We have a mindset at FLIRT that’s at the heart of all that we do for our clients: communicate with co-workers in the same way we communicate with consumers. So when I read “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” by Jim Lecinski, a short e-book by a Google employee focused on how the internet has transformed consumers’ decision making process, I couldn’t help but think of how the consumer-facing concepts apply to internal corporate communications. As I was reading, I observed how “companies” could replace “brands,” and “employees” could replace “consumers;” and suddenly the results were powerful.
What the heck is the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT for short)? I know, it sounded like marketing mumbo-jumbo to me, too. But when you start to think about it, ZMOT has become the center of every single one of your daily activities. It’s the moment you seek out Yelp reviews for a new restaurant in your neighborhood; the moment you seek out coupons on Facebook for your favorite shampoo before purchasing; the moment where the internet intersects any purchasing decision and influences you accordingly.
So what does this have to do with internal communications? Do employees really experience this ZMOT concept too? Read on.
ZMOT principle: “You’d never set up a corporate 1-800 number with nobody to answer the phone. (Would you?) The Internet is that 1-800 number, and it’s been set up for you even though you didn’t ask for it.”
We can’t have all the answers, all the time. So, where are your employees going for help when they need it? In an ideal world it would be your website, your intranet, your e-newsletters and your forums. Utilize those platforms—populate them with valuable information and consistently monitor conversations so your employees stay informed.
It’s all about the transaction
ZMOT principle: “We’re entering an era of reciprocity.”
We rely on our employees day in and day out to make our companies run. They’re the reason we exist. But are we communicating our appreciation for them? Use ZMOT to show your support, continue to motivate them and simply show them that you’re paying attention. Recognize them for their accomplishments (major or minor) on a personal basis with a one-on-one email. They’re reading email ALL day—why not send them one more with a brief thank you for their dedication?
It helps the bottom line
ZMOT principle: “How do you weave into somebody’s experience in a way that’s beneficial rather than detracting from that experience?”
Go mobile. Give employees access to work at home, when they’re traveling, when they have down time. It makes them more efficient and contributes to your company’s productivity. This could be as simple as upgrading their mobile devices so they run faster, creating a custom internal mobile application for sharing documents, paying for wi-fi access on airplanes, you name it. As long as you make mobile your employees’ friend, we guarantee they’ll utilize it!
Let them connect
ZMOT principle: “Why would people make decisions based on the opinions of strangers? They don’t. They make decisions based on the opinions of people like themselves. People look for others who have been in the same situation as they are now. Which is who they find at ZMOT.”
No one understands what your employees are facing on a daily basis better than their own peers. Use online communications tools (social intranets, Yammer, etc) to allow them to connect with each other to troubleshoot and brainstorm. Two heads are always better than one.
Keep them around
ZMOT principle: “The wonderful potential of this, if you’re willing to work at it, is to have an intimate relationship with consumers. And that leads to the ultimate moment of truth: when the customer buys your product again.” Or in this circumstance, an intimate relationship with your employees so they continue to work for you!
Every company wants to increase their employee retention rate. So if you give your employees more reasons to stick around, they probably will. Intersecting them at their ZMOT gives them those reasons. If you leave them hanging in the situations detailed above, they’ll start to notice and find another company that provides them with the resources they need. Consequently, if your current employees are having a positive work experience, they’re likely telling others about it (quite possibly online).
Have you read “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth”? If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can download it here, for free! Do you have any out-of-the-box applications for Lecinski’s insights?