Misunderstanding the difference between your sales, technical and customer care teams can cost you clients, time and a peaceful enviroment. These are 3 different types of people with 3 different communication styles. To make the most of your team you have to understand what’s important to them and how they naturally communicate.
Even if you’re a one man or one woman show, you need to get this because it matters to your client.
Wearing your technical hat when your client needs customer care can be a problem. So is acting like a marketer who’s aggressively upselling when the client needs technical support.
Communication has to be natural, engaging and respectful. The receiver needs to feel like you care and understand.
And while it flows both ways someone needs to always choose to be the bigger person — that’s the one who
- listens a little closer,
- cares a little more and
- tries a little harder.
From a leadership perspective it’s the business owner and manager’s responsibility to promote effective communication and to lead by example.
From a customer perspective, every person on the team has to give a little more than the client does.
Effective communication works best when it flows from the top down, but that doesn’t always happen.
From a ground floor perspective, every employee can improve his communication skills inspite of the managment team.
Now about those teams…
#1 Technical Team
Generally speaking, the technical team solves what they believe is the core problem and they seldom consider it to be communication. Their bottomline is getting the technical work done right.
For the best interest of your client and business, there needs to be a buffer between these people and the public. And they still need some type of communication training. In a small business setting you never know when a team member may have to step up and take care of your customers — because of an emergency. So make sure your technical team at least has some basic communication skills.
How does your technical team communicate with your clients?
#2 Sales Team
Naturally, the sales team has a crystal clear assignment to close and make money. They are the obvious bread winners on the team and they know it. They’re engaging communicators who can get to the point quick.
They can be impatient when dealing with their team. The salesperson wants to hear the bottomline in 30 seconds or less so that they can get to the work that “pays the bills.”
This group feels like they are great communicators and others should learn from them. But you have to watch out for the “bait and drop” syndrome. This is where clients receive great attention until they pay. After the money is on the table, the salesman is done and ready to move on to the next prospect. But the client isn’t. Teach them to communicate care and concern for the client after the sale.
How does your sales team communicate with your new clients?
#3 Customer Care Team
Customer service is about a happy and satisfied client. They are your relationship builders and play key roles in client retention. They have the most enduring relationship with the people that pay your bills — the customer.
Their communication style is different from the marketing team. They listen and translate the customer’s concern to the right team member. It’s their job to care the most. They understand that communication and the client is everything.
How does your customer care team communicate with your clients?
Since effective communication improves relationships, developing this skill can help develop a better person and team. Pay attention to the people you have around you and place them in the best roles. Here’s a few do(s) and don’t(s) to help you out.
Don’t Do That…
Don’t take your natural salesmen and stick them in the technical department. Put them on the floor and teach them to communicate sincerity and concern after the sale is finalized.
Don’t take your technical people and try to turn them into customer care. Without serious retraining they will crash and burn. Instead,
- protect their space,
- let them solve your technical problems and
- train them to communicate technical terms in layman speak using metaphors and analogies that matter to your clients.
Don’t take your customer care team and force them into a hard core sales environment. They can sell, but will generally do better in a soft sale situation. Let them take care of your clients and you’ll have your clients longer.
When you put people in the right roles and train them well, you communicate that you’re serious about your business and your team.
Now, Teach Them…
Teach them to be serious about your clients, because every team impacts your bottomline and can make or break your business.
Teach them to respect each other because it takes all kinds to meet a need.
Teach them to constantly improve their own communication skills — internally and externally, because it improves the team, the business and the customer experience.
Effective communication starts within.____
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