5 W’s to Better Customer Service Communication


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Communication one of the fundamental principles in getting great customer service right. We want to communicate with customers and we want to develop lasting, loyal customer relationships. The trouble often times comes in understanding the strategy behind customer service communication.

In 1948 Laswell proposed a model to describe mass communication processes known as the Five W’s Method or Laswell’s Customer Service Communication Model. He was the first in media studies literature to build up a valid framework that fitted both supporters of passive and active audiences.

Note that in the 1950s mass communication was perceived to be asymmetrical, with powerful media and passive audiences manipulated by messages. See: Hypodermic Needle Theory.

According to the 5 W’s model, a scientific analysis of a mass communication message is feasible by answering the following 5 questions:

1. Who will communicate in customer service?

Analyze the control of the service actions. Encourage the right type of actions and behaviors that contribute to exceptional service.

2. WHAT will be communicated in customer service?

Analyze the content of service. Focus creating the right type of content that will contribute to an exceptional experience.

3. WHERE will customer service take place?

Analyze the media channels used in the service offering. Are you available to your customers when and how they want to reach you?

4. WHOM will customer service assist?

Analyze the audience you will serve. What do you customers want? What do they need? What do you customers consider exceptional service?

5.WHY will you implement customer service?

Analyze the effect you want to take place by offering service. How will you measure the effective of customer service? What are the results that will determine if your service model is working?

These 5 W’s can be used as a blueprint in any organization developing its strategy for customer service effectiveness. These principles will ensure that the actions, content, and strategy behind the customer service process will be effective in connecting with customers, providing what the customer wants, where the customer wants it, when the customer needs it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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