Easy, Effective Business Communication Tips

It has happened to everyone–one goes into a retail store, a business building or school office, and the person one must deal with is less than helpful or does not understand the problem at all. The first person one deals with in a business leaves an impression of the entire company, whether it is accurate or not. Of course, businesses would like people to come away with a positive feeling about their company. However, this is often not the case. The problem with business communication is often that people don’t know how to communicate effectively in a business environment. Good communication is not an inborn skill, it can be learned. There are simple tips that can help everyone be a better communicator. Learning these easy tips will lend an edge when dealing with customers, colleagues and employees.

The first way to improve communication skills is to really listen. Most people think they listen well, but in fact, don’t. To listen well, it is important to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Do not answer the phone mid-conversation or divide attention between the customer and other tasks or people. Give the conversation full attention, both literally and figuratively. Push aside personal thoughts that have nothing to do with work and concentrate on the person. Face the person, make eye contact, smile and pay attention to their body language. Body language is an excellent way to get clues to the discussion at hand. Doing all these things will give the customer or client the feeling they are getting the attention they are entitled to and will generally be easier to handle.

Don’t interrupt the customer. Let them say what they need to say before jumping to any conclusions or saying anything. Also, if the customer is upset, try not to take it personally. This is definitely easier said than done, but if one remembers the problem is not usually a personal attack, it is easier to be objective. Be tactful when replying. It is not necessary to point out to the customer or client if they are being rude, unreasonable, etc. By having a pleasant demeanor, the customer will eventually calm down if they are upset. Part of the communication process in business is finding out how to help the other person get their needs met. If the client continues to be really awful no matter what, be the bigger person and let it go.

Once the customer has finished stating their request or problem, summarize what they have said and ask if your understanding is correct. Ask for clarification on anything that is unclear. Encourage the customer to offer input so that their request can be handled appropriately and correctly. This is often the stage where communication goes awry, so do not be afraid to take the time needed to understand. It will be time well spent in the long run.

If the customer agrees that there is understanding between the two of you, decide on an action plan. If it is possible to accommodate their request, do it immediately unless it will take some time, and then let them know a specific date for which they can expect results. Be willing to compromise. Allowing some give and take on an issue may win a customer for life. It is very important to be honest with the client at this point. Do not promise something that cannot be delivered. If a supervisor must be involved, see if they are immediately available to talk with the customer. No one likes to wait. Let the customer know what will be done and come to some sort of agreement on the steps involved.

Always follow up! This cannot be stressed enough. Follow through is one part of the communication process that often gets skipped. If a phone call or email was promised to a customer, make sure it gets done on time, as agreed. Make it a personal goal to check with the customer that things got settled to their satisfaction. Follow through lets a client know that the company stands behind their word.

Last, but certainly not least, is that common courtesy goes a long way. If one is in a position that deals with people on a daily basis, customer service is extremely important and is part of the job. If one does not like dealing with people, find another line of work. Having a positive attitude can make all the difference when communicating with clients. Customers remember when someone has been very pleasant, listened to what they have to say and handled their request appropriately, especially when it has all been done with politeness and a desire to help. Word of mouth is strong advertising, and the bottom line is that companies that have employees that work on their customer service skills get more business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 × = forty eight