Whilst searching the internet for inspiring quotations on customer service, I came across a very powerful yet poignant quotation, which for me sums up the main cause of misunderstandings between people today.
It reminded me so much of how delicate communications can be. How we say things can often sound different to the way, we think we are saying them. We may think we appear sincere, interested or that we are showing understanding when we talk to our customers. Yet, we may sound completely different.
It is so easy for customers to misinterpret the meaning behind our words and misunderstand what we have said or perhaps even meant to say. It can influence the impact of our message and might even make or break the conversation. Customers may also believe we don’t care - yet we won’t know it unless they tell us!
So, what can we do about it? The great news is that if we pay attention to a few key points, we can improve our communications with customers and ultimately develop better relationships!
- Think before you speak!
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and be objective
- Breath, relax and stand up straight
- Be friendly, smile and show understanding
- Project your voice in the right manner
- Moderate your volume, speak softly and calmly
- Express yourself clearly, enthusiastically and at the right pace
- KISS – keep it simple, straight forward and avoid jargon
- Always be open minded to possible misunderstandings
- If in doubt – ask questions to clarify
- Practice, practice and practice!
Finally, it’s important that we never allow ourselves to become complacent and assume our customer understands exactly what we meant to say every time we speak! So, take some time to ask questions to clarify and be sincere in showing understanding.
And if you would like to learn improve your communications more with customers, why don't you check out our training courses on Successful Communications Skills. And if you would like to learn how to apply this in a Customer Service or Sales role, check out the workshops Delivering Essential Customer Service, Customer Service and Complaint Handling, Cold Calling and Appointment Making or Effective Telephone Sales Techniques.