9 Ways To Effectively Communicate Complicated Procedures
How does your company communicate a complicated procedure to customers?
To help your team find easier and more efficient ways to communicate complicated procedures to its customers, we asked PR experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From assurance through illustrations to live or recorded videos, there are several strategies you may want to take on to communicate complicated procedures to your customers better.
Here are eight ways your company can better communicate a complicated procedure to its customers:
- Perfect The Kick-Off Calls
- Presentations For The Win
- Meet Your Audience Where They Are
- Repeat & Remind
- Break It Down
- Use Live & Recorded Video
- Detail Direct Benefits & Research
- Let Infographics Do The Heavy Lifting
- Educational Blog Content
Perfect The Kick-Off Calls
At TechnologyAdvice, our process is our product. To make sure we are communicating our processes clearly, we set up kick-off calls with all new tech vendors to review our procedures and set proper expectations to make sure our client’s marketing teams know exactly what they are buying. This includes a step-by-step guide into how we will be promoting the client's content as well as the full user journey that a lead takes before being delivered to our clients. We also offer in-depth training for our clients' sales teams where we review best practices for following up with the leads we generate.
Matt Weiner, TechnologyAdvice
Presentations For The Win
When explaining complicated procedures like content audits or keyword research to clients, I always prepare a presentation to outline the process. Within that presentation, I will include helpful graphics, like timelines and flowcharts, in addition to links to helpful articles in case they want to dive a little deeper. These presentations are incredibly helpful as they ensure I am explaining the procedure in the same effective way to all my clients!
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
We need to communicate complicated machine learning procedures and data analytics to our clients all the time. But our clients are not data scientists, and we cannot expect them to be data experts. We meet our clients where they are first by making it clear that we are experts in machine learning and data science but they are experts in their business. It is only by bringing those two domains together and creating a common lexicon that we create business value. The second way we meet our clients where they are is by building on real-world anecdotes, case studies, and lessons learned from other clients to create a narrative that our clients can identify with. By using narrative storytelling instead of listing facts and findings, we are able to engage our clients in a more meaningful way. Data storytelling is a powerful way to engage our clients around their goals and hopes, their current practices and outcomes, and their future success.
Repeat & Remind
Communicating complex procedures is never easy. Remember that people best receive and absorb information in different ways, so be sure that you offer your information in many formats (e.g., email, marketing materials, signage, social media, etc.). In doing so, though, ensure that your messaging across all means is consistent. Repetition can be another helpful way to communicate complex information. Remind customers that the procedure is changing/has changed. Email reminders when the new procedure is going into effect and the key changes can be helpful. A follow-up message to thank customers for their compliance with the new procedure is another reminder of the change and an acknowledgment of their cooperation.
Break It Down
My organization navigates complicated procedures by breaking them into steps and offering walkthroughs either over the phone or in person. Usually, the more complicated the process means the margin for error is small. Dealing with this kind of structure, you want to be sure to get it right the first time, so having very detailed walk-through steps and physically guiding them through the process ensures that no mistakes are made.
Use Live & Recorded Video
We've gotten heavily into video when it comes to customer communication and it's been really well received. As far as complicated procedures, we now rely on it to explain the recruitment process to leads, demonstrate how to fill out paperwork that might be in a different language, and give feedback on interview and introduction videos that each applicant needs to have. Unless you can meet in person, there is not a better way to demonstrate a process or task than video, and we've found most leads and customers refer back to certain videos again and again.
Detail Direct Benefits & Research
When rolling out a new procedure or process, explaining how it benefits your customer is usually the best step to do first. Some businesses and people resist change even if it may be for the better. Detailed examples are important to show that you have analyzed the data and come up with a better solution. Explain in person or over Zoom and walk them through the new procedure. Be available for any questions and be open to making mistakes as they teach us to be better.
Let Infographics Do The Heavy Lifting
Often when clients approach my company for help communicating complex issues or ideas, we develop custom infographics to give the end-user a complete understanding of the overall concept. We feel that the brain really responds to graphic depictions of ideas—not as the primary method of getting the idea across, but as a supporting element. We generally break the information down into manageable chunks and build out the graphics from scratch. Doing it this way allows for maximum customization and a way to really zero in on the target audience.
Educational Blog Content
Educational blog content can be one effective way to communicate complicated procedures to customers. The more education you can do up front before someone becomes a customer, the less communication a business typically needs to do post purchase. That's why businesses like ours take the time to produce in-depth blog posts on complicated subjects like the benefits of an unmetered dedicated server. If a business can help a customer better understand what they are purchasing before they purchase, then a business and customer can enjoy a more worthwhile relationship.