Virtual Professionals understand that Effective communication is the key to great customer service. In Effective Communication Part 1, we discussed how listening with a purpose can create rapport with customers and lead to accurate assessments of their needs. The second step to effective communication is responding.
Match the Caller
Communication is much simpler when you match the tone, tempo, and rhythm of the correspondent. If the caller speaks fast, then try to match their pace. Practice matching these components with friends or family until you have mastered them. Those who say this doesn’t work are usually not doing all three.
Positive Direction and Effective Communication
Another important thing to keep in mind when responding to others is to use positive sentences. This means expressing your purpose in an affirming way. For example, instead of saying:
“Do not call us on the weekends.”
“We are available for your needs Monday through Friday.”
The use of positive direction, like positive language in general, has a soothing affect on the customer. It gives them a course of action and makes them feel like the problem will be resolved.
Take a Meta-View
After every communication you should assess if the conversation was successful. Once the conversation is complete ask yourself if the established goal was met. If the goal was to fix the customer problem and have them leave happy, did you succeed? You will know once you compare the caller’s tone at the beginning of the call to their tone at the end of the call. Does the tone reflect happiness or frustration? It is possible to solve a customer issue without making the customer happy. When this occurs, companies still risk losing their business so always strive for a satisfactory ending to a correspondence.
Effective communication is a necessary skill for all virtual professionals.