As the President of a company, I am tasked with many jobs. Unfortunately, one of those jobs is to handle any elevated customer complaints. Thankfully, I don't receive many calls from unhappy clients, but when I do, this means that the client is frustrated to the point of the "last straw". Over the years, I have realized that most of these calls can be avoided altogether if communication with clients is improved. Mistakes can always happen, but many mistakes can be avoided with proper communication.
Here are some simple ways to improve client communication in any office environment.
Return All Voicemails within 3 Hours. If you are gone for a whole day, change your voice mail to reflect that.
Pick Up the Phone. All too often, we hide behind emails. Remember, email is for CONFIRMATION, NOT COMMUNICATION. After you talk to the client, send an email to confirm the discussion points.
Raise Your Hand. If you are too busy to handle a client request, ask a teammate or manager.
LISTEN. Make sure you listen to the entire problem before you offer solutions. Sometimes people just want to vent and feel heard. By actively listening, you validate their concerns.
Share Progress Updates. If you are working on a big project, communicate updates regularly.
Own Your Mistakes. We all make mistakes. It is much easier when you admit it, learn from it and then work towards a resolution. This approach also makes it easier for management to stand behind you and help with the resolution. Defensiveness and negative energy do not help work towards a solution.
Communication is the basis of any good relationship and this is especially true of your relationships at work. In today's busy world, we are all guilty of not taking the time to communicate properly with each other. By working daily to improve communications, the end result will be an elevated level of customer service. And that means fewer calls to the President!
Propel HR President Lee Yarborough was recently elected Chair of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Board of Directors.
About Propel HR. An IRS-certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Propel HR has been a leading provider of Human Resources and payroll solutions for more than 25 years. We partner with small to mid-sized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit our new website at www.propelhr.com.