In this day and age, our clients rely on us more than ever before and have much larger demands. After all, we’re the IT people, the experts. We must provide a one-stop shop for all of our clients. If the customer has technical knowledge, we are not needed. Not only do we have to have technical skills, but also the ability to communicate effectively internally and externally with our customers. Why do we have to have good communication skills in our arsenal? We do not enter the IT to solve problems with customer service. The reality in today’s IT market is that not only are the latest technological advances expected, but we also need to be able to clearly communicate 5 “W’s” to our customers to understand that we are not just discussing their concerns. but to give them the feeling of having added value. Let’s face it, although we all have different skills and talents, the results are ultimately the same as any developer’s.
What sets one IT company apart from another is in the how we present the information to the client, and if they feel that the benefit they’re receiving is worth writing our paycheck. Delivering results is no longer what impresses a client, anyone can do that, it’s the expectation, not a luxury.
This article will reveal several tips that are incredibly easy to implement and will not only earn a client’s business but retain it throughout the years. With little to no expense, you can wow your clients and cut down on unnecessary time spent making corrections.
We hope you enjoy these tips and will consider implementing them into your daily routine to make a positive impact.
How does this affect me?
If you’re not getting great reviews from your clients and repeat business, something’s getting lost in translation.
A Harris Poll of hiring managers shows that 77 percent of employers consider soft skills to be as important as technical skills.
Now that we’ve properly identified the issues it’s time to find a solution. What skills exactly are we needing to work on?
It’s no secret that IT professionals embrace jargon. After all speaking in “code” keeps us relevant and makes us sound intelligent. The problem is that we sometimes forget that we need to put away the jargon. Translate the information into “plain” language. If this seems to be quite a challenge, consider re-evaluating the information as if you were going to teach it to a high school or junior college class. Check for understanding. Ask your client if he or she is following what you’re saying. Another great way to check for understanding is to ask the client what he or she thinks or how it sounds so far. This tip will go a long way. If they don’t understand, they’ll most likely tell you, after all, they’re paying you a generous fee for your services, not to hear the alphabet in incorrect order. “The people who will thrive are the strong technologists who are capable of translating their expertise into terms that nontechnical people can understand.” -Ben Gaucherin, Harvard University.
Role play meetings and presentations with co-workers
You wouldn’t state that a project was complete without testing it, right? It’s a great idea to do a “dry run” with co-workers or even your family if permitted. Have them ask questions you may anticipate, or if they have any questions. Choose the most brutally honest co-worker to throw you some questions or concerns, also ask them what they liked about the presentation.
Take a public speaking class and join a meetup group
Chances are you’re not the only person that is interested in personal and professional growth. Classes and groups provide a great opportunity to brainstorm with other professionals groups will often provide you with a wealth of networking opportunities and are localized and even specialized, so you can discuss any matters relevant to the area you work in.
Keep your skills sharp
We’ve established that communication can be a problem in the IT world. Communicating outdated information ineffectively can only lead to impending doom. Be certain to stay ahead of the curve to avoid the pitfall(s) of being (or becoming) irreverent.
Your call to action
Effective communication at work is very important to success. Communication success between customers who choose to be valuable permanent customers or continue to ride the price wave; give their loyalty to the lowest bid. Consumers have a much greater advantage today than they did a few years ago. They not only expect quantity but also quality. You can expect the same thing when you sit on the same boat. Taking simple measures to improve communication not only brings direct benefits to the quality of the work done, but also to the quantity. The productivity factor is likely to increase as problems caused by misunderstandings do not need to be addressed. Your customer will not only be happy, but you will also make the business climate and income distribution happier