Focusing on Communication for Your Business’s Customer Service

A lack of and poor communication can be the culprits of high business costs. Sure, 80 percent of businesses use a customer service policy designed to set them apart from the crowd.

Only 62 percent fully train their staff to meet customer needs that improve guest experiences, Hotel Business Review reports. Communicating a message is delicate. Even a smiling, well-articulated salesperson can generate a negative impression if there is no eye contact or another positive body language to back up the enthusiastic sales pitch.

A small hotel chain with 100 rooms and an average occupancy rate of 60 percent could see increased revenue of nearly $300,000 annually with more positive customer service, Hotel Business Review says. Research indicates that positive customer experience translates into a higher value. Customers showcase more of a willingness to pay more for the same room.

In addition to negative customer services, roadblocks in the form of bias, language diversity, filtering, and inattention hinder conversion rates. Finding tools to overcome these barriers will help solidify customer relationships and boost conversion rates. Here are ways to improve customer service for your business.

Communication Freezers

Identify words that quickly halt customer engagement. Words that prevent engagement include “must,” “cannot,” “don’t,” and “had better.”

Avoid words that can immediately shut down effective, positive communication, including semantics that:

  • Sound judgmental
  • Try to educate the customer with undue authority
  • Threaten
  • Feel like the employee is blaming the customer

Train staff to replace negative communicators with positive “reinforcers” that overcome freezers, such as “can,” “happy to” and “help.”

Succinct Delivery

While truncated and abbreviated texting and email lingo is popular and accepted, business communication is best received when the message is clear and concise. Companies utilize customer support software and online tools to provide quick, convenient solutions to inquiries through real-time conversation. As long as the communication exchange is maximized, businesses can flourish. Train employees to use proper grammar and punctuation and pithy, yet helpful messages to deliver a strong positive message that builds customer relationships.

Facial Expressions

The human brain is hardwired to interpret facial expressions instantly. The initial first impression is very difficult to overcome. Pursed lips, creased brows, shifty eyes, and other facial clues or body language send messages that convey dishonesty, distraction, confusion, and even hostility. Employees who understand how subtle messages are conveyed through facial expressions can develop better communication styles and achieve better engagement.

Written vs. Verbal Customer Service

Using the proper channel for a message’s intent improves how successfully it’s communicated. Written messages are best suited for delivery of facts, such as prices, dates, and rules. Verbal communication is more sensitive and emotional.

Question: How has your business improved its communication?

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan