The "Golden Rule" of Business Communication
by Lauren Salles, on Oct 30, 2018 2:07:04 PM
Behind every business is a person. Common sense, no?
And yet, so many businesses present as though they were operated by machines. Automated emails, pre-recorded phone calls, and mass text messages may cause feelings of depersonalization, unrelatability, and/or detachment on behalf of the customer.But why is this important? Why should businesses care about their customers’ feelings?
In short: happy customers help businesses, and unhappy customers hurt businesses.
If your customer or potential customer does not feel good about your business, they will likely not buy from you. If people like you, on the other hand, they will be more inclined to buy your product and share their experience with others.
How do you ensure that your customer feels happy?
The first step: good communication!
Communication is your greatest tool as a business builder. In its most foundational sense, communication allows people to express their wants and needs. Since the goal of any business is to solve a problem and/or meet a need, communication between businesses and clients is essential.
Beyond the initial contact between the client and business, continued and consistent communication is key to a business’ growth and success. People feel most comfortable buying from someone/something that they know. Therefore, good communication is essential because it allows the customer to “get to know” the business.
However, In an age of great technological advances, the art of communication is often overlooked.
What constitutes good communication?
The “golden rule” of communication is to communicate with others as you would want others to communicate with you.
In other words, no one wants:
Automated, non-personal communication - How would you feel if you spent time crafting a personalized email to someone, only to receive an automated reply? Likely not great. In the context of business, it’s easy to forget that on the other end of the sale is a person, not just a customer. Before they are willing to pay for a service, people want to trust the source. Personalized communication builds trust and fosters a strong relationship between the client and the business.
Slow responses - This is something we can all relate to - sending a text or an email and then not receiving a timely reply. Slow responses sends a message to your customers that they are not valued. If your customers don’t feel valued/like a priority, they lose trust and will take their business elsewhere. Nowadays when communication is so accessible, there’s really no excuse for making someone wait.
To be put on hold - How does it make you feel when you call a business and are immediately put on hold? Again, you don’t feel valued. Your trust in the business to meet your needs decreases. People don’t like to wait - our culture thrives on instant gratification. We must keep up in our ability to communicate. Instead of putting someone on hold, take their name and number and ask them for a good time to call back.
Inflexibility - People like to have options in how they communicate. Some prefer talking on the phone, others prefer texting, others email. Restricting your customers to a certain avenue of communication is a sure-fire way to lose business. Imagine if your friend told you that she would only communicate with you via email from now on. You would likely be frustrated and may not contact her much anymore. The same applies for businesses.
In the same way that people build relationships with each other, businesses must build relationships with their clients. Communication builds trust, and trust builds relationships. Relationships ultimately grow businesses.
If you prioritize communication with your customers, your business will thank you!