Communication Builds Better Business Relationships

Just like any other relationship you have, the relationship between you and your clients relies on strong and active communication.

Think about all the customer service flops you’ve experienced.  You have a problem with, say your new computer.  On the back of the computer box or package is a tech service or a customer care number for you to call.  And so you do.  First, like so many companies are doing these days, you get an automated response.  The automated machine then prompts you to select a the option that best represents your reason for calling from 1-7 (if you’re lucky).  Then it asks you to key in the product number you’re calling about.  Then receipt or customer number.  You finally get a real person on the phone only to be asked another series of number questions, and mind you, your computer problem hasn’t been solved because it hasn’t even been addressed yet.

Do you think your clients’ customers want this same run-around?  Of course not!  But sometimes as small business owners we’re so caught up in getting the job done that we fail to recognize the quality of our communication with our clients/ customers.

If you want your business relationship to run as smoothly with all your clients, put yourself in their shoes and focus on the type of communication and service you’d like to receive.

  1. If there’s an issue, or a delay in service or for a product, notify your customer as soon as you know.  No one wants to ask what’s going, they rather be informed.
  2. If your client/ customer is unclear about something or you’re unclear with the requests of your client/customer, don’t guess, ask.  Ask for clarification, meaning, a better understanding, but never just guess.
  3. If you or your business has guidelines or restrictions, make those clear upfront.  No one likes to be told about limitations halfway through a transaction or conducting business.
  4. If a client comes to you with something you’ve never heard of or don’t know anything about, be honest about it.  Don’t lie or make something up.  Information is pretty easy to verify these days and you don’t want to lose business trying to have all the answers when you really don’t.
  5. Break it down.  With all this specialty lingo, such as  with computers and social media, it’s hard not use it at times.  But if you have a client/ customer who is new to a territory in which you provide service in, don’t just zoom over their head thinking it’ll impress them.  Make the information so they’ll understand too.

Success begins with a firm foundation and that foundation needs open communication.

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