Why ‘Survey Speak’ Fails in the Age of Customer Data

Maurice Fitzgerald discusses the important role that communication has in your customer experience team – detailing how data can help communicate in the receiver's language.

Why communication is critical to CX success
Contact CentreInsights

Published: January 18, 2024

Maurice Fitzgerald

Maurice Fitzgerald

As covered in this article, communication skills are absolutely essential in the new age of customer behaviour analysis. I would like to expand on one point: the necessity to be able to communicate using the receiver’s language.

This is much more difficult than it seems, especially because we humans are all biased, and we believe that we already understand others far better than we do, so we make big mistakes.

I remember a workshop involving two teams that had never met face-to-face. The first exercise each team did separately and then presented was to diagram both their own operational processes and those of the other team. The two results were somewhat similar.

I suspect that most readers are not surprised. We are all so busy with our own day-to-day work that it is close to impossible for us to understand the full complexity of what another team does. Those of us who are CX leaders are especially at fault here.

For our improvement project suggestions to make any sense, we must have much more knowledge of what other teams actually do and the impact their work has on customers. This simply cannot be learned from traditional survey processes. And yet, that is all we CX people used to have.

An old problem with a new solution

The problem used to be close to impossible to solve. Not anymore. All the data we need, indeed all the data that lies behind even a complex flow chart like the one shown above, is already in our IT systems.

We can use it both to understand the impact of each process on customer purchase and renewal habits and, more importantly, how to communicate what is going on to people who are in other teams. These teams all use specific IT systems and are measured on information supplied by these same systems. The key to successful communication lies, therefore, in that same operational data.

Once we understand which data points and trends have the greatest impact on customers, we must communicate, communicate, communicate.

That data is what drives the metrics and language of the relevant teams. Once we understand which data points and trends have the greatest impact on customers, whether positive or negative, we need to get a basic understanding of the process that is behind each, then communicate, communicate, communicate, using this new language we have just learned: the language of the teams that manage those same processes.

Forget about ‘survey speak’; speak operations are the key to successful communication with the other teams in your organisation.

This article is adapted from a content series posted by Maurice FitzGerald on LinkedIn.

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