When teams struggle to communicate well internally, customers feel the effects. New data from the Grammarly Business 2023 State of Business Communication report with The Harris Poll shows that effective communication between employees is foundational for customer experience.
The data shows that strong communication across an organization bolsters the confidence of customer support professionals more than members of other teams. And a confident support team is better equipped to respond to customers quickly, using a tone and language that reflect positively on the brand.
How effective (or ineffective) communication is within organizations directly influences the quality of support customers receive. Trusting your front line to deliver clear, accurate, and on-brand information and experiences to customers start with effective internal communication.
Essential knowledge transfer is breaking down amid more communication channels
Given the uncertainty of the current business climate, leaders are zeroing in on customer experience as an area of opportunity. The report shows business leaders’ focus on customer satisfaction has increased by 10% since last year. Support teams will be expected to improve performance and deliver more positive customer experiences to help drive satisfaction and retention. At the same time, these teams are navigating an increasingly fragmented set of internal communication platforms, which makes it increasingly difficult for customer-facing teams to feel confident in their understanding of important company updates and how to communicate them externally with customers.
The data confirms what many knowledge workers have felt: Time spent communicating is up across multiple channels compared to last year. Teams are logging more hours communicating via traditional channels, such as phone and conference calls (up 14%) and emails (up 21%), as well as newer channels, such as text messaging (up 37%) and text-based chat (up 16%). Chat is especially prevalent for customer experience teams, which spend an average of 6.29 hours per week communicating on text-based chat platforms, as compared to 3.87 hours among all knowledge workers.
Overall, workers are spending 18% more time on written channels compared to last year, but the effectiveness of written communication has declined by 12% year over year. The report shows that written communication has become more challenging and time-consuming for knowledge workers. One in four customer support professionals say they spend too much time trying to convey a message in the right way multiple times per week. This challenge is only exacerbated by the growing expectation to tailor communication style and tone to several distinct external channels—all while meeting customer expectations for prompt and accurate responses.
Improving employee communication directly affects customer retention and satisfaction
Customer support team members are more confident in their role when communication across the organization is strong. When asked to specify the positive impacts of effective communication, customer support professionals indicate “increased confidence at work” at a significantly higher rate (61%) than all knowledge workers (52%).
For customer experience teams, confidence is essential for successful interactions with customers who expect accurate, comprehensive, and timely responses to their questions. When internal communication is consistent and clear, customer support teams can more easily access the information they need to confidently provide answers to customers.
That confidence translates to better customer experiences, higher retention, and other top-line business outcomes. According to the data, 63% of business leaders agree that effective communication results in higher customer satisfaction—and of those leaders, almost 70% report a double-digit increase.
Leveraging AI to enable your front line
As data from this year’s State of Business Communication demonstrates, trusting your customer service representatives begins with effective internal communication. The challenge leaders now face is how to scale effective communication across the organization so that team members receive and implement the most accurate and up-to-date information in their communications with customers.
AI-powered solutions such as Grammarly Business are the answer. This technology helps team members improve their writing skills with real-time, in-line writing suggestions— removing the need for resource-intensive training programs. These tools also ensure team members are working with the most up-to-date information without needing to refer to static documents, such as company style guides or documents with approved company stats.
Grammarly Business works across almost every workplace communication platform to provide AI-powered writing assistance in real time. In addition to helping team members improve the clarity of their messages with grammar suggestions, Grammarly Business also provides suggestions in the context of the business. Features such as brand tones and style guides ensure that the writing suggestions also incorporate brand standards. And the snippets feature allows team members to quickly access answers to common questions with preapproved text that can be quickly inserted into a message.
CX leaders have an opportunity to reimagine the employee experience by equipping their teams with best-in-class tools. Customer experience professionals can achieve clearer, more confident communication—and leaders can look forward to more efficient teams and more satisfied customers.
Learn more about how effective communication affects customer satisfaction and retention by downloading the full report.