You probably are familiar with the expression, “Every time it rains, it pours.” But, for a friend of mine this saying is slightly different. It goes like this: “Every time it rains, my phone doesn’t work.”

It’s the truth– whenever it rains my friend’s landline “craps out.” Not only that, she’s had this problem for two years! And the company providing the “service” has still not fixed the problem. Repair people have come to her house; other technicians have worked on the problem remotely, yet still no solution. Fortunately, my friend has a good sense of humour– when making plans by email to chat by phone she says, “Sure, unless it’s raining.”

As you can imagine, the company representatives, who speak regularly about the issue with my friend, work hard to keep her sense of humour afloat. But, all too often the way large companies approach customer relations doesn’t keep anyone laughing.

In fact, when it comes to customer service it seems that there some companies who have a tendency to create a recipe for disaster using the following ingredients.

Recipe for Disaster
1. Start by putting your customer on hold for a lengthy period of time
2. Add a dash of impatience
3. Blend in incorrect information
4. Whip up promises that can’t be delivered
5. Top off with a lack of follow up

VoilĂ ! A foolproof recipe for annoying your customers!

Instead of using the aforementioned ingredients, why not try a recipe with the following ingredients, designed for creating effective business communication.

Recipe for Creating Effective Business Communication
1. Start by proactively keeping your customer informed regarding their problem status
2. Whip in patience; combine carefully with good listening skills
3. Gently stir in accurate information
4. Add a healthy pinch of honesty
5. Top with a timely follow up

Of course, most companies would rather have a happy customer than an unhappy one. I know this first hand! At The Language Lab we are often approached by large organizations anxious to improve the way their employees communicate with customers, both by phone and by email. It’s gratifying when we achieve positive outcomes for them because good customer service should be the norm, rather than the exception– after all, it’s not as though effective communication depends on the weather!

To learn how you can improve your customer communication, contact me at The Language Lab and we’ll show you how to do it. Â

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