Speaking in Plain English to Your Customers

February 16th, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Often, we are deluged with junk mail.  Recently, my credit card company decided to increase the value of my credit card statements by making them easier to read.  My Clarity Commitment TM Credit Card, “Is intended to provide you with a clear and straightforward description of your Bank of America credit card rates and fees.”

Clearer Offer

The clearer documents were certainly in plainer English than traditional credit card communications. Why was the credit card company offering to help me? The answer — only because the US Congress passed a law called Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act.  The law required them to be clearer so they touted their new clarity.

How Do You Want To Communicate With Your Customers?

How do you want to communicate with your customers? Proactively?  Reactively?  The credit card industry like the mortgage industry is known for fine print and confusing terms.  Why do these industries want to purposefully baffle their customers?

Some companies have an  approach to customers that reminds me of the old story about hotel efficiency.  The head of housekeeping said to the General Manager that the cleaning staff would be much more efficient if it wasn’t for the guests.  The head of housekeeping missed the entire point that without guests there would not be a hotel.

Customers Are Necessary

Customers are necessary for a business to survive and thrive.  Then, why do many businesses ignore their customers?  One business owner explained it to me this way, “I do not proactively contact my customers because it reminds them that I am providing them a service.”  His point was that he is reminding them to look at the optional service his company offers.  He hopes they will keep paying their bill and not question the value of the services.  Instead, businesses should be showing the value that they provide.

The Takeaway

Communications with your customers in an honest and clear way reinforces your customer centric approach to them.

That Is What Is On My Mind.  What Do You Think?

  1. Do you proactively or reactively communicate with your customers?
  2. How often do you communicate with your customers?
  3. Do you offer communication that is clear and in plain English?
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