All of us in business want to make sure our customer communications are as effective as possible. Here are some tips that we find to be very effective.
First You Need To Listen
it's just as important that people be aware that you're listening as it is that you're actually listening. Did you ever get the feeling, when talking to someone, that they just weren't listening or were very distracted. Make eye contact and be involved in their story.
Be Sympathetic To Differences In Product Knowledge
More than likely, your customers have less technical or product knowledge than you do. Be careful, therefore, when explaining things to them. If you use acronyms, be sure you identify what the acronym means. Be careful that you don't make two opposite mistakes: either talking over their head or talking down to them. Keep your eyes on customers when you talk to them and be alert to cues indicating that they don't understand. Ask them whether they understand what you're saying, if necessary.
Make Positive Rather Than Negative Comments
Your customers are more interested in what you can do for them, rather than what you can't do. The way you say things to them influences how they perceive you and your department. So, for example, instead of saying, "I can't help you unless you log off," consider saying, "Please log off so that I can help you." Your statements often will be easier to understand as well.
Be Careful Of Words and Phrases That Can Be Misinterpreted
Sometimes we say something with innocent intent, but the other person misinterprets it. Be especially careful of the word "you." Overusing this word can make the person you're talking to feel defensive or threatened. Instead of saying, "You need to speak louder," try saying, "I'm having trouble hearing." Another issue involves the dual meaning of "you." Unlike other languages, English uses the same word to refer to an actual person (for example, the person you're talking to) as well as to a hypothetical person.
Suppose you said to someone, "You never know what's going to happen next," and meant to equate "you" with "people in general." The other person might think you're referring to him or her specifically and take offense. A better alternative might be, "It's really unpredictable here."
Always Avoid Emotional or Heated Responses
No matter how open your communication is, someone won’t understand what you’re trying to do and send you some very heated, disparaging, and even degrading comments. Sometimes the harshest criticism, though, is the most effective.
Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure? Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource. Effective communication is what your business needs.