Communication Norms

The rapid widespread of so many digital communication mediums, like email, online forms, facebook, twitter, mobile apps and others combined with advanced networks has drastically changed communication standards in the last three decades. What has not changed in the business world though, is the crucial importance of responding when someone gets in touch with us. 

Back in the old days when the fastest way to send a written text was buy fax a couple of days could be a reasonable response speed. Today were in some cases, a couple of hours of delay could be disastrous such a delay is completely unacceptable. This is why every business entity should have a strict communication plan followed by all internal stakeholders. To do that every incoming channel (like phone, email, social platforms, blog comments as long as all customer and provider types, are recorded and possible scenarios are analysed in terms of importance for the business. The impact to the business interpreted in possible benefits and damages should be the main criterion when prioritising communications. For example in a retail business with a customer comes first policy a client complain on twitter is set to be addressed within an hour. This “rule” and the supporting mechanism is what is called a communication norm or a c-norm. 

Broken promises to clients like free shipping, marketing promotions, or increased prices can be made viral in minutes. Critical events that can endanger customer relations, production, quality, the reputation of the brand or increase cost are prioritised higher and treated differently than secondary situations. Being proactive can prevent serious trouble on the business. The more in-depth analysis is done to each possible situation the more effective the communication norms will be. Automatic triggers and backup plans can also be designed - as in crisis management - to react accordingly in extreme emergencies. Processes like evaluation of reactions, norm improvements and assessment of new conditions are factors that can make the difference and provide a cutting edge that can be turned to a significant advantage over competition. 

The role of the internal communication is to distribute communication norms and their updates across all departments, employees and external outsourcing partners, controlling and reporting any flaws immediately. High corporate standards should be uniformed and reflected in all company activities. After all, keeping product or service standards, respecting customers, delivering on time, keeping warranties, paying people and providers on time, keeping contracts terms and corporate promises are still vital.