One of the keys to Achieving Superior Service and building a service culture is leveraging the building block of “Service Communication”.

Uplifting service providers seek to make each perception point a positive experience for customers, clients and colleagues. Many of these points involve communications: what prospects, customers, colleagues, and partners experience as a result of what has been heard, read, or said.

How your words and images shape the perception someone has of you, or your business, is tremendously important. In fact, as claimed by Peter Drucker, “60% of all business problems result from faulty communication.” How wonderful would it be if you to avoid or minimize 60% your business problems! One way to do this is to make sure your communications are clear, effective and memorable.

Creating positive, memorable communications can be easy. A model called the 4Cs of Truth in Communication stands for Comprehension, Connection, Credibility and Contagiousness. This was used widely in the advertising industry where I spent many years before joining UP! Your Service. I believe this model has incredible value for anyone striving to improve service performance or to differentiate based on a culture of superior service.

The First C:  Comprehension

Does your audience easily understand get the main message or idea? What is being instantly communicated by your communication?

The Second C:  Connection

You know your message makes a connection when it triggers an emotional response for your customer. This only happens when a message resonates with meaning and significance for others. When people say “Now I get it!” then you know you’ve got it.

The Third C:  Credibility

Your audience needs to believe what is being said and how it is being said. Credibility is the most important “C”. Your audience may understand your message, and even connect with your message on emotionally level, but if they do not believe the message is credible it will make no positive lasting impact.

The Fourth C:  Contagiousness

Word of mouth is the best advertising, accumulating credibility as it passes from one person to another. You can make your messages contagious with especially clear, clever or curious messages, images and formats. People love to talk, and they will talk enthusiastically about you when your messages are new, different, and memorable. Or when they include an uplifting call to action.

The perception points in your service communications are everywhere: in your website, literature, social networking, physical environment, product information, packaging, policies, even in the design and messaging of your purchase receipts, office directions and employment applications. Everywhere you communicate you have the chance to be creative, be unique, be memorable.

4 replies
  1. Dan Haygeman
    Dan Haygeman says:

    Your post above is a great illustration of the value of a Service Culture. For me, your point ‘C’, Credibility, is at least 80% of the issue here. If my communications inside or outside my organization make claims or assessments about our offers and service. . . and if those communications ring as less than true to the receiver. . . then my efforts to be Comprehensible, Contagious and Connecting go nowhere.

    Of course I am not talking just about me personally here. . . if our receptionist treats somebody in a way. . . or our service manager. . . or. . . you get the point.

    Fortunately I cannot go running around and get all these team members to act as I would prefer them to act. . . rather they need to ‘be’ service. Service needs to come out of them and who they are intending to be. . .

    Hence, a ‘Culture of Service’ as I’ve heard you say often. I can’t get people to ‘be’ differently by explaining it at a staff meeting, monitoring for it, measuring it or pleading for it. If our culture shifts, however, then we all reinforce one another moving in the ‘service direction’. . . and when that begins to occur, then “Let the fun begin!”

  2. Hans Mudde
    Hans Mudde says:

    Cummunication and information management is today the key element to manage the business. I would even say that 70-80% of our business problems is due to faulty communication. As example, look today in your mailing culture of your company and also start to read some mail chain from the bottom. You will be surprised.

  3. david
    david says:

    “I cannot go running around and get all these team members to act as I would prefer them to act…..” Sorry, Dan, but that’s exactly what you have to do – at least until they all get ‘on message’ from your role modelling!

    There’s no easy, quick fix for this sort of stuff, I’m afraid.

  4. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Proper Communication is a daily effort that not only requires time and attention, but also a commitment to staying “in integrity”. We must be the examples of how it should be done, in order to set expectations of those with whom we work.


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