Today, every brand wants to outshine its competitors, which means customer satisfaction is imperative. Good customer service is directly proportional to good productivity. A customer must always feel like a king or a queen. If you don’t treat your customers properly, then your business is bound to suffer for you will lose customers faster than you can imagine. Research suggests that customers are willing to pay for brands that provide excellent customer service. So, how you communicate with the customer is how the customer is most likely to perceive your brand. You are the true representation of your brand. Language must never be an obstacle between the customer service representative and the customer. Many a time, this language barrier or the failure to understand a language leads to miscommunication and misinterpretation that can affect the business badly. Here are some useful tips from Cafe Converse, a top spoken English institute in Delhi to help you communicate effectively with customers.
When communicating with a client, whether online or offline, it is important to be courteous. Choose your words before you speak. Mind your manners. Approach your customers with a warm welcome. This makes them feel comfortable. Say “hello”, “nice to meet you”, “how can I help you”, “thank you”, and “goodbye”. Instead of “can”, use “may” as the latter sounds more polite. For example, “May I help you?” or “May I show you our new collection?”
Keep it short and simple
Use simple, short sentences that are easy to understand while still conveying the real meaning correctly. Avoid using jargon or difficult English words that annoy some customers and make them feel left out. There’s no need to use fancy words. Talk to your customers the way you do in real life. When a customer is not happy about a product or service, you don’t “apologize for the inconvenience”. You can simply say, “We are extremely sorry to hear about that” or “We are sorry that you had a difficult experience.” Instead of saying, “We thank you for your patience.”, we can say, “thank you for waiting.” Never use ‘industry lingo’ that may not be understood by your customers. You must keep in mind that your ultimate objective is to resolve the customer’s query or problem and not show off your knowledge.
Listen to the customer
In order to understand what the customer wants, it is imperative to demonstrate that you care about their needs. But, what happens in situations where customers can’t see you during online transactions or communication via telephone? In such cases, you will need to keep the conversation flowing to show that you’re listening, by asking simple questions like: “I hope you are satisfied with the solution.”, or “Do you have any more questions to ask?” Effective customer service is all about relationship building. By continuing the conversation, you demonstrate your sincerity which the customer is bound to reciprocate by using your product or service frequently.
Get that right accent
India being a land of cultural and linguistic diversity, and it is essential for Indian multinational companies to ensure that their employees are trained to speak English with the right accent that is easily understood by the customer or client. This is very important as multinational companies cater to clients in countries other than their home country. Native speakers find it easy to communicate with each other as they can understand the accent as they share common linguistic features. However, for non-native speakers, this is a big handicap. Wrong accents can lead to miscommunication which in turn results in costly errors, missed opportunities, and strained relationships with customers. Multinational companies rely on English as the sole medium of communication, so accent and pronunciation training are essential.
Use positive phrases
Think positive, be positive, and use positive phrases while you communicate with the customer. A customer doesn’t like to hear negative phrases. Choose your words wisely. “That’s not possible,” “we can’t,” “we don’t,” “but,” or a direct “no,” try saying “not now,” “I’ll discuss it with the team,” “we’re working on it,” or “it will be available soon.” By using these positive phrases, customers will feel more comfortable approaching you with further questions about the product or service in the future. Ultimately, your goal is to clarify the doubts and queries of your customers, not make them feel worse.
Clarity of speech is very critical when you’re speaking to a customer. By stressing certain words, you can grab the attention of your target audience. For example, when you say, “I will be HAP-py to HELP you out with THIS PRODUCT”, you emphasize the words which will boost your sales as the customer will be able to understand you better. In order to speak clearly, you need to think clearly too. So, practice well before any customer interaction.
If you’re fluent in English, you’re likely to speak quickly since you’re confident about your speaking skills. However, this will do more harm than benefit to your business. If your customers are unable to understand what you’re trying to say, they won’t return in the future. Thus, slowing down will enable you to pronounce words clearly and help you pay attention to keywords.
Seal the Deal politely
Before you seal the deal, make sure that you behave politely so that it all ends on a positive note. You may use sentences/ phrases like:
- We hope you had a great shopping experience today.
- Looking forward to seeing you again.
- Feel free to call us in case of further queries.
The positive sentences/phrases will leave a lasting impression on the minds of your customers and will give them another reason to shop from your company or use your products.
These tips can help you improve your English communication skills if you want to make your customers happy.
Ms Sonu Goel is a professionally acclaimed certified ESL trainer from British Council having 15 years of strong background for teaching English language in both online and physical classes. She is dedicated to the teaching of English in an interactive and practical way, whereby learners feel enriched with knowledge and experience the language hands-on. She uses creative ideas and aids to let the learning happen as organically and efficiently as possible. Ms Goel has travelled various European countries and experienced an array of cultures and linguistic skills for the English language.