Clients and customers make business possible, so communicating effectively should be a priority. Every client situation is unique, but here are a few tips that can help you consistently thrive in client communication.
- Stop Talking While You’re Ahead
As an expert in your field, you probably want to showcase that expertise in every conversation you have. The only problem is that many customers, clients and others outside your industry don’t care about what you know — they only want to know what you can do for them.
If you’re providing a product or service, you should explain everything in a way that’s easy to understand. Avoid going down a rabbit hole of technical terms and irrelevant information (unless asked). This is especially relevant for sales.
- The Art of Saying “No”
Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. Satisfied customers make for good business, but customers and clients might not understand why your business operates the way it does. While accommodations are sometimes possible, you will eventually have to firmly say “no” to a client.
In the insurance industry, we often have to hold our ground on situations that involve late payments, cancellations, sticky claims, rate increases, etc. It’s okay to consult with a team or supervisor about unique situations, but don’t fill the client with false hope that will only lead to disappointment in the end. Be direct, honest and sympathetic to any frustration on the client’s end.
- Managing Expectations
It has been said that “a customer’s satisfaction is equal to the difference between perceptions and expectations.” We always talk about exceeding expectations, but what that doesn’t account for is this: It’s our job to make sure the client’s perception (understanding) of the situation exceeds their expectations. It’s all about effective communication.
- Build Rapport and Engage Consistently
Even if you never see your clients face-to-face, it’s important to engage with them and maintain rapport. Cultivating a consistent and engaging experience will help with both prospects and existing clients. When someone feels connected and comfortable with your business, it creates a more positive environment for everyone. Sometimes you’ll lose clients despite your best efforts, but it shouldn’t be for lack of trying.
Regardless of your industry, remember that you’re also in the business of people. Effective communication is vital for customers, clients, and even those inside your own office. For the sake of productivity and customer satisfaction, spend a little time focusing on your communication this month.