Customer Experience News & Trends

12 customer communication mistakes that make you look dumb

7. Your wrong

Similar to the there, their, they’re issues, your and you’re can lead to embarrassing mistakes. Remember this:

  • You’re is the noun You and the verb are or were put together: You’re welcome, Mr. Customer.
  • Your shows possession: Your order has been placed.

8. Its a real mistake

A similar situation that can cause written mistakes: It’s versus Its.

  • It’s is the noun It and the verb is or has put together: It’s on the way to your business address.
  • Its shows possession: We’ve seen its return on investment and understand what will happen.

9. They just won’t agree

459335699Sometimes in a conversation, subject and verb agreement go unnoticed because we talk quickly and it doesn’t affect the meaning of what’s being said. But when subjects and verbs don’t agree in writing, it looks sloppy.

Words or phrases — often things that describe the subject — get between the subject and the verb and complicate things.

For instance, The customer who orders 17 boxes are on the phone, is wrong. Although boxes precedes the verb are, customer is the subject and the verb must agree with that.

Correct examples:

  • The customer who orders 17 boxes is on the phone.
  • The men who fulfill the order are on lunch break.

10. Jumping right in

From here, we go on to communication mistakes that are more likely to occur in conversations with customers — perhaps when customer service reps troubleshoot, marketers do Voice of the Customer (VoC) research or salespeople have meetings with customers.

Big issue: Hijacking sentences. When we think we know where the customer is headed or we assume we have the right answer to the unfinished question, we sometimes start to finish the other person’s sentence.

It can result in miscommunication and will almost always turn off customers. They want to be heard.

It’s best to practice letting a person speak until finished. And if a customer interrupts you: Hear him out and then say, Let me get back to what I was explaining.

11. Getting wound up

460138707We’re all busy keeping up with the needs of customers and demands of work. Unfortunately, that can lead to a tendency to talk to fast, sound nervous and move communication with customers along too quickly. That, in turn, can cause more miscommunication and misunderstandings.

How do you find the right pace? Try one of two options: Mimic the pace of the customer you’re dealing with. Or, talk at the pace of a TV news anchor.

12. Overdo it

Emotions and motions can get in the way of intelligent conversations with customers.

In one instance — if you or customers are upset, excited, angry or anything to an extreme — facts, important details and common sense will be lost in the conversation. It’s important for anyone who deals with customers to remain calm throughout conversations. If things become heated or irrational, it’s best to set up something at a better time and end the conversation.

In the other instance, talking while moving your hands a lot can diminish authority and leave you looking overzealous. One way to control excessive animation when talking with customers is to wear a watch and keep a hold of it throughout the conversation as a reminder to stay more still.

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