Communication is the foundation of every single relationship you have in your personal life; it's no different in business. Without effective communication, there can be misunderstandings, problems and possibly even complaints.
Ultimately, effective communication can be one of the most important skills you use in business. If your communication skills are in need of some fine-tuning, take time to think about how you communicate, and the results of your communication. Then focus on ways you can improve it over time.
The tips below will sharpen your communication skills and impress your clients:
1. Listen Listening is the key to effective communication, but it's not always easy. One way to become a better listener is to try limiting distractions during your conversations that make it difficult to hear and absorb what others are saying. By doing these small things, you ensure that the person you're speaking with has your full attention.
2. Be Responsive One of the worst things you can do when a conflict arises or someone has a complaint is to not respond. In most cases, some kind of response should be issued immediately, even if it's just a brief statement that you'll look into the issue.
If you wait until you have all of the information necessary before reaching out to the unhappy party, they may end up not only unhappy, but now also angry. Keep the lines of communication open in all situations by being as responsive as possible and making sure the people reaching out to you feel like their issue is important to you.
3. Ask the Right Questions So much of communication with your clients relies on getting the information you need, especially when you’re scheduling their first pickup. This means you need to ask the right kinds of questions, most importantly when learning your clients laundry preferences and gathering specific pickup or drop off instructions when necessary. It's not wise to assume clients know what they need to tell you. Most of the time, they DON’T. Instead, ask to be sure. You’ll be glad you did!
4. Focus on Customer Service Good customer service depends on two-way communication. Often when conflicts arise with clients, the key to resolution is communicating to uncover the problem, then continuing to communicate until the problem is resolved.
One way to maintain long-term relationships with clients is by keeping open lines of communication. This means asking for input on how things are going and how they feel about the service you're providing.
5. Use the Feedback You Receive If you are already communicating with clients, you will probably receive feedback regularly. This can be a goldmine of useful information about how your laundry service is perceived by clients and potential clients. In order to be effective, though, you have to be willing to use this information to change and improve your processes.
6. Keep it Professional While you are communicating with clients, whether it be face-to-face, telephone, or email, always stay professional. Clients are paying for your services and they will expect you to conduct your business in a professional manner, so avoid saying things that could cause them to see you differently. That’s not to say that you can’t get to know your clients on a more personal level, but remember that what you say and write can impact the Provider/ client relationship.