Man explaining financial information to another

The secret to better customer relationships

How do your customers feel when you talk to them?  Do they feel intimidated because you use words that they don’t understand? Do they just switch off? If you could do just one thing when you engage with them that would lead to better customer relationships, wouldn’t you do it?

Nobody likes jargon

I used to have a client – actually it was a bank – and in meetings everyone talked in acronyms. Using terms like MCQs instead of saying “multiple-choice questions” and so on.

And it had been the same for years and after a while it became part of their culture. But, and here’s the thing, as an external consultant I usually had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

The curse of knowledgethe barrier to better customer relationships

It’s always a challenge for you as a banker to remember that your business customers don’t have the same level of knowledge that you do. So you have to simplify your language to make sure that you get our point across. If you don’t do that you won’t have the basis for better customer relationships. 

You’ll know, for sure, that you need to say something in a different way when you’re confronted with a blank expression when you’ve tried to explain something to a customer using the wrong words.

If the customer is uncomfortable with the way you express yourself when you talk to them, they’re definitely not going to ask you for advice and you’re going to miss out on sales opportunities.

What can you do?

When engage with your customer to provide a product or service solution, think carefully about the words you use.  Make sure that you don’t use jargon that is common language in the office. 

Sometimes that means using many more words than you think are necessary and, possibly, speaking more slowly. But, in the end, it will pay off if the customer understands what you’re talking about first time and you don’t have to constantly repeat yourself. Plus you’ll have much better customer relationships.

Remember too that customers are unlikely to take your advice about a product solution if they don’t understand it and can’t see what the benefits are to them.

Focus on the customer when you speak to them. Do they seem to be understanding what you say or are they looking confused?  Check that they’re still with you from time to time. Don’t end your pitch until you have some sign of understanding from the customer.

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