You can communicate better with others, both employees and customers alike, with just two little words. The phrase “So that” could just be the most important words you introduce into your company in 2022. I’m serious. More often than you realize, there’s a communication gap between what you or your employees say and what your customers actually hear.
Better communication with your customers
Listen closely to your employees speaking with your customers and you’ll hear common everyday phrases like “We can’t guarantee you a specific service appointment time.”, “We’re no longer open on Saturdays.” and “We don’t carry that product anymore.” But what if you could communicate better with just two little words so that your customers could remain more at ease?
Each of these and so many other simple communications carry with them a negative connotation that customers simply hear as a great big “NO”. But with just a little forethought and training, these phrases could be transformed, so that your customers stay better engaged!
,A few examples:
- “We can’t guarantee you a specific service appointment time.” can become this: “Let us call you an hour before we come, SO THAT you don’t have to wait around on us all day.”
- “We’re no longer open on Saturdays.” can become this: “We’re no longer open on Saturdays, SO THAT our employees can have family time on weekends too. Is there a day next week that might work for you?”
- “We recently had a price increase.” is not a comment that is often well received. However, with a little finesse, it can become: “We recently had a price increase, SO THAT we could maintain our service offerings. Covid has caused us to have to pay more to find employees. I’m sure you’ve seen that in other places too.”
- “We don’t carry that particular product anymore.” can become this: “We don’t carry that anymore, SO THAT we can offer you this new, better option. This new option has a much better (whatever makes it better) SO THAT it’s easier for you to use.”
This simple change in the way you and your employees communicate will have an immediate impact on the way your customers receive what you’re saying. Your customers will be far more understanding of any delays or interruptions as well. And, they’ll be a lot more patient with your staff for the added explanation. I promise.
Better communication with your employees
Using SO THAT when training your employees will also cause your efforts to be far more meaningful and memorable.
Here are some examples:
- “Remember to take out the trash before you leave each day.” is so mundane and commonplace that some people may not even hear it anymore. Try this: “Remember to take out the trash before you leave each day, SO THAT you don’t get ants and rats in your workspace. Pests like that can a big mess and can be expensive to get rid of.” Now THAT is a memorable statement!
- “Remember to fill up the service vehicles at the end of the day.” can become: “Remember fill up the service vehicles at the end of the day, SO THAT the crews can get to the job site on time in the morning.”
- “It’s important to turn in your paperwork each day.” can become: “It’s important to turn in your paperwork each day, SO THAT bookkeeping can get the information entered on time. That includes your hours for your paycheck!”
Better communication works
I trust by now that you are the getting the point I’m trying to make here. I’ve used the SO THAT communication method for more than 15 years and it is amazingly helpful. Explaining the reasons behind the training is so helpful to those in training. SO THAT really works for sales presentations, employee training and even customer communications. With some practice and consistency, you can make these two simple words a part of your daily vocabulary, so that it becomes easy to do everyday.
It’s important to do more than just tell your employees to use these words. You’ll have to make time to listen to your employees engage customers on the phone and in person, so that become consistent in the messaging. Encourage them to go just a little further in their explanations to customers. Over time, SO THAT can be a part of the way we communicate every day. Try it for yourself so that you can see the immediate benefits of communicating and working better with others.
For more information on the SO THAT method or other helpful small business tips, please reach out to me here: https://www.parttimebusinesspartners.com/contact/ or on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/parttimebusinesspartners so that we can continue this discussion and help you get better at running your business!