Whatever your niche or industry, there’s no debate: Effective communication — both internal and external — is critical to your company’s success. With more technology available than ever before, you’d think it would be easier to master.
But New data published by Project.co Turns out that in 2023 businesses are still struggling to communicate effectively – with serious implications for the customer experience.
In this article, we’ll dive into data.
current state of business communication
While 99% of consumers say it is important that a business communicates well with them as a customer, only 7% of businesses rate their communication as “excellent.”
More than double this number describe themselves as “below average” or “poor”.
And the impact on customer experience is clear: More than two-thirds of people say poor communication has caused them to stop doing business with a company and ship to a competitor.
Brands know they need to do better – and customers demand they do better. but when it comes to brands doing Better – it seems that easier said than done.
So what is going on?
What does great communication look like?
Perhaps the best place to start here is to look through the lens of the customer.
what is it that they want from companies? what great communication really does Lookalike?
For starters, customers want to be informed. In fact, 94% of customers surveyed say it is important that they know (or can find out) updates related to their purchase or project, such as its status and next delivery.
Customers also want companies to note and remember details so they don’t have to repeat themselves. 87% say they’ve had to repeat business they buy from, and 79% find it annoying.
Full, thorough communication makes a big difference. We all know from our own experiences as customers that errors and delays are often forgivable as long as they are clearly communicated and explained.
In addition, there has been a lot of research about response speed, specifically how quickly companies are able to get back to messages and what customers expect.
A superoffice study showed that nearly half of customers (46%) expect companies to respond to their messages in less than four hours.
Still, based on a sample size of 1,000 companies, the average response time was more than three times that — and the slowest response time was eight days.
In short, it seems that great communication boils down to:
- Visibility: In-depth overview of where things are at.
- Organization: Information stored and distributed in an organized manner, available when needed without the need for customer follow-up.
- attitude: Conscientious, thorough and honest messaging.
- Capacity: Fast and timely responses.
effects of bad communication
Communication sounds simple, but the cost of not practicing it is high.
When businesses were asked how communication issues have affected their business, this is what they said:
- 68% said they wasted time.
- 53% had missed messages.
- 42% had experienced burnout, stress or fatigue.
- 35% of the files were lost.
- 30% felt that the customer experience was directly affected.
- 12% had lost customers to competitors.
- 10% said they would lose employees.
Clearly, it’s a broad spectrum of important metrics that is hindered by an inability to get communication right.
So why are brands getting it wrong?
If the fundamental pillars of effective communication – visibility, organization, approach and efficiency – are so simple and there are more tools available than ever to help, why are so many companies still in such a mess?
The truth is that companies haven’t found a way to adapt. The data shows they are using technology – but often flawed technology with no central source of truth.
This suggests a particular over-reliance on email. when asked how they are primarily communicate with their co-workers, 31% said email – the most cited answer.
For customer communications, it is even more dominant, being used by nearly two-thirds of businesses and dominating every other channel.
Email has many advantages, of course. It’s fast, easy and simple. But when it comes to collaborating and trying to build in-sync teams, this can often make things more confusing and reduce opportunities for spontaneous brainstorming.
Communication essentially becomes silent, happening in private inboxes away from the rest of your team and beyond the view of management – sometimes resulting in crossed wires, confusion, lost files and Time gets wasted.
What did person A promise to the client three weeks back? What important note did the client email to Person B before the project started? Where did person C put the brand guidelines emailed to them by the customer?
Information is not shared effectively – and this is where the problems begin.
And what about the impact on work-life balance?
With increased access to work email outside the office, there is a pervasive feeling for many people that work never really ends. For many people, the temptation — or worse, the necessity — to check email off-hours is eating into family and leisure time, resulting in stress and anxiety.
According to teamstage, 40% of employees use their devices to work outside of office hours, with more than a quarter of them getting their work done. Lack of division between work and leisure time can only hinder productivity, not to mention health and well-being.
Customer and Customer Communication: Two Sides of the Same Coin
While we tend to think of customer communication and internal team communication as completely separate things, the reality is that they are inextricably linked. Poor internal communication directly affects customer communication.
When team members don’t have the information they need, it’s impossible for them to share it with customers – leaving the customer uninformed and unhappy.
Poor organization, missed messages and lost files create extra work for team members – causing unnecessary, avoidable delays for the customer.
When teams have poor communication internally, they often spend enormous amounts of time fixing problems, correcting mistakes, and searching for information.
And that means a less efficient team, and less time to focus on the customer experience. Finally, no one can do relationship-building without providing the basics.
changing world of work
On the surface, it seems that many of these issues have been exacerbated by the rise of remote working.
Business leaders and pundits have questioned the impact of working remotely on a business’s ability to communicate effectively.
Although hybrid working has established itself to some extent, 44% of those surveyed project.co Still working almost entirely remotely, with less than one in five in the office full-time.
The thing is, office-based work was never the solution to communication, and it still isn’t.
Project.co found that when people a project management tools For communicating with clients, customers or both, they were significantly more effective.
What’s more, using a project management tool to communicate with customers is strongly associated with:
- better internal efficiency
- better customer experience
- Increase in project success rate
- better employee welfare
Using a project management tool for peer communication provides similar benefits with an even stronger correlation.
When they use an online tool, it’s easier to effectively communicate each data point, measure project progress, and keep information organized and accessible.
Click here to view all data from the Project.co Communication Statistics 2023 Survey,
So, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that businesses have a lot of work to do. The numbers suggest they are aware of it, but perhaps too overwhelmed with work to take meaningful action.
However, these problems simply won’t resolve themselves without positive action on the part of managers and strong buy-in from teams.
It takes strong, decisive leadership to identify the need for change, find the right systems, tools, and software, and then drive change throughout the organization.
But the good news – as this data shows – is that taking This action is the beginning of a path that leads to satisfied customers, less customer and employee churn, and a happier, healthier team.
Is it a challenge? Absolutely. But it’s a well worth facing.