A BUSINESS works hard in order to provide its customer/clients with a product or service.
In fact, a business expends a tremendous amount of creative energy in developing, producing and promoting their business and product and/or service. However, many businesses fail to use that same creative energy in their communications with their customer and/or clients.
In many instances, a breakdown or failure in communications results in the customer or client purchasing an inferior product or hiring a second-rate service provider. The good news is any business can correct their problems in communication through careful analysis, making corrections in policies and the training of company personnel.
The two biggest reasons why people fail to communicate are making assumptions and not putting forth the effort to understand things from the other person’s perspective. In making assumptions, people have a tendency to assume that the other person understands them and that they understand the other person. If either assumption or both assumptions are not true then a breakdown of communication exists when either party fails to make the effort to verify the assumption(s). Therefore, the hosting party needs to follow through after communication with the customer or client to ensure that the communication was successful.
Within 24 hours, the hosting party should send a written thank you and confirmation note. Email is preferable as it is quick: time being one of the most important elements at this stage. This makes the customer or client feel like they are important to your company. The email should summarize the main points of the previous meeting and continue with laying out what the company will do next. This lets the individual know that you understand what he or she needs. Proper email etiquette dictates that any time a customer or client emails a business that the business responds back immediately. Failure to respond immediately puts at risk the possibility of forgetting to answer the email.
When sending an email, write action sentences. Each sentence should have clear meaning and leave no question in one’s mind as to what the sender meant. One should avoid abstract and passive styles, as well as lengthy unnecessary explanations. The receiver of the message should not have to sort the message out to derive a meaning. Complicated communication invites miscommunications.
When summarizing previous communications, the individual needs to express what they think and feel is true with a call to action that allows the recipient to agree or disagree with the summary. If the recipient responds with any correction(s), rewrite the email with any correction(s) made with the same call to action for the recipient confirm the new message. If the second attempt does not work, the individual working with the customer or client may need to consult with a co-worker or supervisor. Failure to resolve issues of misunderstanding quickly sometimes results in loss of business. It is important that after the summary the sender of the email expresses in clear and simple terms the next action that either the company or the client/customer is to take. The sender needs to express that the recipient needs to respond back, acknowledging this next step. By following this type of protocol, the company representative solidifies and builds upon the relationship already established with the customer or client.
It should be obvious that good communication does not occur by accident. It requires an attitude of commitment towards the goals of the company as well as the needs of the customer or client. It may also require company representatives to use their creative imagination in thinking from the viewpoint of their customers or clients. The average individual does not think this way and the conscious choice of effective communication is not a natural instinct or ability for most people. Changing the way an individual thinks and communicates requires a concerted effort but the rewards include a sustaining business and more business as customers or clients need this type of service. In return, they tell others about the business that provides them with their needs.
Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites.
Check out more of her work at auto loan.