Thursday, May 13, 2010

Communicating to Our Customers: Drop the Acronyms and Industry Speak!

Did you ever answer a customer's question and receive a very confused
look from them in return?
A few years back a customer asked me why we were out of a particular item.
My answer was, “I know that we “surveyed” that item, but I think it was either “scratched” or on “allocation.”
The customer gave me the same look I gave the young doctor when he told me that my “diastolic” number was fine but he was concerned about my “systolic” number.

The point is we need to communicate to our customers on their terms. Many of us with retail experience use words like “discontinued”, “selector error”, “focus item” “shipper” "drop-ship" ... just to name a few...and acronyms like "OOS" "CSS" "POS" ...what do these mean to our customers? Nothing!

Knowledge of the your business is good, but the ability to successfully communicate and have your customers understand you is excellence!
This presents an unique opportunity to “raise the bar” in customer communications and in conversations with those that may not be related to your specific industry.

1 comment:

Weston Lyon said...

I couldn't agree more! We all need to work on talking to customers and prospects in simple, benefit driven language.

Something I learned a while back is: if you speak too much in your own biz need to spend more time with customers and less time with peers.

Both groups have their own language...we need to speak the appropriate time. Otherwise, it's like speaking Japanese to a Yinzer and vice versa.