Simplified has helped remarkable companies to put in place programmes that simplify communications and transform complexity into clarity ‒ all with the overall purpose of improving customer experience and treating customers fairly. Here are seven factors that predict success in clear communication in business – these apply equally well to a small plain English rewrite and an enterprise-wide clear communications programme.
1. Clearly defined objectives and metrics
In successful initiatives, all team members can articulate a set of measurable objectives that relate to a commercial or regulatory goal.
2. Research and user testing to put the customer first
Research and user testing does not only happen at the start and end of the programme – it´s done throughout the development phase and results in iterative improvements.
3. Appropriate investment
Traditionally, companies invested much of their communication budgets in promotions and media placement. However, it is often plain-language post-sale communications (for example, policies, statements, website service content, and customer service letters) that can really make a difference to customers.
4. Collaboration, especially between legal and marketing departments
Simplified communication is multi-disciplinary. Stakeholders must work together to make clear communication a success for the business.
5. Innovation in clear communication in business
In a digital world, technology creates opportunities to simplify that have never existed before. FinTech is well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities, and if established brands do not look at innovation as part of simplicity, they may be left behind.
6. The basics are well executed
As important as innovation is, don´t forget the basics. Plain English techniques are well researched and every organisation can take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that already exists. For example, there´s no need to go down the path of stale readability checkers when more modern, ambitious techniques would work better.
Your simplicity programme is only as good as your most complex content. It´s relatively easy to simplify promotions – but if the clear communication is not carried through consistently to your most complex piece of content, you are less likely to reach your goals.