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5 Best Practices for Internal Communications During a Change Event

This is the conclusion of a two-part series. Read part one here.

It’s important to properly prepare account holders when a change event is about to occur, and equally crucial to ensure internal staff is ready for the event too.  These five internal communication “best practices” will help ensure your staff is fully prepared to meet account holder needs and that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Gain leadership and organizational buy-in.

Don’t overlook the importance of having full internal buy-in when planning a major event such as an online conversion. Gaining internal buy-in from key stakeholders and other players at various levels of the organization will be helpful during the planning stages, when vetting third party vendors (such as a contact center supplier), and communicating between departments. 

Communicate regularly with employees and stakeholders across the enterprise to ensure awareness and engagement.

In much the same way as the organization plans marketing communications to account holders about the event, your institution should create a plan for how to let internal staff know about the event and any changes to expect, additional trainings to attend, or any other big business shifts as a result of the event (such as restructuring).

It’s also important for the financial institution as a whole to understand the reasons behind the change event, as awareness, clarity, and engagement are critical to a smooth transition.

Create a robust training program to provide high-quality, high-touch service.

Accommodations should be made to train frontline and back-end staff on the differences and enhancements between the new technology and the old. Be sure to have all customer-facing staff participate in piloting and user acceptance testing, so they are intimately familiar with the new application before the go-live date. Over train if necessary to ensure your account holders receive the highest level of customer service during what may be a very confusing time for them. The better trained internal staff is before the event occurs, the higher level of customer service they’ll be able to deliver afterward.

Provide regular progress updates to keep staff in the loop.

This will not only increase engagement internally, but build anticipation and excitement for what is bound to be an incredible enhancement for your institution.

Why Proper Internal Communications are Important

With internal staff fielding account holder inquiries and requests during a conversion, they’ll need to become masters of any new technology and also effective communicators about what is happening and when, which is why it’s better to over prepare than risk leaving their education and training to chance or the last minute.

It isn’t just bad customer service that costs financial institutions business. In today’s “instant” and “on demand” economy, 81% of customers admit being turned off by how difficult it is to sign up, complete a transaction or get more information with a company. Consider also that 60% of consumers have not completed an intended purchase based on a poor customer service experience. Having internal staff ready to demystify any new technology for customers will go a long way to ensuring your institution maintains the same level of customer satisfaction during and after the event, as before.

By ensuring proper internal communications, your institution can not only ensure a successful conversion, but also help to deepen loyalty with your account holders.

 

View our webcast to learn best practices for external and internal communications during digital conversions.

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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