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6 Tips for Effective Customer Communication

6 Tips for Effective Customer Communication

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Effective communication is essential to succeed in anything, especially when it comes to servicing customers. It’s fascinating how many different ways we communicate with our customers. You even communicate non-verbally when you don’t realize it, and sometimes, it’s the simplest things that lead to our customers’ delight. Effective customer communication also helps in averting disaster when something doesn’t go as planned on the project. Here are six tips for effective customer communication to keep your projects running smoothly.

1. Immediately Respond to Customers

It’s human nature to want to feel important and valued. Immediately responding to customer inquiries gives the customer the sense that you value their time and appreciate that they chose to work with you. According to HubSpot Research, “82% of consumers rate an ’immediate’ response as important or very important when they have a marketing or sales question.” This research also found that customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. It’s not always possible to respond to a voicemail or email within 10 minutes, so apologize for the delay in response to help the customer know that you understand how important they are to your business.

2. Attentively Listen to Your Customers

Some days it’s hard to truly focus our attention when there are other projects, family, and everything else in the world pulling at us. Whatever may be vying for your attention, put it aside and focus on your customer. When you clearly understand what your customer needs, you are better at setting and fulfilling expectations.

3. Customer Communication Preference

Ask customers how they would like to be communicated with. It all goes back to human nature; some people are introverts and would rather communicate via text or email. Other people are extroverts and would love the chance to talk with you on the phone or in person. And still sometimes, when questions or concerns are involved, it’s best to talk it out over the phone instead of texting back and forth. When you use the proper form of communication for each customer and each topic, your project goes faster and smoother, and your customers can more easily sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

4. Clear Customer Communication

One of the biggest issues in communication is not communicating clearly. Clear communication sets expectations. According to the Essential Craftsman’s “5 Mistakes Most Contractors Make,” number two is communication. Scott Wadsworth says, “Learn to paint word pictures of what they should expect both in terms of the rough work and in terms of what the finish is going to be like.” Clearly listing out the different aspects of the project, the time it will take to complete, and when payment is due will put the customer’s mind at ease.

5. Transparent Customer Communication

Kids are notorious for leaving out information for fear of being punished. Sometimes, adults aren’t that different. We still fear how someone will react to pricing or scheduling or when something isn’t going right with the project. Your customer will truly appreciate it when you have the hard and detailed conversations up-front. It could make all the difference in whether that person will recommend your business to others.

6. Tone of Voice in Customer Communication

When you are actively speaking with someone, a lot can be understood through the tone of your voice and your body language. In today’s world, digital communication doesn’t show your tone or your body language, so it’s important to keep written tone in mind when you communicate via texts or email. When writing or sending texts, make sure the first message contains a salutation: Say “hi” to your customers. Use the magic words you learned when you were growing up: please and thank you. You may already know this, but we’ll do you a favor and mention it anyway. Never message someone in all caps– in the digital world, that means you’re yelling at them.

To build long-lasting, referral-providing relationships with your customers, you need great communication skills. You’re likely already successfully incorporating some of these best practices into your customer interactions, but be sure to take note of the ones that are hardest for you so you can work to improve! Using the six tips featured here will help you uplevel your communication with customers so they keep coming back and refer friends too.

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