Internal Communication is Essential for Sustainable Growth and Customer Satisfaction
Why do organizations spend much more on strategic external communications and PR than what is said within their own walls?
A consistent, coherent internal communication strategy is vital to success as it ensures that different individuals and departments are aligned and understand a company's goals, procedures and strategy. Yet businesses continue to neglect internal communication and rarely budget enough for it.
Without giving clients what they want, whether that be cutting-edge products and services or excellent customer support, there is little chance of building a sustainably successful business.
More often than not the people who are instrumental in delivering these products, services and support are ignored, rather than empowered with the right communication tools that would enable them to ensure not just customer satisfaction but also customer delight.
Before we take a dive into why internal communication is important, let's take a look at a few impactful statistics to help us illustrate our point.
1. Most U.S. employees are not engaged at work.
- A recent poll by Gallup shows that 65% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work.
2. Employees who are engaged generate greater profit.
- Sales increase 20% when employees are actively engaged.
- Profitability increases by 21%.
3. Intranet participation is at an all-time low.
- A survey by Prescient Digital Media shows only 13% of employees reported participating in their intranet daily—31% said they never do.
4. Most communicators admit to using too much jargon.
- An IABC report shows that only 21% of communicators say they keep their language simple and jargon-free.
5. Communication pros are eager to incorporate creativity into the workplace, but don’t know how.
- 93% of communication pros say creativity is important, but only 6% think it’s used to its full potential, according to a study by Alive With Ideas.
6. Employees are more productive when appreciated and recognized.
- The Workhuman Research Institute found that 74% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated and recognized.
7. Many professionals are still not measuring internal communication outcomes.
- 60% according to Poppulo.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who is heavily invested in marketing or a communications head requesting your C-Suite for a bigger budget, here are 3 reasons why internal communication is crucial.
#1 Happy Customers
Great internal communication will improve client satisfaction in the following three ways:
a) Maintaining Momentum
Through a customer’s lifecycle. Every member of your team needs to know not only how to direct a stranger through your business funnel until they become a delighted brand ambassador but also how to nurture, maintain and enrich relationships at every point of the customer journey.
b) Crisis Control
Is vital as brands need to be resilient and prepared when anything unfortunate happens or any negative press blows up publicly. Clear internal communication strategies outline what is to be done in such cases and ensures staff avoid being caught off guard. This makes all the difference between a brand surviving a potentially messy event or irreparable brand damage that could bankrupt your company.
c) Strategically Social
It pays to be prepared in the social media space as depending on how these tools are leveraged, they can lead to extremely satisfied customers or very disgruntled ones. The three main factors that ensure internal social media communication is on track are:
- A quick and flexible editing process so that there are no delays or bottlenecks when it comes to time-sensitive information. This is essential as companies must be responsive and interactive at the speed that today’s customers have become accustomed to.
- Clear but quick checks and balances with regards to messaging to minimize incidences of erroneous information that customers have a very low tolerance to.
- Effectively communicating these processes through the right channels to employees so that everyone is on the same page.
#2 Happy Employees
Keeping employees engaged is a continuous process. How well you are able to communicate your organizational vision, goals and purpose internally has a big effect on how engaged your team is.
Communicating in an open and honest way therefore ensures happy, engaged employees who are in sync with the company’s values and purposes by ensuring:
a) Meaning and method to the madness
By spelling out exactly what is expected of the team in order to reach the organization’s overarching goals.
b) Fast Flowing Feedback
That is transparent, constant and runs both ways where both team members and managers can collaborate better by openly expressing their views and learning from each other.
c) Trained Teams
Who have a plethora of options for growth and development through experiential learning, alternative and traditional training channels.
d) Enhanced Environment
With a sense of belonging and bonding is the guaranteed result of a well-planned, cohesive communication and culture building strategy.
e) Listening Louder
Makes for more effective two-way communication and helps you ask the right questions when needed. It is important to not only listen to what is being said but how it is being said and then customize communication channels, tone and messaging appropriately.
#3 Better Bottom Line
When you aggregate the above effects of solid internal communications you are left with a more efficiently run business and a very visible impact on your company’s bottom line. The snowball effect is that happy, confident employees ensure satisfied customers, higher levels of brand satisfaction, client retention and increased revenue.
To build a sustainable business requires a clear and strategically drawn up internal communications plan that will prove to your team, customers, and the world at large that you are committed to a transparent style of working that puts them first. This means smiley faces all around, higher levels of performance and better business results.