A Human Approach

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Aha! Moment Monday

I was on the phone with our telecommunications and internet provider to see if we could negotiate a better bundle deal by incorporating our services differently.  The customer care person to where my call was forwarded identified himself as Ronnie.

As we began this discovery process Ronnie gathered information as to what we had and what we were looking to accomplish, then thanked me for doing business with them.  He then asked if it was okay that he conducted additional research with his colleagues to “…help you get the best scenario so you’ll like us even better.”

I’m not sure if that line was part of the training program or was Ronnie taking it upon himself to enhance our feeling toward the brand; either way he achieved it within the first 30 seconds of our call.

Ronnie – or the company he represents – clearly understood that while we were talking business-to-business, it was I, the president of the firm – more importantly, a real person – who was in charge of making that purchasing decision.  Appealing to a sense of partnership – he had my back and was proud of it – in respectful, relaxed language he gave me a new level of comfort as we embarked on the negotiation of this new package.

Perhaps it’s because of being in the communication business, I recognize and appreciate people who offer clear transmission of thought – with proper grammar and sentence structure – and use actual descriptive words beyond “awesome” or “lovely”.  But Ronnie did something differently.  He shared enthusiasm for my business and a desire to achieve even better results with our next step with one simple phrase “…so you will like us even better.”

Aha! ~ Don’t be a robot

On one side of “decorum” is being “too casual”, which often times is rushed communication with short forms and errors (in some circles is tolerated as long as it gets the message across).  On the other side, is the communication that delivers perfectly stated facts but with no emotion or attempt at engagement.  I call this style “indifference”.  It’s official, cold and belongs only in contracts.

If customers, colleagues, associates and stakeholders matter to your business (rhetorical) then injecting a hint of emotion into day-to-day communication – enthusiasm, anticipation, appreciation, empathy, support – is essential to deepen your connection.

Be brave.  Change up that “out of office” subject line to something more personal and relevant as to why you’re away.  Dump stock phrases that bring nothing but a yawn.  Let your gratitude shine.

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”          ~ Buddha


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