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Stephanie Thum: Communication Key to Customer Relations Tool

Stephanie-ThumEvery enterprise needs a thoughtful communication plan that they should follow to help maintain client satisfaction during times of change, says Stephanie Thum, vice president of customer experience at Export-Import Bank.

With managers being aware of the inevitability of reform, Thum notes in a Sept. 12 guest post on DigitalGov that they should take certain steps to constantly work at keeping customers engaged.

“Just like the private sector, government agencies frequently encounter new rules, regulations, policies and financial realities that impact the way we do business,” Thum writes.

“When customers feel the ripple effects of those changes, their satisfaction with an agency can waver,” she adds.

Thum urges federal leaders to start setting an example by keeping everyone, especially customer-facing agents, informed and knowledgeable, with access to FAQ listings and internal discussion groups.

“The timing, nature and frequency of staff communications to customers should not be a matter of ambiguity in-house—your team should feel fully empowered and fully informed so that they can get the message out clearly,” she adds.

She further notes the importance of making sure an organization’s customer relations are present and consistent at all levels.

“Communicate… frequently across all self-service channels to ensure the right information is available to all,” Thum concludes.

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