Paolo Fabrizio
November 6, 2017

The Secret of Effective Communication with Customers

Effective Communication,

Everything we say or write is an attempt to convey a message. We tend to think that we excel in effective communication. But, like it or not, most of the times we fail. This is essentially due to two reasons:

  • We have used unclear language (technical words, jargon or ‘brandalese’) that our listener could not understand… or
  • Because we did not succeed to get his/her the attention (distracted during the interaction).

So, how can we improve communication with customers?

Ask for feedbacks

Let me ask you a question: do you easily admit it when you did not understand something? Very few people do it because they don’t want to bother or simply because they don’t want to seem dumb. That’s why at the end of each conversation, we must make sure that he/she has understood our message. I know that building an effective two-way communication is not an easy task, and it takes time and effort. However, if you’re committed, you will be able to deliver excellent experiences. This is regardless of whether you’re in a shop or are chatting online with your customers. So here’s a three-step process to follow:

  1. Don’t ever take communication for granted
  2. Ask for customer’s feedback (during and/or after any conversation)
  3. Follow up promptly for fine-tuning.

How to collect feedback

You can get feedback offline, online or both. For instance you can create printed handouts to give to your customers to get online reviews, or just adding specific QR codes to your receipts (learn more here). If you need to get online feedback, there’s avast array of tools to choose from. To save time, check out this list containing the best online survey tools. (It’s a great comparative table by PC Mag, with 10 suppliers.)

Learn, test and improve 

**Very important** – when collecting feedback, make sure to set up a good KPI mix in order to measure and interpret results. That will help you also to take relevant actions such as changing procedures or implementing new ones to improve customer satisfaction. Nowadays, time is the most valuable currency for customers. So do strive to find new ways to reduce their effort: keep on learning from customer’s feedbacks t improve, just like successful brands did: 

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. – Elon Musk

Over to you

You need to provide excellent communication with customers if you want to build profitable, long-lasting relationships with them. Do it consistently by creating feedback loops across different channels (phone, email, social networks, chat). Collect data and take prompt actions to improve customer experiences. 

What methods of effective communication would you recommend to your fellow readers?


Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan