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5 Ways To Improve Communication With Your Customers

5 Ways To Improve Communication With Your Customers

Communicating with your customers should be a top priority when it comes to improving how your business is perceived by the public. In this article, we’ll look at five ways to improve communication with your customers.

#1 – Speak Clearly

Often, the most obvious element in communication with your customers is often missed: speaking clearly. You need to match the correct pronunciation, effect a pleasant but authoritative tone, pace the conversation so that both parties understand what is being said, and even augment your style to make the caller comfortable as a sign of respect.

This, of course, needs to be tempered with making sure that professionalism is key and that larger vocabulary words (those not related to the subject at hand) may come off as pretentious and cause confusion. The same goes for acronyms unless the customer uses those same acronyms with familiarity. Instead, use common language when necessary and avoid jargon to convey your point adequately.

#2 – See It From Their Point of View

Empathy can go a long way when you’re providing customer service. Realize that customers have a problem that you want to solve, and many are not happy if they’ve been waiting for a long time. Use calming words and a softer tone, while also understanding that you’re taking their burden away so they can continue on with their lives.

Though it may be tempting to disparage your own company (especially if it is their fault), you should instead say that it is a common occurrence among your competitors and you’re glad that they’ve stayed on with the company despite a hardship. Very often, the frustration that a caller is conveying to you has nothing to do with your own service. More often than not, it could be that the person is wasting their lunch break, or is experiencing problems from their life that are seeping into your “hands,” so to speak.

#3 – Establish Rapport

Customers appreciate speaking to a friendly voice. Research has shown that customers are more likely to form a relationship with someone who has a calm voice (see #1) but also understands their need (see #2). However, establishing rapport comes from taking the customer on a journey towards solving their problems and mutually respecting one another’s role in the process. There are all sorts of tips and tricks to establish rapport, like using a person’s first name (not excessively), inquiring about their life during downtime of the call, and — upon subsequent calls — an ability to remember key details about their life that may or may not play into the caller’s inquiry. For instance, if you know a caller had missed his son’s baseball game to run errands, then you can inquire about how the son is maturing into a baseball prodigy and so forth. In conclusion, establishing rapport is a way of disarming a caller before they begin to project their anger onto you.

#4 – Remember Key Details

During the conversation, be sure to take down notes that a customer tells you. While this helps establish rapport (see #3), it can also help you provide better service and create a better narrative to sort out their problems. For instance, if you noted that one of your customers is constantly plagued by power shortages, be sure to write that detail down; in the future, when the situation arises again, you can mention this detail that may be part of the larger problem.

Vice versa, if a certain customer is known to be a troublemaker, make notes to your fellow employees so that they aren’t mishandled in the future, and they are prepared for it ahead of time.

#5 – Understand Where the Customers is Coming From (Literally)

Because of the prevalence of virtual phone numbers used in modern business, you may not know exactly where a customer is coming from. A call that may ostensibly say Minnesota on your caller ID could be rerouted from India. This awareness can help you accommodate the caller — or judge whether they are a scammer.

Similarly, if your business uses toll free numbers with a directory system, you should know that customers have been waiting to speak with a person instead of an automated system. Knowing that they may have been put on hold several times, redirected by other staff, and ultimately landing on your phone can be angering. However, realize that customers have problems to resolve. The sooner that you can solve the problem and free them from the “labyrinth” of the directory, the more likely you are to not only retain customers, but have this customer thank you for being the first helpful person they’ve dealt with all day. It’s a total win-win!

by Tom Senkus

Author’s Bio: As a former customer service rep, Tom Senkus understands the importance of clear communication with customers in alignment with your company’s values. For a list of his published work and list of writing services, visit .

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