Having the confidence and ability to excel in our language and actions in everyday situations is a valuable skill and the key to achieving outstanding customer service and colleague interaction. It all starts with an understanding of the basic building blocks of positive communication skills which enable us to use constructive, appreciative and confident language. Every communication is an expression of who you are as an organisation and should focus on the customer, their needs and your commitment to them. Once you have mastered a strong foundation of positive communication skills, there are different ways in which you can learn to refine these skills and supercharge your communication to give further clarity so that you can be even more effective and confident.
Here at MGI Learning, we extend the reach of our powerful Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit with a series of unique characteristics which enhance our positive language skills and lift our learners head and shoulders above the competition so that they can excel and engage their customers to build even higher levels of trust. These key language traits identify and clarify our communication so that we can show we have taken ownership and responsibility for the service we give and ensure that customers are always kept informed and are satisfied with the service they are receiving.
As we develop, refine and practise our communication skills it becomes easier to recognise the many opportunities for everyday use of these unique, supercharging characteristics for maximum impact in everything we think, say and do.
Here’s a brief overview of the key characteristics covered in depth in the Toolkit and our embedded learning process.
Using easy to remember time frames
When responding to customers, suppliers and colleagues, it’s helpful to be as precise and specific as possible. Using vague statements such as “I’ll get back to you” and “It’ll be with you soon” can easily be misconstrued and confusing and leave the other person feeling doubtful and dissatisfied which is the opposite of what you should be striving to achieve. It’s important to give clear and easy to understand time frames so that everyone can be certain you are going to complete an action or advise exactly what you have done.
For example, instead of saying “I’ll call you in a couple of hours”, it’s much better to say “It’s 11am now, so I’ll call you by 1pm latest and give you an update”. Working with clear time frames is reassuring and adds clarity, allowing everyone to prioritise more easily, build trust and make sure both parties are taking ownership and responsibility for the service experience.
Show how easy you are to do business with
When customers and colleagues are offered clear choices and their preferences requested and listened to, we make it easy and convenient for them to do business with us. It’s courteous to communicate in this way and gives them an element of control so that they are much more likely to stay in a positive frame of mind.
An example is simply to say, “Is this a convenient time to talk or would you like me to call back at another time?”.
People value, and are impressed with, a speedy response
Wherever it’s possible to clearly demonstrate you are responding with an appropriate sense of urgency and purpose to the customer’s request, you should do so. For example, “I’ll put you straight through now” and “I can take care of that immediately” are both reassuring because they show efficiency and commitment while providing an opportunity to demonstrate your confidence and capability.
Be confident and use statements that earn and build trust
Using clear language that gives people a real sense of certainty demonstrates to the customer that they can trust you, and the organisation, to provide a solution or a way forward and deliver excellent service. This can be particularly powerful when you are dealing with complaints. “I can assure you that …” and “I’m confident that …” present a positive and capable attitude which will reassure the customer or colleague.
Show that you take responsibility and are completely committed to helping
“Personally” and “myself” are examples of words that immediately signal to the other person that you are stepping up to this responsibility and taking ownership of delivering a solution or way forward. Language such as “I’ll be happy to handle this for you myself” is powerful, confident and reassuring, particularly when dealing with complaints when it’s important to build trust back into the relationship.
Demonstrate that you understand the emotional impact of a situation before moving on to action
It’s always important to consider and acknowledge any emotional impact a situation may have on the customer or colleague and bring this awareness into any options or solutions you present, when appropriate. Remember that empathy needs to be genuine and relevant so that you are sincerely recognising the impact the issue may have on the customer rather than saying something for the sake of it or being patronising.
“I’m so pleased you have rung us; I can imagine the impact on you all” is a good example of starting with an empathetic response to really engage the other person before moving forward with the action you are going to take.
These are just a few examples of the refinements that are possible to supercharge your communication in everyday situations to be clearer, more empathetic and accountable. When you learn to understand and incorporate these simple yet powerful characteristics into your daily communication skills, the results and outcomes you can achieve will enhance relationships – at work and at home. Having a true awareness and understanding of the potential of language and the positive impact it has on our everyday interactions with customers, colleagues and suppliers is a supremely valuable skillset that will lead to greater satisfaction, capability and confidence, increased productivity and outstanding outcomes.
Find out how MGI’s Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit can transform and supercharge your people’s positive customer services communication skills.