How to Get Employees Ready for Change Impacting External Customers
Industry: High Tech
A major telecommunications company was redesigning its Internet site. Customers told the company that its 800,000 page website had lots of information, but they couldn’t find things and information on one part of the site often conflicted with other parts of the site. The company began to redesign the site, using an information architecture and navigation based on the customer product life cycle. They also developed a customer and information database which enabled more personalization with modularization of information for consistency and reuse across the site.
Ideas and Involvement
Now the question arose, how do we communicate to all the different stakeholders, get them ready to migrate their content, and train internal employees to use the site and make sure customers know where to go to with questions? After talking with key leaders and the different stakeholder functions, I put together an internal communications plan. It contained high level messaging, and targeted approaches for each of the groups. I worked with marketing managers, global web site managers, technical content writers, and customer service audiences to get them ready for the transition. We established user teams for each different employee audience to identify size, location, communication needs, skills needs, and delivery preferences for the different groups. Ongoing communication came through a regular e-newsletter, special Intranet site, large group conferences, pilot demonstrations, and web-based sessions. We had Customer Service get involved in testing early prototypes for bugs, organization, and to determine customer questions. For technical writing and marketing, we had early awareness classes, coaching sessions via Intranet conferencing, and video on demand to demonstrate and instruct in new tools.
Implementation and Impact
As a result, each group knew how to change the content on the current site to migrate to the new site, and knew how their material would be represented on the new site. Customer Service had training immediately before launch so their employees were ready for the change. We had special contact sites to get customers to the right place for help. Launches are never easy, but the employees were ready.