20 commandments of quality communication with a client

    Is it possible to answer customer questions before he asks them? Communicate with the client in his own way or in an official tone? How long does it take to answer questions in the mail? How to make a customer happy and constant?

    We got a lot of bumps in search of answers to these questions. The price of an error in communicating with a client is sometimes too high and the rake you are stepping on is sometimes gold. But as a result, we gained invaluable experience and developed a communication strategy with customers, which we want to share now.

    Here is an excerpt from our internal document, which must be studied by every new manager at Alconost . So, the 20 commandments of quality communication with customers:

    General principles

    Quick response. Answer your
    customers' letters quickly, ideally - within one or two hours. If the response to the letter takes time (for example, it takes a long time to consider the amount of text to be translated), you should immediately reply to the client, confirm receipt of the letter and inform the expected time when we will send the answer. For example, “ Thank you, we received the document. We can give a detailed calculation during the day . ”

    client Treat the client as a child who understands little in our work. Remember: what is obvious to us, maybe not at all obvious to the client. Describe in detail every detail, explain each of your actions, try not to use highly specialized terms.

    Communicate with the client as with a friend
    The pathetic official syllable with long complex sentences is bad. This style of communication moves us away from our customers. And it is difficult to perceive. Communicate with clients as with friends over dinner. Simple phrases, short sentences. Case information plus a bit of humor. Without unreasonable familiarity and with respect. Before you say something to the client, think about whether you would say it in that wording to a friend or not.

    How many questions, so many answers
    Clients often in a single letter ask several questions at once. But, unfortunately, few of them draw up questions in the form of a numbered list. We need to do this work for them. Carefully “scan” the client’s letter, isolate all the questions and answer them exactly in the order in which they were asked. Forgetting to answer a question is minus us karma.

    List questions
    If we need to ask a few questions to the client, it is better to arrange them with a numbered list so that it is easier for the client to isolate all the questions and give an answer to each of them.

    What is included When
    describing the cost of a service, take it as a rule to paint everything, everything that is included in it, even very obvious things. For example, the production cost of the video includes the development of a script, voice acting, musical accompaniment.

    Permanent contact
    If the project lasts a long time and the client is no longer participating in it (for example, we sat down for a week and a half to draw graphics), it is important for us not to disappear, but to remind ourselves of the client every 3 days. It is best if these are interim results that we assure the client. But if there are no such results, simple enough “I want to remind you that we are actively working on the graphics of the video, the result will be shown in X days . ” Permanent contact is VERY important.

    Report on the work done
    If the client asks for something to be done in the letter, not only fulfill the request, but also report about it in the reply letter.

    Even if the client allows himself inappropriate statements, we never respond rudely. Instead, you should think about the reason for this behavior of the client and take measures to eliminate it. In dealing with customers, emotions should not take precedence over reason.

    Although each of the managers, translators and video domains has working and non-working hours, clients should not know about it: the whole company has no days off, the service works 24/7, we adapt to the client, and do not adjust the client to ourselves.

    The smell from the kitchen.
    And the client should not be devoted to the details of our work: sick video domains, national holidays with the editor in Spain, snowstorms and blackouts from translators in different parts of the world - all this smell of our kitchen should remain on it, the client shouldn’t needed. The client needs to know only the result: how and when his problem will be solved. Of course, in some cases, you can’t do without explanations, make an individual decision based on your experience and client’s feelings.

    Empathy and WOW

    Do more than you need: earn WOW.
    If you can easily do more than the client asks, we definitely do it. Layout of the translation, a short version of the video, free voice acting of a couple of forgotten lines - all this does not cost us much, but it causes a sincere wow in the heart of the client. The decision on the threshold dividing “we can do it for free” and “it will increase the project budget” is up to you on the basis of common sense, your knowledge of the client and the advice of senior comrades.

    Think for the customer.
    Always try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. “ It seems to me that your product is more suitable for the how-to video ” or “ I would still recommend choosing the Brazilian version of the Portuguese language .” Predict the needs and problems of the client and offer their solution: “You may also need to translate keywords for your page on the App Store ”or“ It seems to me that such a video cannot be used for advertising on Facebook ”.

    One step ahead
    When analyzing a client’s letter, always try to predict his next question and answer him immediately. The profit from this approach is double: the number of letters is reduced, and the client thinks “Wow, these guys have looked into my soul!”. For example: a client asked about the cost of a video, and you answered him immediately about prices, payment methods, and stages of payment.

    Do with the client the way you want other services to do with you.

    Email communication

    Seamless pickup
    If your colleagues forwarded a letter asking them to "pick up a client" - study in detail the entire history of correspondence and pick up a client so that he does not notice that someone else started to conduct his project. Try not to ask unnecessary questions, the answers to which are in the correspondence. If you are sending a letter to a colleague, make sure that the complete comprehensive history leaves with the letter, which will help the colleague seamlessly pick up the client.

    The subject of the letter cannot be changed
    During the correspondence, the subject of the letter cannot be changed. Filtering letters by subject in the mail client, people read the entire history of correspondence. If you change even one character in the subject of the letter, the letter will not fall into this filter and will be lost.
    At the same time, if during the process of correspondence with the client the topic of conversation has changed dramatically - start a new thread of correspondence with your topic. For example, you cannot discuss localization issues in a branch with the topic “finished video”.

    Talking topic
    The topic should be such that in five years you can easily find a thread of correspondence on it.

    Reply to all
    Very often, several recipients simultaneously participate in correspondence. In this case, be sure to respond immediately to all recipients (the reply to all button in the mail client).

    Resume and call to action
    At the end of any letter, summarize the resume and remind you what step you are expecting from the client. Thus, you “guide” the client along the path you need, program his actions as you need, and thereby make his life easier.

    Summary after talking on Skype
    After talking on Skype, be sure to send a letter to the client with a summary of the conversation and the results that you have reached. In this case, the information will remain in the history of correspondence and will not be lost.

    Last word
    Try to keep your letter always the last. Thank you for the fruitful cooperation, wish you success with the project or a good weekend.

    About the author

    Alconost localizes applications, games and sites in 60 languages. Native translators, linguistic testing, cloud platform with API, continuous localization, project managers 24/7, any format of string resources.

    We also make promotional and educational videos.- for sites selling, image-building, advertising, training, teasers, expliners, trailers for Google Play and the App Store.

    Read more: https://alconost.com

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