What’s the true power of written communication to customers? From our experience, it’s huge.
First, a short story…
One of our heroes, Theodore “Ted” Sorensen, died last week. He was President JF Kennedy’s speechwriter. He wrote the “ask not what your country can do for you” speech that changed the way a generation thought – for a while, at least. But, he claimed, the most important piece he ever wrote was a simple letter.
In October 1962, the USA was poised to declare war with the Soviet Union. The two nations were ready to fight because the USSR had sited missiles close to the USA in Cuba – and refused to withdraw them.
Kennedy ordered Sorensen and Bobby Kennedy, the administration’s attorney general, to draft a letter to Khrushchev, the Russian premier.
Their simple, but painstakingly-drafted letter — which ignored Khrushchev’s harsher statements and offered concessions involving US weapons in Turkey — changed the Soviets’s minds. They withdrew their missiles from Cuba, averting war.
All from a letter.
Why written communication to customer matters
So what does a story from the 60’s have to do with your customer communication? Isn’t it a bit of a stretch to suggest that a few simple letters can have the same impact for your customer experience? Perhaps, but from our experience businesses are fighting endless (and needless) battles with customers because of the written communication they’re sending out.
Want an example of how one, simple letter can cost a business millions in impact costs, completely swamp their contact centre and cause long-lasting brand damage? You might like to download this case study on how we reduced customer complaints by thousands all through transforming their written communication to customers.
When it comes to customer communication words really can stop war. Or at the very least reduce the number of battles your customer service teams are having to fight. Through the work with do around customer communication we’ve found the power of written communication to customers is profound and long-lasting.
Sorensen was a man who really believed in the power of the written word – and his work helped quell a potentially catastrophic situation. We may not be fighting for quite the same cause but time and again we see the potential of written communication to customers. To avoid needless battles, reduce complaints, change behaviour and deliver a consistent brand experience.