Breaches, Brick Walls, and Blunders: Communication Conquers (or Ruins) All

Have you ever received a completely cryptic letter from your bank warning you about a potential security breach of your account?
I certainly have–and it really drove me crazy.
First, the letter contained no salutation–only a fraction of our account number.  What a great way to emotionally bond with your customer.
Then the letter read:
“In our ongoing commitment to your security and privacy, we are writing to inform you that we have been advised of a potential compromise of your check card.  Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., a card payment processor of over 100 million transactions per month, informed us of a potential security issue that may include your VISA check card number.”

This worthless letter is akin to the Department of Homeland Security leaving a voicemail to inform me that “somewhere in the world, right now, there may be a threat to our safety.”

Does anyone wonder why even the most established banks upset and lose their customers?

This form letter, which passes as a caring customer correspondence, explains why my bank has hit a plateau in their growth, has recently reported a $24M loss due to bad loans, and may be headed for decline.
If you are a startup, solo-preneur, you will probably be too busy focusing on acquiring clients to care about this article.
However, if you have passed the startup phase, and may even be basking in the glow of more rapid growth, it is imperative that you eliminate these forms of customer communications. They will only confuse them, and cause them to focus on things that are outside of their control.

At your next team meeting, ask for random samples of your most recent customer correspondence.  Does it truly add value to your customers, or does it read like a cryptic CYA (Cover Your Assets) letter?  Find a way to squelch this counterproductive material immediately.

If you do not take your communication strategies seriously, your customers won’t be the only entities that will be compromised.


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