Verbal Communication in Business Communication

Resolving customer issues takes a calm, investigative attitude to prevent rising emotions.Resolving customer issues takes a calm, investigative attitude to prevent rising emotions.

Erik Snyder/Lifesize/Getty Images

Providing excellent customer service may feel like tricky business at times. It’s not so difficult when everything is going great and your customer is completely satisfied with your company’s products or services. But introduce a problem and verbal or written messages can suddenly become emotional and tense. Figuring out what causes emotions to escalate when it comes to verbal or written communication is key to making changes so customers feel satisfied with the end result.

Causes Misunderstandings

A badly written or verbalized communication from your customer service department is like throwing salt on a wound –– it hurts more than ever and causes a reaction. Inflammatory language may cause customers to feel angry, unimportant or misunderstood. They start to feel frustrated, and things quickly escalate when they reply back with less than friendly language. The wording in the your communication may also cause confusion and misunderstanding, which could lengthen the process of figuring out the customer’s problem and finding a way to resolve it.

Sounds Too Formal

Some people respond to customer complaints by switching into a more formal mode of communication. While you may do this to sound more professional, the new tone might escalate things if the customer takes that to mean you’re not specifically dealing with their issue, just some abstract, common issue that everyone faces. Instead of providing a slew of customer service policies in a message that sounds automated, address the complaint as if you’re talking to a friend. Use language that explains your policies while asking what you can do to make the customer feel good about your company again.

Related Reading: What Impact Do Communication Styles Have on Customer Service?

Suggests Lack of Listening Skills

When it comes to verbal communication skills, not listening can quickly escalate the situation by making you sound defensive. Sometimes a customer just needs to vent and explain what’s wrong. Using strong listening skills doesn’t mean the customer is right. Quietly listening just means you’re giving the person the courtesy of saying what they want without interruption. Once the customer finishes talking, ask questions to pinpoint parts of the problem you don’t understand so it shows you’re actively listening and want to thoroughly understand the problem.

Feels Like It’s Personal

It’s easy to feel like a customer’s complaints are about how inefficient you are. But when a customer raises their voice or says things related to the product or service that make you feel like you’re responsible in some way, remember that it’s not personal. Instead, remind yourself that the person on the other end of the conversation is just upset and wants a solution. Put yourself in the place of the customer to get a feel for what’s really going on.

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