The TAO Of Effective Communication – How to gain your Customer’s Trust
Every communication happens in the form of expressing some ideas, conveying some messages or passing some information. The effectiveness of the communication lies in how well the receivers perceive, understand and convey the same. So, when defining a communication, it involves three elements:
- Sender, who sends the information.
- Receiver, who receives the information.
- Proper medium for communication, where sender and receiver agree on.
The medium can be anything – written, verbal or nonverbal. The bottom line is that, both parties taking part in communication should be in agreement with the communication medium, otherwise, the communication won’t be effective!
You have to measure the effectiveness of every communication that you are part of. Even if the idea is conveyed or if a proper medium is used, it need not result in effective communication. If the information being conveyed is some kind of knowledge, we need to measure the knowledge of the receiver. If the information being conveyed is some kind of follow up actions, we need to put some check points and measure the effectiveness of the follow up action. In short, to measure the effectiveness of communication, whether it be in the form of information exchange or follow up actions, we should be having proper feedback about it. A feedback system is the only way of measuring the effectiveness of a communication channel.
Why it matters in Technical Support or Web Hosting?
Well, it is one area where people comes in the broader spectrum of customer service, customer satisfaction and customer delight. The key factor here is the customer service, and it is through it, the other two factors come into picture.
Let us consider the case of technical support of a web hosting company. It is the support engineers who ultimately take care of the customers, and their communication plays a crucial role. Often, the technical support will be the only interface where the customers can feel, realize and understand the web hosting company. So, every communication with customers should be ending up with addressing all their concerns in a proper and effective manner.
Digging Deeper – The Technical Support team
It is a team of qualified technical engineers, looking after the entire technical infrastructure of the hosting company and also responsible for taking care of the customers. In more technical terms, their interactions with customers happen in the form of support requests.
Let me give a clear picture here. In case of web hosting, the customers will have a website or a server hosted with the hosting company. They will contact the technical support whenever they are facing any problem with the hosting facility or need additional help with the facility. In such cases, they will open a support request through the customer support portal in the form of a support request. The technical support team is responsible for handling the support requests then.
In this communication, the role of technical support is an active listener, attending all the minute details, and other aspects of the problem faced by the customer. The communication medium is, of course, the language that anyone can understand things properly. So, while playing the role of an active listener, following are a few tips that help to stand apart in communication.
- Do not expect the problem to be described in technical terms. Customers needn’t be technical in describing the problem.
- Identify the technical elements in the problem description, and confirm it with the customer in a language that the customer can understand.
- Avoid technical terms in the communication, instead use generic terms that everyone can understand. For example, use the term “web server”, than saying “httpd” or “IIS”.
- Collect from the customers, the additional details that are required for solving the problem.
- Always keep the customer updated on what is happening. In case of time critical problems, always provide an ETA to customers.
- Always listen to customer’s concern, and address it properly.
- Communicate with customers in a simple, polite and in an easy manner.
- Always collect feedback from case to case, and look for elements of improvement. Remember that this is an important aspect of communication.
Since the technical support is working as a team, it is really important to have a good communication among the support engineers. They should be able to maintain the so called transparency in communication. In other words, everyone in the team should know what exactly is happening with each and every support request. The following two points add to it.
- Support engineers must provide enough details while communicating with customer, so that others will be able to know what is done to the support request.
- If it is not possible to mention the resolution completely in the reply, the support engineer must update the team about it via other means.
The other side – Customer is The King
In this communication, the role of customer is to inform their concerns to the technical support people. It is the responsibility of the technical support to listen to it, understand it, work on it, find solution to the concern and also measure the effectiveness of the communication.
The effectiveness in communication is really important. Every communication should be focused on addressing all the concerns of customers. A smart technical support like that of Bobcares will work on all these aspects so that every communication will lead to trust building with customers.:-)
About the Author:
Prasad P M works as a Sr. Software Engineer in Bobcares and specializes in cPanel and remotely managing Datacenters. He currently leads all shared teams at Bobcares and is also the founder and manager of Bob and Knowledge factory – a searchable archive to get help on specific technical issues related to Web Hosting.