Communicating in essential for any kind of relationship, either professional or personal. This is not only about words itself, but also nonverbal signs like the tone of voice, the use of gestures, posture eye contact, and facial expressions. Just bear in mind that in sports, like football, soccer and basketball, coaches need to use all these tools to communicate with its players, when there is a crowded stadium and words are not easily understood. Or in equestrian sports, to obtain the best horse racing results, the jockey, obviously, is not able to speak with the horse, so he uses these methods to communicate effectively with the animal.
However, in the online world, due to the absence of nonverbal signs, communicating is not an easy task. All of us, internet users, have experienced the challenging task that is giving an opinion on social media, for example.
Due to this, we might most of the times misunderstand messages and each other. We also rarely give the message time to think, because we are too eager to make assumptions and judge. In customer services, for instance, this is a great problem.
In this article, it will be discussed 5 ways of turning online communication easier and 5 traps to avoid.
5 tips on how to communicate clear
Don’t multitask while having a conversation
For effective conversations, this is the most important tip. How many times were you listening to someone while also checking your phone? Guilty! When you talk to someone, a customer, for example, try to be at that moment. Don’t be half away from the conversation. Stop checking your social media accounts while doing your work and focus on one task at a time, especially if it involves speaking with others.
Be honest if you don’t know something
People tend to pretend they know something when in fact they no clue have what they are dealing with. In a field that requires working with clients, the service agents think they are responsible for answering them as soon as possible. In these cases, people respond quickly, trying to get rid of the subject they don’t know about. As a result, the person who received an untrue answer loses faith in you or your working company. If you don’t know something, be honest. “Great question, let me search!”, is a possible answer to give-
One of the most challenging behavior of the 21st century, being patient. In a world where all happens so fast, all the time, being patient is hard. However, if you master this skill it allows you to deliver better service and remain sane when you are having a tough day. It also allows you to respond politely in a situation when a less patient person would lose their control. Remember that customers’ intention is getting help and not making your day hell.
Successful communication was always a result of careful listening. For many people, the word “listening” means “hearing”. Have you ever spoke to someone who was clearly not paying attention and just “hearing” you out? Exactly! You need to listen, not just hear. Deep listening requires a good observation of the person and their gestures while speaking. Once these are useless on the internet, you should keep calm and read as many times as possible to clearly understand the content. If questions remain, politely ask to the other person the meaning of something you can understand.
Instead of saying you can’t do something, say that you will do your best. If you are dealing with a customer don’t be rude and if they ask for some article in a shop don’t answer them that you don’t have the product. Say you will call the manager to verify the stock of the store. Use intelligence when it comes to words. Don’t give a negative posture or sentences. People will treat you also better if they know you are doing the effort to be helpful.
Online communication traps
Not understanding what the communication goal is
Every communication has a purpose. In customer service, for instance, the goal might be educating the clients. Accept that you will get the same question multiple times and calmly guide people to enlightenment. The agents who get frustrated are humans as any other, but that is not an excuse for not being aware of the job itself.
Mad clients and people are hard to handle. In most of the cases, when they are already mad, they write or say not so pleasant words. In such a situation, it is normal that people act in a defensive way. While defensiveness to criticism is natural, it doesn’t help business. It pulls an agent into an argument about who is right or wrong and no one will get satisfied.
Understanding people’s emotions: that is empathy. Thanks to empathy, people can get into other people shoes and understand why they are upset about something. Additionally, it helps to understand the people’s mood and adapt the communication style to it.
The discussion is not a battlefield. In customer service, there is only one goal to achieve, helping the client. Once again, this situation will start an argument about who is wrong or right, turning it impossible to get to an agreement. The typical and famous sentence “the customer is always right” should be taken into account, even if it makes you swallow your pride.
One task at a time
Listen to the people and then focus on anything else you need to do, either it is writing or searching for some information. Listen carefully to the others to understand and don’t listen to answer. One task at a time helps you focus only on the voice and content of people’s words.1