Having effective communication is one of the most important things in your company. It isn’t just communicating with your employees; it’s also having effective communication with your customers and suppliers. However, keeping your communication levels high isn’t always easy, you need to keep monitoring your incoming and outgoing avenues of communication to see if anything needs to be addressed. Here are a few ideas you can use to improve your company’s communication.
Treat Email Like Written Mail
With emails being sent all over the world millions of times per day, the context of what you are trying to say can get lost. Although you might not have a lot of time to deal with emails, it is important that when you do reply to a supplier or a customer, that you treat it like any written letter. It should be professional and courteous and get across what you want to say in the best way possible. You should also try to think about who the email is going to before you send it as a mistake can cost you and your company dearly.
Edit and Proofread
As important as the way you reply to your emails is learning to proofread them before you send them out. Just because a reply sounds good in your mind, it might not make sense to the person receiving the email. One good way to do this is to read it out aloud; if it makes sense then, it will be good enough to send. It is a mantra that you should also relay to your employees, not just when they are replying to customers, but with every email they send. It will eventually become routine to them and create a better level of communication.
Archive Important Communications
There is nothing worse when trying to reply to a message then not having the original to refer to for information. It means you need to learn to organize your messages and emails so that they are always kept in dedicated folders. How you order them depends on what’s the best system for you, but, they need to be relevant, so you can find an email later if needed. Your workforce should also be keeping their communications in the same format, so it’s unified across the company. That way, whoever needs to access the emails will all know where to look.
Make Sure Everyone Checks Their Facts
Before a member of your staff sends an email to a customer or anyone outside the company, they need to ensure that they have their facts correct. If they are trying to quote a policy that is no longer used or doesn’t exist, then it will make them, and the company looks unprofessional. It is vital that all communications are backed up by facts that you can refer to later if needed.
Ensure That Communication Tools Are Used
There is no point investing in effective communication tools if your workers are not using them effectively. Effectively implementing hosted unified communications is only useful if you’re aware of what is involved. That means you need to ensure the right training is given to those who will use it, so it can help them with their work. The same applies to other avenues of communication such as social media or web chat; your customers expect that your team will be able to use it correctly and that they get a timely reply.
Keep Communications Professional
When anyone from your company is sending a message to another business or customer, they need to refrain from using language that might be misleading. Local slang and colloquialisms might not be understood by people in another country, and in fact, might mean something else in their language. If you or your employees think that anything you write might be misunderstood, then it is best to leave it out and write it in a different way. In a similar way, you should avoid using web-based translators to send something in their own language. These web-based systems are not always accurate and might make your message confusing.
Always Listen and Talk Carefully
When your teams are dealing with customers or clients on the telephone, it is vital that they remain attentive and listen to the person on the other end. In these situations, they are the front of the company and are representing you when they speak. They need to actively listen and try to understand what the other person wants. When your team is talking back to your customers, they need to be careful and think carefully before talking. It can be easy to get upset or angry with a customer who is being abusive, but they need to remain professional.
Follow-Up with Calls
If any of your employees have spoken to a customer or a client and promised to call them back, then they need to ensure they do it as soon as possible. It might not seem that important to your workers, but to the customer or client, it will seem highly important and a failing of the company if you don’t. For that reason, it is important that you are always honest about your expectations and tell the customer or client if it will be a couple of days before you can reply.
Try to Keep it Personal
One of the problems with large corporations is that they find it hard to keep their communications personal. That is because they often have to deal with hundreds of replies, so they resort to using an automated system. If you can, try to keep your replies personal so your customers can feel more important and valued. By doing this simple thing, you can dramatically improve your customer relations and hopefully lower your complaints.
Remember that communication is a two-way street if you are professional in your approach, then you will get respect in return. Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons for complaints, so you don’t want to let your standards slide.