In conversations with business owners recently—and these owners had businesses with 50+ employees—they described communication “challenges” either within the company or with clients. But for now these owners seemed to feel that these issues were normal and only moderately pressing issues. After all, they reasoned, since most of us have conversations every day, aren’t we all pretty good at communicating?
I would like to suggest that we are pretty good at communicating but having consistent communication is the real challenge. Communicational consistency is a skill that needs to be developed and that your employees’ CCQ (Communicational Consistency Quotient) directly impacts your company’s financials today and will for years to come.
For the purpose of this article, let’s define CCQ as a measuring holistic message. CCQ measures a message given verbally or in writing. It has an emotional component. It has dimensions of accuracy and timeliness: the message that the hearer/reader receives is what the speaker actually intended. CCQ captures the sum total of consistent communication over time and is a proxy for the depth of trust-building and relationship-deepening.
Whew! As you can see, insuring high CCQ communication is neither simple nor easy to do consistently.
So communication—good, high CCQ communication — is actually an essential skill that impacts relationships both within a business and between a business and its customers. It shows up in your employee retention and customer retention numbers.
Now let’s consider the business impact of high CCQ communication.
A high CCQ environment keeps employees happy:
I had the privilege of being part of a virtual B2B (business-to-business) sales operations team at Tandem Computers (now HPE) that had high CCQ. We had a clear communicational process that I was mentored into. We communicated and worked collaboratively across departments with sales, legal, manufacturing and management to insure our mainframe-class hardware/software systems were delivered on time. I had stepped into a high camaraderie, high trust environment that even as a newbie I was able to impact. In the first month I was there, our team set record-breaking sales.
So what was the business impact of our high CCQ? Our team sold and delivered a $2m+ computer system—and repeated that 90 times in that quarter.
High CCQ enabled us to retain
- Happy customers—receiving systems on time meant that those firms could meet their production schedules and
- Happy employees—communicating consistently resulted in the satisfaction of being part of a winning team, camaraderie, recognition and significant bonuses.
CCQ helped to create a happy firm and shareholders—the 90 systems shipped meant Tandem had more revenue in that current quarter, better cash flow, a better bottom line and a higher stock price.
Consistent communication keeps current customers happy and connected and buying from you: When customers know what to expect in terms of the kind and frequency of communication, that high CCQ builds trust. Trusting customers keep coming back. Keeping these customers is far easier than finding new ones. Consistent communication can help you to retain customers. Suppose it would allow you to retain a client for 20+ years. Imagine the customer life time value of that client!
We are privileged to be part of that kind of client’s success. Our firm is now working with the 3rd generation of a family business. We have communicated clearly and consistently first with the grandfather, and then with the son, and now the grandson. We have adapted how we communicate with each generation. We have built trust by providing strategic business tools that have delivered measurable business results. And we have delivered these services personally month in and month out, year in and year out. As we have served each generation of this client, they have seen powerful financial results. And choosing to maintain high CCQ has also positively impacted our firm’s top line, bottom line and cash flow.
So good communication—cultivating a firm with the skill of high CCQ consistent communication– will impact your financial health and can set your business apart.
Consider: how could your business be better if every team member had high CCQ?