One voice

For the last few months I’ve been involved in redrafting our communication strategy and yesterday was the final presentation of our recommendations. Thankfully it went far better than expected.

I’ll probably do a more in depth post later with the details but the headlines revolved around:-

  • Getting the overarching narrative of the organisation right
  • Getting people to talk to one another
  • Listen to customers and talk their language

Not rocket science but the more I have worked alongside communication teams the more I’ve realised what a rough deal they often get.

I’ve met very few people in the business world who do not rate themselves as excellent communicators.
It’s littered through most CVs I’ve ever read and is certainly on all of mine.

“Excellent communicator….proven track record of communicating at a senior level….experienced public speaker….yada yada yada”

So inherent in most people is a instinctive under appreciation for anyone involved in comms and the value they add. This often means that the comms team gets involved very late on or have pre-written copy passed to them to be sent out… and then people get offended when its recommended that half of what they’ve written isn’t needed.

So how do you sell egg sucking classes to your grandma?

Well the first tactic was to build up a comprehensive evidence base. This involved surveys, focus groups, analysis of customer data as well as bringing in some experts to give their opinion. The second tactic was to really not refer to it as communication at all…
Communication should be a two way dialogue but (certainly in my organisation) has become a shorthand for just sending an email on whats going on – hardly two way. So when the ‘name’ gets in the way…change it…

We presented a ‘One Voice’ strategy that talked about conversations and customer voice…






Sunday night humour…

One of the things I also wanted to do with this blog was to not take it all too seriously…after all I don’t know anyone who works with customers that doesn’t have the odd funny story to tell…


First foray into usability testing…

More and more intranets and information portals are becoming the primary channel for doing anything in business and where I work is no different.

For a while I’ve been promoting the importance of the user/customer experience and today was the first step in taking that on from simply conducting quantitative satisfaction surveys to really focusing on how our customers use our web channels.

So over the next few weeks I will be researching, developing, testing and finally conducting my first usability tests – and will be blogging about my experiences as I go.

Step 1 – a little research….

There’s an awful lot of rubbish out there about usability testing and companies asking thousands for their expertise.

In terms of the approach I’m going to be taking it’s been essentially worked out from these great sites

  1. – actually if you only go to one place go here….it covers everything in detail and importantly, like all great advice, is free… fill your boots
    Some great advice here from the ‘Nielsen Norman Group’ around how you don’t need large numbers to get some great insights into improvements that can be made.
    Useful overview of the general approach I’ll be using.

My next post should focus on planning the usability test and going through the key areas that need to be covered.


New Start

So I’ve decided to start blogging again and rather than a continuation of my cartoons ( I thought that I would keep this one more focussed on the day job and my interests in psychology.

Some topics that will probably come up:-

  • Knowledge Management
  • Usability
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Customer psychology

….and probably the odd bit of customer humour.

I’ll update this theme and layout over time and see where it takes me.