Superannuation members are 'bamboozled by poor disclosure' Productivity Commission deputy chair Karen Chester says - [1]

Be honest now. You may not ‘bamboozle’ but are you guilty of any of these communication transgressions?

  • Too technical?Do you write Fact Sheets in your own technical language rather than in the language your customers use?
  • Too dull? Do you bore your customers so much that they don’t even read what you have written?
  • Too confusing? Do customers contact your call centre because they don’t understand the letters you sent them or the instructions you gave?

If yes to any of these, it is a good idea to conduct what some people call ‘consumer testing’, which means testing written communications with customers. There are two forms of testing:

  • Survey based testing which measures what customers think of your written communications. Do they feel confused?  Are you so dull or patronising that they don’t even bother to read what you have written? Do your written communications reflect your brand image?  Use surveys like these for a benchmark measure before you embark on a re-writing project and then again afterwards to make sure you stay on track.
  • One-on-one testing. In this form of testing, we sit down with your customers while they read your documents. We use a range of tests to find out what they understand and why they don’t. This is a form of qualitative research which uses small samples similar to Usability (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) testing. We design the test to suit the length of your document and the intended audience. Our report then shows you how to write more clearly and effectively.


[1] We are proud to say that we were part of the Consultancy team for this report

Tags: Communications, sense-making, Consumer testing, Written communications