Enhancing Customer Experience Through Strong Internal Communication

Apr 21, 2023

Internal communication includes all conversations between employees, departments, and stakeholders. Ultimately, it keeps employees aligned — no matter the format. It can take place through email, video, or in person.

Tight communication between employees helps foster belonging, trust, and accountability. It also creates an open dialogue between employees and management, improving engagement and productivity levels. Just as easily, poor internal communication can compromise productivity. It can create delays and ostracize team members from one another.

Efficient communication is more than just a priority — it’s also a skill. One 2022 LinkedIn survey found that 61% of working professionals say soft skills, including communication, are just as important as hard skills. For employers and employees alike, you must understand the importance of communication and find ways to standardize it across your organization.

Understanding the impact of internal communication

Although internal communication affects employees first and foremost, it affects customers both indirectly and directly. When internal communication is streamlined, employees can better understand a company’s objectives, goals, and values. This knowledge helps employees deliver a better experience to customers. On a more direct level, employees can educate uncertain customers when products evolve, prices shift, or priorities change.

Strong communication also creates a feedback loop between customers and company leadership. Employees can share customer feedback with stakeholders and company decision-makers. This allows companies to enhance products, upgrade services, and make other changes based on changing customer needs.

However, poor communication can negatively affect the customer experience and internal morale. It can allow misinformation to spread — both inside and outside the company. When communication is unclear, employees can make wrong assumptions about the next steps. They might also circulate information without proper fact-checking or verification.

Ultimately, with impacts both internally and externally, poor communication isn’t just a precursor to an unsatisfied customer. It’s a harbinger of a company’s lack of success if left unaddressed.

Strategies for enhancing internal communication

Improving internal communication is a process that takes buy-in from team members. It means replacing poor or outdated communication habits with open dialogue. It also means taking time to identify any breakdowns in communication.

Take time to establish clear communication channels for sharing updates. Many companies use management technology to separate their messages across different channels. For example, they might have individual channels to discuss customer feedback, department updates, and overall strategy. Employees can then read and process each message, without missing any important information.

Companies can streamline communication in several ways. These options include educational workshops, on-the-job training, and communication software. Some organizations also offer live coaching and feedback to help employees improve their communication skills.

Building a stronger internal communication culture

Before deciding on communication channels, find ways to foster a communication-friendly workplace culture. Make sure employees are comfortable sharing the information they receive. Employees should also understand how to use the communication tools at their disposal.

If you want to achieve open communication in the workplace, one of the best things you can do is celebrate it when it happens. Make employees feel heard and appreciated when they communicate internally. Ask follow-up questions and emphasize the importance of their message. This encourages more open communication over time, even when employees share criticism or negative customer feedback. Make sure that senior leaders and managers demonstrate the same open communication they want to see across the company.

Leveraging technology for efficient communication

Luckily, there are tools that can help employees and employers streamline communication. Here are a few resources that can help enhance internal conversation even when employees are working remotely or on the road:

  • ELDs and fleet management tools: Electronic logging devices (ELDs) help professional drivers organize daily tasks, uphold compliance, and send messages across geographic locations.
  • Connected cameras: Cameras within workplace environments and fleet vehicles can help reduce risk and capture footage for later discussion.
  • Communication gateway: Use a single, wireless access point to capture employee data and send it to stakeholders.
  • Telecommunications tools: Use video conferencing tools like Teams and Zoom to share information with remote team members.
  • Project management platforms: Organize tasks and provide updates for other contributors through project management tools like Asana and Monday.

Employees should receive education on all new communication tools. Test each tool to make sure employees can use them effectively.

Training and development for better communication

Training workshops provide powerful benefits for internal communication. They teach employees how to have fast, effective conversations. Training can also provide tips for navigating new communication channels or tools. Over time, communication training helps employees work together as a single unit in solving problems.

You can start communication training as soon as employee onboarding begins. Teach your employees about conflict resolution, how to give and receive feedback, and public speaking from day one. This ensures that each employee makes communication a priority from their first week. It also helps you achieve long-term goals like open communication.

Measuring the success of improved communication

After providing workshops, make sure you track internal communication and measure the results. This helps determine the success of your training.

Here are a few ways to track improvements in internal communication:

  • Conduct employee surveys to clarify how easily they can communicate through their channels and tools.
  • Encourage feedback from managers regarding their employees’ communication habits.
  • Track performance metrics like productivity, efficiency, and response times.

These improvements can have a positive correlation with the customer experience. Positive internal communication leads to faster feedback and better service, even when dealing with a customer issue. Over time, open communication creates loyal employees and customers.

The continuous journey of communication and customer service

Supporting strong internal communication is not a one-time priority. As companies and their customers change, stay up-to-date about communication best practices. Communication channels and tools change frequently. This creates opportunities for refresher training workshops that teach employees new skills.

Ongoing communication training and support might take away from short-term employee productivity. However, these programs also prepare employees for long-term success. The skills they learn through employment will make them an asset — whether they’re speaking with customers, stakeholders, or their fellow team members.

Time to move forward with managed technology

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