No matter what business we’re in, we’re all in the communicating business. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget some simple pointers.
Today we have a guest post by Ryan Franklin, a small business blogger and marketer who writes on behalf of Ordoro. He points out the obvious but sometimes we need to be reminded.
Did you know that the golden rule applies to business, too? That is, treat clients how you would like to be treated. How do you expect to be treated when you have to call into a supplier with a customer service issue? That is how firms and tradesmen expect to be treated when they contact your company. So here are a few key points to communicate with those customers effectively.
Listen to your client. You may be hearing what your customer has to say, but are you listening? Active listening is an essential part to communicating with customers effectively. There is nothing worse than getting on the phone with a service provider to explain your issue with their product or service and realizing that the rep is just not listening – causing you to repeat everything you just said! Pay attention to what your clients are saying; picking up on keywords can assist you in directing the conversation to address the problem.
Do not interrupt your client. Another step to communicating with clients effectively is to avoid interruptions. The last thing your client wants is to be cut off mid-sentence. Show them respect by letting them have a fair chance to speak, and then address the issue carefully. If a client has a complicated issue or is upset about something, it can be helpful to repeat the situation back to them to show that you understand. This is plain common courtesy and good customer service, and clients will appreciate your willingness to listen.
Smile. This may seem a bit ridiculous when you are making calls on the telephone, but this point still applies. Call center representatives across the nation are taught to smile when they speak because it conveys a friendly demeanor between the rep and the customer. How do you feel when you clearly reach a customer service representative that obviously does not want to be at work that day? Customer service agents should always smile and make the customer feel like they care. This will ensure return customers and high client satisfaction.
Make small talk. Avoid dead air even if you are researching an issue for the customer. If you must put a client on hold, be diligent in checking back with them every 60-80 seconds. Even a minute can feel like an eternity when you are placed on hold. Every customer feels like their issue is of great importance and that’s how you should make them feel. Without your clients, you don’t have a job; treat each one of them like they are the only one you have. At that moment, they are.
Again, communicating with customers can be as simple as treating them as you would want to be treated. Train your representatives to think the same way.