It may sound easy at first, but to effectively communicate with your clients needs more than just some business meetings, events, conventions or any post-shift gatherings. If you have some issues while communicating with clients and your business staff, this can result in severe loss of some good clients and low retention rates of your employees. And of course, this will also have a negative impact on your enterprise.
1. Beware of interrupting
You should always be careful about interrupting your staff, specifically your customers. They will especially get upset if, while they are explaining an issue, then you interrupt them and start making them a solution. If you feel that you should interrupt them, at least you should cut to the chase and offer it to the other person that what you get his or her main issue was. That is the way, the other one at least comes to it and make sure that he or she can confirm or correct you if you are wrong, and in either case, save time.
2. Be a Good Listener
While getting an issue, you should not have to do all the discussion yourself. To be a good listener is the very first step to communicating effectively. You don’t have to just hear what your employees and clients want to say; you should hear them and pay real attention to their ideas, their problems and no matter what it is they want to relay to you. You should not have to agree every time to what your client should say; you should simply hear them and let them realize that you are interested in doing so. Once you make them realize that you are really a good listener, then they will not hesitate next time in talking to you about any issue.
3. Arrange Regular Meetings
Regular short term events are the best solution to consistently face-to-face meet-ups with your clients. In this age of Twitter and Facebook, most of the enterprises tend to neglect the consequence of the personal contact.
To stay interconnected with the client issues, you should have to arrange some meeting on a weekly basis with your clients or monthly one-on-one meeting sessions with them. In fact, it doesn’t have to be in a formal setting of your business; a coffee break can even do that. Let your clients speak what’s on their minds and you can even ask them about their ideas on how you can improve your organization.
You can also create a collaboration team, which listens to their ideas on any issue. As for clients, you should have to arrange for face-to-face meetings aside from the bi-weekly phone calls and emails. You can also invite your clients for some informal meet-ups like coffee dates, lunch dates or to an event. While when you are with the client, you can freely discuss your current plans, their progress and about the things that how you are looking forward to promoting your business again with them.
4. Be careful of misinterpreted words
Sometimes we state something with careless intent, but the listener misinterprets it. When we mean to say one thing, but our bad pronunciation or inflection costs us to convey something else. E.g. in the Chinese language, the word "ma" when it is said in a high-level tone it means the term "mother in law." But, when the same word said in a rising and falling tone, its meaning changes to "horse."
You should be especially careful while using the word "you." Overusing of this word can make the client that you are talking to feel threatened and defensive. Such as, instead of telling him or her, "You need to speak some louder," you should say, "I am having trouble hearing." One more this, that’s another issue implicate the dual meaning of the word "you." Unlike some other languages, the English language used the same word to mention an actual person, he/she can be the person you are talking to, as well as to a third person.
Another example of misinterpreted phrase is that in case, if someone is upset on any issue, one of the irritating things to use is "calm down." It may work one-half of one percent of the time, but normally all this phrase does is to make the person feel worse.
In common, follow the phrase that ‘think before you speak’. I am not actually saying you always must be diplomatic or polite while talking. But, sometimes you do have to beat people up.
· Feedback on anything completes the basic communication process. So, you should ask your clients to give feedback about everything in the business.
· A good collaboration team always ask their employees and clients to share their issues freely with the business team.
Good communication plays an important role in modern day business techniques. So, you should make it priority.