Effective communication is the key to success in the customer service industry and in life. As a virtual professional, you do not have the luxury of face-to-face communications with clients, and will have to rely on polished written and verbal communication methods to enact superior customer service and resolve customer issues. Effective communication is divided into two parts: the first is the ability to listen and observe.
Active Listening and Effective Communication
Humans speak between 100 and 175 words per minute, so virtual professionals must listen with a purpose to filter out unnecessary communication and create appropriate and timely responses. Listening with a purpose requires listeners to establish: how to best help the client, show support, obtain directions, and gather information.
Free Your Mind
One major obstacle that will block your path to active listening is your own mind. Virtual professionals must practice listening without thought intrusion as these thoughts compete against proper assessment of what the client needs. There are a variety of mind tricks, meditations, and concentration techniques that professionals can use to ward off mental distractions, so experiment until you find the right one for you.
Build Rapport through Mirroring
This effective communication technique can also work over the phone. Listen to the language the customer uses and imitate it. For example, if a customer is concise and direct, use short and direct language with them. Professional communicators also suggest noting the NLP style the client is using. For visual speakers you might say,” I see the issue.” For auditory speakers use, “I hear what your issue is.” And for kinesthetic speakers use “I feel I understand the problem.”
Stay tuned for part 2 of Effective Communication.