The ability to communicate is a vital skill in today’s world.
When you think about your ability to communicate with your customers, being able to connect with them is critical when it comes to marketing your products and/or services.
Pay attention to some of the commercials you may watch on TV these days. Is the company or product message promoting the company or trying to connect with the consumer? Most miss the mark.
Texts. Ask your customers how they would like to receive messages from you. Many with smart phones are now open to receiving text messages, but use caution and avoid overwhelming them with sales pitches. A text is an attention getting communication and generally warrants a response for the sense of urgency. Trying to sell the receiver something is usually considered a major turn-off.
E-mail. E-mail messages may seem like stone age communication with newer technological developments, but they have been a stalwart of electronic communication methods for more than 15 years. E-mail messages that are meant to be read are best kept short. Attachments are okay, provided they are relevant to the general message. Assuming the recipient has received an E-mail is a false assumption. Just because you hit “Send” is not a guarantee the recipient got it. It may have wound up in a spam filter or lost in the cyber mail system somewhere.
If you realize someone you are exchanging E-mails with is responding promptly to your E-mails, pick up the phone and call them!
F2F. While we could elaborate on communication methods and styles for an entire year, one of the most important is face-to-face (F2F) communication. Yes, some believe it’s a dying art form, but it is still ranked high among the most effective ways of communicating with another person. Laugh if you do this, but think how ridiculous it would be to text your spouse while he/she is in the bathroom and you’re in the living room. Go and talk to them, even if it’s from outside the bathroom door!
Face-to-face communication is a two-way process. The difficulty in the process, which is why some people avoid it, is in listening to what the other person is saying. Our natural tendency is to say something and then look like we’re listening while we’re thinking of the next thing we want to say. It’s a more common occurrence than you might think.
Demonstrate interest in what the other party has to say. Listen and learn before you determine your response. Consumer complaints are best handled by listening, and asking what the customer really wants. Many times, they just want to know you care and that they are going to be heard.
Listening is a key skill for business owners and managers, too. When you hear what your team members are saying, you may discover new opportunities to explore or potential problem areas that can be averted with the right action.
How you communicate reflects your brand, too. More in weeks to come.
Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand