Good communication is the centrepiece of any strong relationship. It’s doubtful that you’ll hear a single wedding speech by either a bride or groom that doesn’t mention the importance of communication and how its strength is what helped to bond the couple. In the business world, it’s no different. The ways in which company owners communicate with their customers can make or break the relationships.
Think about it. What is the impression you get of a business after you’ve had just one bad experience with it? Chances are that you won’t be so likely to do business with that company again. In many cases, bad experiences come by way of poor communication. A package was delivered to the wrong address because the correct one wasn’t written down properly. An appointment was missed because someone didn’t receive the message about its new time.
You get the idea. When dealing with customers, one’s pleasant, friendly and inviting demeanour can make all the difference in the world. You want your customers not just to like your products and services, but you want them to like you! That’s what keeps them coming back. When you communicate in friendly ways that also shows that you are attentive and concerned about their needs, you foster relationships that are bound to last.
Here are four ways to be an effective communicator:
1. Be mindful of your tone of voice. It’s easy to get agitated when dealing with a customer who is irate. Angry clients are the tests that determine the difference between true professionals and business owners who still need lessons in customer service. Be sure to stay calm and allow your customer to fully articulate his or her problem. Once you’ve listened, be sure to use a tone of voice that is calm and soothing.
Often, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes all the difference in the world to your customer. While it’s important to convey your authority over the matter, it’s also imperative that you communicate empathy towards your customer. Let him or her know that you understand the frustration being felt and that you will be working to ensure that the matter is resolved quickly. Your tone of voice when communicating all of this will go a long way in fixing the problem.
2. Return messages promptly. It’s just that simple. Don’t delay. Some business owners end up worsening situations by not being prompt in returning their messages. Even when a message isn’t urgent, it’s important to let your client know that he or she is important to you. Sometimes, simply returning a call to let the customer know that his or her message has been received will be enough to quell an otherwise tumultuous situation.
3. Make clarifications. Being an effective communicator also entails that you are aware of your client’s understanding. In other words, don’t make assumptions. Just because you’ve explained something doesn’t mean that your client gets it. Make sure that your customer is listening and be sure to offer him or her time to ask you any questions. Ensuring that everything has been made clear will help you to avoid any mistakes being made.
4. Follow up. Once you’ve completed your work for your clients, put in some phone calls or send some emails to check in on them. Ask if there is anything else that you can do to help them out. Not only will this help to boost sales, but it will grow the confidence in your clients that you represent a brand worth working with. Showing that you care about the relationship is a big part of being an effective communicator. Just ask any bride!
MeloTel’s Commercial Phone Services and Single Number Reach feature has helped Canadian business owners become better communicators for years. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-MELOTEL!