Monitoring noise levels of customer communication

We’re working on a complex project at the moment that involves redesigning the customer experience across a variety of interactions: from face-to-face meetings to follow-up phone calls and printed communications. There’s much debate in the office as to the right level of contact that a business should have with their customers and whether too much contact creates ‘noise’ that drowns out the more important messages.

I am monitoring this ‘noise’ as I begin the process of becoming a new customer of various utilities and insurance companies.

The images below are from Origin Energy with whom I’ve taken out a 100% green electricity account. I received this last week after about a month of service. It’s all printed on recycled paper, has a friendly “thank you” sticker on the back, and contains a short note to thank me for being proactively environmentally friendly. Included in the envelope are postcards to send to my friends to encourage them to also take up green power.

I was pleased when I received this communication from Origin Energy: I thought it relevant to me and my customer ‘type’. Origin have rightly assumed that by choosing green energy I am probably nauseatingly inclined to preach to others about the benefits of going green, so they’ve provided me with some tools to do just that. The postcards have yet to be sent, but I think it’s a nice touch that will extend their brand.

The communication supports my decision to go with 100% green power, which is important given that currently this form of energy is more expensive to buy as a consumer. I feel as though my decision is important, beneficial to others, and worthy of the extra spend.

My only criticism is from a typography perspective: I believe computer-generated ‘hand drawn’ type looks cheap. If they’d paid a calligrapher to write the headline messages the communication piece would have felt more personal and of more value to me.

Otherwise, I think this was the right level of ‘volume’ for this type of communication, though of course it’s easier to target with such a coarse division of customer segmentation: I’m either a green power customer or not.

Creating engaging communications across more diverse customer segments is a much harder task, however, and one that we are dealing with in our current project. We’re looking at implementing key changes to the communications the customer receives and the conversations we have with them to make sure we’re giving them ‘the right information, in the right place, at the right time’. We’ll get back to you with how we go.


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