Customer service is an unavoidable part of any business. While exact strategies may differ, all will require effective communication skills for building trust and establishing a professional relationship. A good business owner will work to develop excellent communication with their employees and customers alike. How good is your ability to communicate?
Improve Your Communication Skills
Listening skills are particularly important in the business world. Demonstrate a genuine interest in what the other person is saying. Even over the phone, people will notice and remember how well you seem to be paying attention to them. These 5 skills will help you interact productively with others:
- Active listening
- Ask questions
- Summarize and repeat
- Speak clearly
- Be empathetic
1) Active Listening
Let the other person know you’re paying careful attention to them. Body language is crucial here. Stay turned toward them, face to face, and maintain eye contact when appropriate. Don’t just let their words hit your ears. Actually hear what they have to say.
2) Ask Questions
This halfway falls under active listening. If you don’t fully understand something, or if the person invites you to ask a question, speak up! Ask for clarification or more information. This both shows the other person that you are paying attention and provides you with any more information you may need.
Pro Tip: Hiring a phone answering service will guarantee that you receive good customer service and effective communication for your entire business!
3) Summarize and Repeat
When the other person is finished talking, consider summarizing their points back to them. This once again demonstrates active listening and provides an opportunity for them to correct you if you missed something important. Best of all, studies show that saying something aloud helps you to remember it later! Do yourself a favor to retain the information longer.
4) Speak Clearly
When you’re the one talking, keep your audience in mind. Avoid terminology that you understand but they don’t. Repeat yourself when necessary, and avoid confusing your audience. The more easily they can understand you, the better your relationship will be and the more you can accomplish.
5) Be Empathetic
This one particularly applies in a customer service role. Make it clear that you understand what the other person is saying and sympathize with their problem. Make your customer feel confident coming to you for help. Additionally, empathy is a two-way street. If your customer remembers being treated with respect and empathy before, they’re likely to extend the same courtesy to you in the future.
Developing Excellent Communication Skills
No matter the exact form of communication, what you say and how you say it matters to those listening. Knowing how to interact with others professionally and effectively will impact your business and customer relations. If you can work on how well you interact with others, your professional life is almost guaranteed to improve.
Join the conversation for more communication tips and tricks.