3 Tips for Communicating with Customers

Your customers are the only reason that you exist. They are the ones that buy your products/services and provide the feedback that improves your brand. How you communicate with your customers and your tone and expressions while speaking to them has a bigger impact than what you’re actually saying to your customers. How you interact with your customers also will directly reflect how they interact & communicate their opinions on your business, in the form of reviews & when recommending you to a friend.

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Occasionally, you will have an easy-going customer that takes in every word and piece of advice that you give as if it was water in the Sahara desert. However, the rest of the time, customers may not always be easy or delightful to converse with.

So… how can you hone in on your communication skills to make every conversation an easy one? Albert Mehranian, an expert on communication and professor of psychology at UCLA tells us that successful communication is 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% word choice. Below are three tips on how you can improve how you communicate with your customers…

Choose your words carefully!

Establishing a close relationship with your customers helps to provide a feeling of comfort and trust in communication. When speaking to customers, using certain words or phrases can help portray a positive or negative image of a company.  Most importantly, one word answers are NEVER an answer. Follow simple grammatical rules to avoid being seen as short or cold by always using at least 3 words in every response to a client. 

pexels-photo-838413.jpegThis same rule applies to when you are not communicating with customers face-to-face, and are instead communicating over platforms such as Live Chat, over the phone or through email. When people are communicating over these platforms rather than in person, they tend to forget these customer communication norms. Without being face-to-face and having those non-verbal communicators, forgetting to include the proper verbal phrases or words with customers can do even more harm than it might if you were speaking in person with the customer. The following word choice graphic displays words and phrases that may create positive or negative sentiments towards your company:

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Words Express Ideas, Tone Expresses Emotions..

Knowing your customers is the most important part of utilizing tone in order to reflect company values. More than company values, tone also identifies personality. When a customer feels that they know the company values and can relate to the personality of its employees, a sense of trust is created. Trust is the most important part in a business transaction and a customer is more likely to be a repeat customer if they truly trust your company. Therefore, it is important to reflect company values in the tone that you use when speaking to customers because it is what helps create your company image.

hands-coffee-cup-apple.jpgKnowing how to convey this same tone nonverbally, such as over email or online messaging, as well as verbally but not in person, such as over the phone or on a live chat, is also extremely important in maintaining good relationships with your customers. On the phone and over live chat, tone of voice is essential in communicating effectively with your customers and maintaining a productive and engaged conversation. Over email or online messaging platforms, this tone of voice can be expressed in the form of exclamation points, allowing the customer to read your messages in that welcoming, friendly tone of voice you are trying to convey.

A good tip for recognizing the tone you are communicating over non verbal or written words, is to read over your message prior to sending it to the client and seeing what tone of voice you read the message in:

“Thank you for your feedback, we hope you visit our restaurant soon.”  vs…

“Thank you for your feedback! We hope you visit our restaurant soon!!”

When people read your emails or online messages, they create the tone of voice the message conveys in their head based on the punctuation, as well as the words themselves. It is important here to see how big of a difference the punctuation alone makes to the tone of the message. The second line sounds enthusiastic and friendly, whereas the first line sounds dull and bored.

How we Communicate Non Verbally

Much of business interactions are personal and various studies show that over 50% of communication between individuals is nonverbal. Using these nonverbal communicators when communicating in person with customers is extremely important in the customer’s interpretation of what you are saying, as well as how genuine they determine your words to be.

When communicating over live chats rather than in person, these nonverbal communicators will not be as obvious or recognized by the customer, so exaggerating these cues will allow you to again, insure that the customer correctly interprets what you are saying. Below is a graphic with the most important types of nonverbal communication that can help you to build trust and credibility with clients.

 

 

 

 

 

By following these 3 pieces of advice and utilizing our Live Chat and Customer Voice products, making every business conversation, whether it’s over video chat, on the phone, or in person, become much easier. Good communication and productive conversations reflects positively in customer reviews and leads to repeat business.

We can help you communicate! Contact us today to find out how our services can change the way you communicate with your customers, for the better!

To ensure you’re communicating with your customers as effectively as possible check out our customer service tools which can help increase your positive reviews online & the ability for customers to reach you through live chat to quickly answer their questions!

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Real Life Networking

Youth culture. Four young people sitting close to each other and looking at their gadgets

Let’s do a vote. Raise your hand if you see the same three people every morning at Starbucks. Now raise your hand if you have that one person you see at the gym almost everyday, who is always using the machine you want to use. Ok, now raise your hand if you have said a single word to them before.

With our advances in social media, networking & connecting with others has become easier than ever before. Even with this simplicity, we still refuse to acknowledge people we don’t know both in person and online. Why don’t we say hi to each other anymore?! Why are we SO AWKWARD!!

The average person probably visits five to ten different locations in any given day; Starbucks for the morning coffee run, CVS to pick up some extra Advil, work, subway for lunch, the gym, and maybe the gas station on the way home. It’s safe to say that throughout your busy day, you cross paths with over one hundred people you’ve never met before, most of whom you see almost every day without even noticing it.

Imagine how many more connections you would make, and the people you would meet if you simply tapped the guy standing in line in front of you at Starbucks and started a conversation. If you get rejected, you get rejected and you never have to see or speak to them again. The alternative would be you both hit it off and you’ve increased your network of people by one.

Why so Shy??

My boss has lived by this motto for years now. Almost every time he comes into close contact with someone he doesn’t know, he introduces himself and starts a conversation. This is how he met his pilates instructor, the guy he shares his office space with, and so many other people he now considers his friends.

Twitter profile on Apple iPhone 5S

He does the same thing online on social media. Every time he friends someone on Facebook or whenever someone friends him, he messages them and simply says “Hey, saw we are friends on Facebook now! How are you?” (yes, he’s the guy who’s message you deleted yesterday cause you thought he was creepy).

There is this stigma that reaching out to someone you don’t know well online, or even in person is strange and awkward. But isn’t it slightly more awkward to stand behind the same person everyday in line at Starbucks without even acknowledging one another? Or “friending” someone on Facebook and then not ever actually talking to them?

Imagine a world where you knew someone almost everywhere you went, and if you didn’t know anyone you would introduce yourself and then you would know someone there too. Networking in real life and not just online is extremely important not only in business, but in life in general.

I’m not trying to be your mother here telling you to, “shut off your cell phones!!” or “Talk to people in person, not via text!” I’m telling you to use your cell phones! Use your social media to connect with people! Use your cell phone to add the number you just got from the person you met in line at Starbucks and call them!

Go outside your comfort zone and push yourself to meet at least one person every day. Growing your network and making more connections will lead you to success in all aspects of your life. Stop being so socially awkward and let’s get networking!!