The One Communication Tool That EVERY One Of Your Clients Will Love
I recently ran a workshop with a Financial Planning team, locking ourselves in a room for a day to plan how the team could improve the service they delivered to their clients.
At one point, the business owner took his turn at the whiteboard, suggesting the rest of the team stop emailing / SMSing clients and instead, just ‘pick up the bloody phone’.
Half of the room nodded in agreement, the other half palpably resisted this idea. For the latter group, you could feel that the very idea of a phone call resembled a form of torture.
Two different, but equally valid perspectives and perhaps you’ve had a similar conversation in your business. In this case, half of the room believed that phone calls are a more personal way of communication and more efficient at ‘getting to an outcome’. The other half believed that clients should be able to communicate with the business when they’re ready to and that a phone call was an unnecessary amount of effort for something that could be expressed or resolved with a few finger or thumb taps.
This was one of those times when my job felt less like a Business Coach and more like a referee. I had to push my own personal preferences aside and help find a middle ground that satisfied all as opposed to satisfying none.
But on this occasion, it was an easy one to settle. You see, both sides were 100% correct… for people just like them. But they were equally 100% wrong… for people who WEREN’T like them. Some clients would value and expect a phone call. For others, I reiterate my earlier comment re torture.
There isn’t a magical form of communication that keeps everyone happy. Phone, Email, Facebook Messenger, SMS, Voxer (my personal favourite)… the list could go on and the length of this list points to us each having a preference for how we interact with others, and being fortunate to live in an era where we can use it readily.
So instead of trying to find the ‘one size fits all’ communication tool or assuming everyone likes to communicate the way you do, this team decided to find out how each client likes to be communicated with, then ensure most forms of communication are tailored accordingly. The one communication tool that every client loves is quite simply, the communication tool that each client loves. They, like you and the people in my workshop, have their own preference which in their mind, is 100% the best way to communicate. It’s in their heads, but unless you ask the question, it’s not known to your business.
Like this business, perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of ‘Communication 101’ and listen first, then talk second.
We live in an era where we have more ways of communicating than ever before, which also means it’s easier than ever to find out what our clients want.
But with this great power comes great responsibility.
How are you using it?
Michael Back, Founder of Human to Human