Many clients have left companies due to poor communication. Issues can be anything from the use of too much jargon, not listening, and even taking too long to respond to questions. No matter the issue, communication is absolutely vital to building a healthy and thriving company, and your employees need to have proper communication skills. For some it comes naturally. They know how to validate feelings and express themselves clearly. Others may struggle to maintain harmony at first, and that’s fine. Everyone is different, and the sooner we realize that, the more able you will be to help them improve. For this reason, we’ve put together these 8 suggestions to help you grow your communication skills:
1. Avoid Interrupting.
Nothing can anger a client more than interrupting them while they’re talking. Did you know the wireless operator on the Titanic, Jack Phillips, interrupted a wireless message from a nearby ship which was giving them an iceberg warning? If Jack Phillips had allowed that message to come through, history might have played out differently. The same goes while communicating with clients. By understanding and listening to them you can avoid major problems in the future
2. Be an excellent listener.
On top of listening, be sure to provide cues to the client, letting them know you are listening. Be involved in the conversation by nodding, rewording questions, inserting an “I see”, and paraphrasing comments. This will not only make you more engaged, but also strengthen your understanding of the conversation.
3. Ask open-ended questions.
Be sure questions are clear, understandable, and cannot be answered by a simple “yes” or “no”. This will lessen the chance of confusion and enhance clarity so you can truly understand their concerns.
4. Be sensitive to concerns.
Your clients probably don’t know as much about health services and elderly care as you do, so they will probably have lots of questions that seem obvious to you. It’s important to not talk over their head, while simultaneously not talking down to them.
5. Maintain a professional appearance.
Some clients like to joke around, and being too professional might throw them off. Generally speaking, though, clients expect businesses to behave professionally, even if you are buddies. Don’t be too casual.
6. Always be honest.
If you don’t know the answer to something, let the client know. It is never acceptable to give false information just to put a bandage on a wound. Though in the short term a client may be upset with the truth, in the long term they will appreciate your honesty.
7. Don’t be afraid of being human.
People generally let their guard down when they talk about themselves or if you mention something about your life. If you find yourself in a complicated situation, try asking the person how their day is going. Follow up and ask why it is good or bad. Find ways to interact personally so communication is more open and friendly in the future.
8. Understand that everyone is different.
Some people need facts, others need validation, and some just need a person to complain to. By realizing what kind of communication a person needs, you’ll be in a better position to help.
Communication is more than talking; it’s understanding. By communicating effectively, you’re telling your clients that you care about them, and want to make them happy. You’re telling them you appreciate their business, and ultimately that they are worth the effort. And by implementing these points company-wide, you will help improve communication, increasing satisfaction among both clients and employees.