Before the Internet, smartphones, and social media, if you wanted or needed to speak with a client, you’ll pick up the phone – or start writing them a letter. Today, however, there are numerous methods for communicating with clients. Unfortunately, however, not every way or technique is appropriate for every situation or client. Indeed, if you choose the wrong communication strategy, you risk alienating valuable clients.
So, Business communication may appear complicated at first, but once you understand the rules, it becomes as simple as pie. Some people are natural communicators because they were born with a complete set of communication skills. But, if you are not among them, you can change that with a few theoretical tips and put them into practice.
The rules of effective client or customer communication are identical in all businesses. Once you learn and master them, you will be a successful negotiator in any industry you choose.
Professional Client Communication Guidelines
Communication is more than just words. When communicating over the phone, in video, or in person, words have become the smallest part of the conversation. And according to the communication model developed by Albert Mehrabian (an Armenian psychology professor) in the 1970s, words account for only 7% of communication. At the same time, nonverbal cues such as voice, tone, and so on, as well as body language, have the greatest impact on the conversation partner, with 38% and 55%, respectively.
While the numbers represent the general communication elements, good business communication with clients entails far more than these three compounds. To effectively communicate with your prospective or current clients, you must adhere to the outlined guidelines that are given below.
Everything in business is urgent, so when someone wants to become your client, they expect a quick response from you or your company. The same can be said for current clients. A prompt response to their message will increase the level of communication comfort.
It is most efficient in outsourcing and global business relations if you respond to your clients within one day. However, if you cannot do so on your own, you can always send an auto-reply with the reason for the delay and the exact date when they can expect your real or actual response.
Genuine Interest in Your Client’s Issues and Desire to Help
Even though the business is frequently perceived as a hostile environment with “every man for himself” thinking, this common belief is false. Every client is a person who has a problem that they cannot solve on their own, which is why they seek your professional assistance. The more you demonstrate to prospective and existing clients that you care about them and intend to do everything to assist them in resolving their business problems, the more loyalty or other benefits you will receive in return. Even if they are not becoming clients right away, they may do so shortly or suggest you to others.
If you’re about to connect with a new client, do preliminary research on their company, market, or industry. People in business prefer to communicate with those who have at least a basic understanding of the topic under discussion. By conducting preliminary research on your prospective client, you will be better prepared to quickly generate relevant suggestions and ideas. This, in turn, will demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field of expertise.
Client Information Security
As a professional and a person who wishes to remain successful in your field, you must assure clients that any information they share with you will be kept confidential. A non-disclosure agreement, in most cases, resolves trust issues. Mutual trust is extremely valuable in business relationships because it facilitates communication about collaboration. When discussing a potential project or a product upgrade, it is critical to ensure that your client can totally trust you with all details and that no third party will be involved without their notice and permission.
The information you provide during the client communication should be balanced, which means there should be no excessive or hidden information. While the implications of withholding information are evident, the negative impact of having too much information is sometimes underestimated. For example, when a person gets too much information, they may have difficulty processing it, making conversation with you uncomfortable for the customer. As a result, even though you provided them with even more information than they expected, the client would most likely seek the services of another professional. Also, avoid talking about subjects or details unrelated to the focus of your conversation.
Concise Answers and Well Structured Information
The key to good and effective communication is well-structured and properly conveyed information. By providing concise responses, you demonstrate to the client that you have heard them, understand their problem, and can advise them on whether or not you can assist them. Structured ideas and facts have the same beneficial effect on the discussion partner. Clear speech, a confident voice, and well-structured thoughts can help you nail customer communication.
The Real Deal on Potential Obstacles for Your Client
Initially, business communication is about establishing trust between individuals or businesses. As a result, if your present or prospective client encounters difficulties when working with you or another specialist on a project, you must inform them. Of course, you must provide your customer with a complete picture of the potential problem, but offering solutions or another problem-solving perspective will help you gain your client’s trust.
Communicating in the Client’s Language
Everyone has their language, including tone, tempo, communication style, word choice, etc. Communicating in the same language as your client will put them at ease because it will give them the impression that you are on the same page. This communication ability is extremely useful for business negotiations, and if you are not naturally adaptable, you should work on it to improve your negotiation results.
Communication positivity equals comfort and productivity. Client communication is always about fixing their problems, and they expect you to be the one who can. They wouldn’t be talking to you if they weren’t interested in you in the first place. Positive language is essential for constructive interactions, so say “no, this is impossible” or “this cannot be done” only if you are certain that you cannot assist the client. Nothing, however, precludes you from presenting options that your clients may find suitable, if not better.
When contacting an existing client about a current project and informing them of its progress, it is helpful and effective to do so on time. Your timely distribution of updates will remind your client that they are working with a trustworthy professional and have nothing to worry about.
Client feedback has tremendous power and has a significant impact on communication. When your collaboration and communication come to a close, it is critical to request feedback or a review from your customer. A simple request to describe your communication strengths and shortcomings will aid in improving the quality of your communication abilities. It will also show that you respect and value their input and experience with your client.
The Fundamentals of Business Communication
Clients frequently feel concerned at the start of contact since they must convey their business idea to someone they don’t know and don’t trust yet. As a result, the first step is to make them feel comfortable informing you about their business goals, wants, and issues.
To make communication more successful and comfortable, move away from emailing or messaging and instead communicate by phone, video, or, if feasible, in person. When communicating via text, it is easy to misinterpret or overlook information such as tone, emotion, etc. When you can see or hear the person you’re talking to, you may customise your communication and make it more effective and comfortable.
Remember that communication with clients, customers, or partners should always be:
These three elements are the foundations of effective client communication, so make sure they are always present during your business negotiations. And one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to avoid communicating with potential or current clients when you’re in a bad mood. Positivity is beneficial in all aspects of business, particularly in gaining future clients’ loyalty to your personal and professional qualities.
Final Words of Advice
Business communication has its own set of challenges and quirks. However, if you want to be a professional success in your chosen sector, you must grasp these rules and improve your communication abilities. There are dos and don’ts when it comes to effective communication. While the dos have to be stated in detail, the don’ts might be mentioned with no explanation. What you should never do during client, customer, or partner contact is:
– make them feel foolish;
– act like a know-it-all;
– make a louder noise;
– deceive and mislead;
– refrain from answering inquiries;
– generate confusion or misinterpretation, etc.
And one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to avoid communicating with potential or present clients when you’re in a foul mood. Positivity is beneficial in many aspects of business, particularly in gaining future clients’ devotion to your personal and professional traits.