The other day a friend of mine told me about the miscommunication she and her husband had.
He was going to meet up with some friends and had told her the time of the meet-up was 1.30 pm. Somehow she remembered 2pm. But his friends had actually told him the meetup was at 1pm!
So from A to B to C the time changed twice!
We see this happen all the time.
I don’t know about you, but we actually made a game of it when we were young. One person got a sentence from the teacher that he/she would need to whisper into the next persons ear, that would need to whisper it in the next persons ear, etcetera, etcetera. When last person would say the sentence out loud it would have completely changed into something new.
It was funny but also taught us a valuable lesson: words can change through communication.
When we look at our businesses there are many moments we need to communicate with our clients. All these moments are precious, but they also offer loads of moments we can miscommunicate because of different interpretations: offers, invoices, contracts, timetables, emails, telephone calls, design meetings are just a few examples of communication that can go wrong.
So how do we start our communications off right?
3 lessons in communication
Friendly but explicit
First of all, always be friendly but explicit when talking to a (potential) customers. For instance, if you want a meeting with someone, don’t ask them if they will have time for a meeting some day. Ask them when you can meet up.
Be clear what they get (and what they don’t get)
When writing offers and contracts be sure to be specific what that entails. How much time does the customer get? Will he or she be able to call you constantly or not? Are there just 3 rounds to the logo design or will you take as many alterations as necessary… Be clear on what they are getting and what they aren’t getting (but can pay for extra).
Let them know what to expect
But communication to customers isn’t all about the bad stuff. It is also about letting them know what they can expect from you. When will the project be finished? What can they expect if they pay you every month for maintaining their website? When will the package be delivered with their ordered goods?
Did you ever have miscommunication with your (potential) client? What did you do to fix it? Let us know below in the comments!
**Cover photo by ispap @ FreeImages.com**