Clarity of language leads to clarity of thought

Clarity of language leads to clarity of thought

Clarity of language is clarity of thought.

The test for my own work is, if I cannot paraphrase the problem in plain English, in one sentence, I probably haven't grasped the issue yet. This is also true if I cannot articulate my strategy in the same way. The very first thing I do is try to get to a version my mum can understand.

Recently, we were working with a customer experience team on implementing a service improvement program. Customer satisfaction was inching downwards as indicated by their post-call NPS survey. The briefing document had this to say: 

There has been a significant decrease in customer advocacy and an increase in churn quarter on quarter, very likely, because post-call NPS values have fallen during the corresponding periods.

There are a few problems with it but the biggest problem is that it's written in technical language. It assumes that everyone reading it has a customer experience background. What I would try to do here is distil the problem down to a simple plain English sentence:

Customers are leaving, very likely because they're not happy with our customer service.

Now, did you notice that logical leap? In plain English, it's a clear as day.  Not only that, you can craft a solution to test the hypothesis:

We're going to train our customer service team better so they are not rude to our customers

Because it's plain English it's much easier to validate and also to apply the "Really?" test. You're able to say very clearly that A + B = C or not. It's OK to be wrong as long as you know why. 

I think we've all seen cases where excessive verbiage is put there to obfuscate the fact that the writer or speaker has no idea what they're talking about. As the saying goes:

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit
Adblockalypse? Good.

Adblockalypse? Good.

You are not a storyteller

You are not a storyteller