Communication + Client Best Practices


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Regardless of the industry in which you work, there is likely some aspect of customer service involved. This presentation provides an overview of best practices for communicating with your clients or customers. Learn more about Levelwing's Company Culture and Best Practices:

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Communication + Client Best Practices

  2. 2. 2PURPOSE§  Background§  The purpose of today’s presentation is to talk about: i.  customer service and why it’s important ii.  how communication plays a key role iii.  client best practices
  3. 3. 3CUSTOMER SERVICE: WHY DOES IT MATTER?“Customer service is an extremely IMPORTANT part of MAINTAINING ongoingCLIENT RELATIONSHIPS that are KEY to continuing REVENUE... Often there aremany more people working behind the scenes at a company than there arecustomer service representatives, yet IT IS PRIMARILY THE PERSONNEL THATINTERACT DIRECTLY WITH CUSTOMERS THAT FORM CUSTOMERS’PERCEPTIONS OF THE COMPANY AS A WHOLE.” Source:
  4. 4. 4CUSTOMER SERVICE: DEFINITIONDefinition from Investopedia:The process of ensuring customer satisfaction… [it] cantake the form of an in-person interaction, a phone call…or by other means.KEY TAKEAWAY: you can’t have (good) customer servicewithout COMMUNICATIONSource:
  5. 5. 5COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATECommunication is… “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals througha common system of symbols, signs or behavior”KEY.Definition: Merriam-Webster
  6. 6. 6COMMUNICATION: FOUR STYLESOne of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of your communication is to adapt yourcommunication style to match your audience. To effectively communicate, you must firstidentify your audience.Source:
  7. 7. 7COMMUNICATION STYLE: THE CONTROLLERThe controller just wants the facts, and as a result, can be perceived as bossy and insensitive. Thecontroller is extremely goal-oriented and their major motivation is to get things done; they care aboutthe bottom-line. They have little use for details, so don’t give more than necessary to get your pointacross.Tips for effectively communicating with controllers:§  Be efficient and business-like§  Get to the point§  Set and clarify goals and objectives§  Give them conclusions – only provide details if asked§  Solve problems and objections§  Talk in terms of results, not methodsSource:
  8. 8. 8COMMUNICATION STYLE: THE PROMOTERThe promoter loves people and loves to talk. Their natural sociability allows them to talk for longperiods of time about almost anything. They are enthusiastic, curious and expressive.Tips for effectively communicating with promoters:§  Leave plenty of time for talk and social niceties§  Ask them about their family, children, etc. and be prepared to talk about yours§  Let them “experience” what you are communicating by talking in terms of people and stories and using examples§  Be careful about getting too far off track and be able to guide the conversation back to the original pointSource:
  9. 9. 9COMMUNICATION STYLE: THE SUPPORTERThe supporter typically has a low-key personality, tends to be calm and have patience. Supportersare the largest percentage of the population and they are typically competent and steady workerswho do not like to be involved in conflict. When there is conflict they may be called upon to mediatethe problem. They are good listeners and one of their major motivations is to avoid offending anyone.Tips for effectively communicating with supporters:§  Don’t come on too strong§  Earn their trust in small steps§  Don’t ask for big decisions right away§  Provide plenty of reassurance§  Talk in terms of securitySource:
  10. 10. 10COMMUNICATION STYLE: THE ANALYZERThe analyzer loves facts and figures. They tend to be thoughtful, serious and purposeful. Becausetheir communication style includes a need for details, they sometimes hesitate to make decisions ifthey feel that they dont have enough facts. Because they pay so much attention to details, they cancome across as being pessimistic.Tips for effectively communicating with analyzers:§  Make sure you are well-prepared§  Have data to back up information being presented§  Be prepared for skepticism§  Allow time for them to think and analyze§  Ensure all of their questions are answeredSource:
  11. 11. 11COMMUNICATING WITH CLIENTS§  Determine their communication style§  Over-communicate details, especially in the beginning§  Don’t leave questions on the table§  Don’t assume they are on the same page – ask qualifying questions§  If you don’t get a response, follow up§  Don’t forget to pick up the phone
  12. 12. 12RESPONSE TIME + SETTING EXPECTATIONS§  Prompt responses with general feedback§  How long is too long?§  What about last minute requests?§  Set realistic expectations
  13. 13. 13MEETINGS AND CALLS: BEST PRACTICES§  When should you meet?§  What should you discuss?§  Meet in person or via video chat when possible§  Always have an agenda + recap (internal and external)§  What if I don’t know the answer to a question?
  14. 14. 14ANSWERING TOUGH QUESTIONS§  Clarify the question before answering it§  Stay calm§  Be confident: demeanor speaks volumes§  Provide an expert point of view§  Use questions as opportunities to educate§  Make sure everyone understands§  Redirect inane and unfair questionsSource: Harvard Business Review
  15. 15. 15TWO MAGIC WORDSWhen things do go wrong… §  Be upfront §  Apologies go a long way §  Be aware of what you are apologizing for §  Have a conversation
  16. 16. 16CLIENT EXAMPLE: CUSTOMER SERVICE§  Who?§  What happened?§  What we did about it§  Resolution
  17. 17. 17SUMMARY§  Never under estimate the importance of customer service and effective communication§  Since each person has a preferred style of communication, once you determine their style, you can communicate effectively by adapting your style to meet the needs of their style.§  Remember first rule of effective communication: the success of the communication is the responsibility of the communicator. §  Be confident in your knowledge and the value you bring to your clients§  Apologize when necessary
  18. 18. 18THANK YOU
  19. 19. 20LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? WANT TO SEE MORE?Visit our sponsors at Levelwing.comAt Levelwing, we specialize in interpreting data and providing you with applications (and not justgraphs) that can impact your MARKETING, MERCHANDISING, INVENTORY or even TALENTRECRUITMENT. We help companies utilize data to OPERATE WITH GREATER CLARITY +PROFITABILITY.Bottom line, we move your business forward by helping you make sense of your data so thatyou can ACHIEVE WHAT COULD BE.For additional information, please contact:STEVE PARKER, JR.Co-Founder & Managing Partnersteve@levelwing.com1 + 843.631.4587