Business language research

 'Consistent and clear communications are one of the most important elements of the customer experience.' (Mckinsey)

 We 'consumer test' communications using insights from linguistics and information design

In Financial Services, the term ‘consumer testing’ means testing a document with members of its intended audience to determine whether the document is easy for them to read, use, and understand. We used our extensive knowledge of linguistics - how language works - our research expertise, our ethnographic experience and our forays into information design to develop a unique qualitative reading experience test. On top of that, we probably know more about disclosure for insurance, superannuation and investment than any other research agency.

Consumer testing is  suitable for any written communications

While we gained our expertise in financial services, any organisation which needs to write to customers can benefit from our help.

Why is written communication testing so important?

  1. Poor communications clog up call centres, cause profit-draining customer attrition and create unnecessary and time-wasting stakeholder misunderstanding. Many of these problems can be fixed by clearer and more timely communication. We show organisations how they can communicate more clearly to improve customer experiences and improve organisational efficiency.
  2. Our research also shows our clients how to find the words to create emotional connections with their customers, making their brochures, mailers, letters and digital comms effective and empowering.
  3. Beyond words, we use principles of Information Design to show to how to draw attention to verbal and visual information and how to present it so it is understood and used.

 Use it for

  • Marketing collateral
  • Information sheets, posters and pamphlets
  • Correspondence - letters and statements
  • Claims, labels and messages
  • Newsletters
  • Direct marketing communications
  • Disclosure documents

Susan Bell Research has helped many Australian organisations improve their communications to their customers and stakeholders including AMP, ASX, CBA, IAG, RACQUI, Westpac and UniSuper. We can also measure who reads your written communications, what they read, and why.

Case Study  - making a concept make sense

A financial services organisation developed a new service for investors. This was a brand new concept. We used our linguistic and research expertise to test prototypes of the fact sheet and online application form to make sure that the potential investors knew what the service was for and how to use it. Because this idea was so new, investors came to the idea with a cognitive frame of expectations about the concept based on previous experience, which made them 'blind' to some of the important features. They didn't read it well because they thought they knew what it said. We showed our client how to restructure and reword the form and the fact sheet so that investors understood and valued the idea. The launch has been very successful.

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Tags: Qualitative Research , Language, Making sense, correspondence, Fact Sheets, Disclosure, Information design, Written communications

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