UK businesses could be wasting £1.26m a year by using language ineffectively when they communicate with customers, according to new research from the world¹s largest language consultancy, The Writer.
The study found that businesses in the UK think good language can increase how effective their CX spend is by 16%. And that they invest an average of £7.9m a year on customer experience initiatives. If businesses only break even on their CX spend, they are missing out on £1.26m a year on average by using language badly. If we presume the millions spent on improving customer experience are generating a positive return, the figure will be greater still.
They¹re communicating well where it counts least
Even though they know effective language has a big impact, businesses believe they communicate better in their least important channels for customer experience.
Websites are their most important channel, and the place where businesses think they communicate best. But after that, it¹s a different story.
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They see call centres as their second most important channel, but only 61% think they communicate well there. And although they generally see it as less important, 70% think they communicate very well over email.
Neil Taylor, creative partner at The Writer, says: ‘Businesses clearly get, on some level, that words can mean numbers that effective language improves the customer experience and boosts profits as a result. But this study also shows that UK companies have a long way to go if they want to get a real bang from their linguistic buck. There¹s a big difference between knowing language matters and knowing how to get the most from it. Given that they recognise the millions language can generate, it¹s vital they start communicating more effectively in the channels they consider most important.’
They don’t review their language, or their language guidelines
The research also found that 57% of businesses have never formally reviewed how they use language in CX.
And despite 51% claiming to have language guidelines in place, less than half (49%) apply these to a great or fair extent, while just 15% have reviewed them in the last two years.
‘It’s good to see businesses recognise they can make and save money with better language, but it¹s a worry they haven¹t done anything about it. Only a small fraction of the businesses we spoke to stick to their guidelines closely. They have to start thinking strategically about language if they want to make a real impact,¹ concludes Taylor.