights. There are tools for quickly estimating read time, making this a simple addition to all your documents.

If your busy executive team only has time to consume a single page of information, make sure the key findings at the top. Beginning your document with critical results and not burying them at the end can positively influence the readability and understanding of the information shared.

Make next steps obvious

Don’t assume leaders will understand critical next steps – give them specific recommendations so they understand how and when to take action. If recurring issues continue to surface, look for root cause, and assign ownership to address discrete tasks. You could also consider setting up a group of specialists dedicated to a specific set of goals for especially difficult or intransigent issues.

Adding context to CX findings

Customers don’t operate in a vacuum. Combining customer experience insights with other market intelligence, such as trends reports and competitive dynamics, can provide a more robust view of the global environment.

Viewing customer feedback with the same lens as other external influences can help you develop a more holistic approach toward solving customer issues and ensuring customers remain committed to your brand, even and especially during periods of disruption. When presented alongside CX results, market and competitive findings can provide powerful insights for deciding strategic direction.

Reference and advocacy programs can boost customer engagement by rewarding your most loyal customers and facilitating substantial engagement with your most valuable buyers. While not all organisations utilise reference and advocacy programmes, incorporating learnings from these programs when sharing CX insights will point to key trends and associated opportunities for customer success.

Taking steps to ensure that the delivery of CX results is on target will go a long way toward guaranteeing results are read, understood, and actioned with long-term success.

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