Learn to Speak the Customer’s Language

“It takes more than language to attract customers.” – Louise Lee

To speak the customer’s language is not about learning many different languages in addition to the well-understood English language. To speak the customer’s language means that a company is able to convey its proposals, vision, goals and customer service ideals to its customers in a way that they understand. The understanding must come without much effort, be without ambiguity and also be instant. Amongst the basic ideas of customer service, is that customer effort is reduced and time is saved when doing business with a company and for customer’s to know that your service and offerings are truly outstanding, you would need to speak the customer’s language. Your company’s best marketing efforts and most eloquent sales presentations would fall flat and be unimpressive to customers if you use industry and company jargon, words that don’t make sense to the customer and these are not customized because your company was not listening to its customers.

Many a time the best written and well-articulated business plan and proposal would meet a sorry fate because the customer is unable to identify with it. The language used about the products, strategies and service would seem like one that was ‘invented’ by your company and completely unintelligent to the customer. To speak the customer’s language, ensure that whatever is being conveyed to them clearly shows value and is elucidated in a way that the customer is able to understand it even if they do not have the same background and or are no experts in the area of the company’s operations. What your company considers valuable and value-added may not necessarily be the same for the customer if you do not speak the customer’s language.

Having a hold on and being able to speak the customer’s language is gaining even more significance now. We have recently discussed about how companies must care for their global customers as well as they care for the customers in their country and region. With such a large customer base that is much smarter and has more knowledge and access to information, a variety of products, daily updated technology, a plethora of new concepts and the ever increasing number of competitors – it would be highly foolish and detrimental to alienate customers in any manner and one of the sure shot ways to turn them away is to not speak the customer’s language. When a company uses words, ideas and technology that the customer cannot grasp, what they are actually doing is making the customer appear dumb and are also putting up barricades in a strong and smooth relationship.

We discussed earlier that it is a good idea for any company to invest in competitor profiling. However, when doing so it must be clearly understood that what works for competition and their customers, may not necessarily be appropriate for them and the customers. Blindly copying what someone else is doing is a sure recipe for disaster. Company trends, specialized terminology, abbreviations and synonyms and other such content used within your company or industry, would have little or no meaning for your customers and hence they would lose interest and trust in your company. The basis of any business relationship is that both parties involved must benefit from it. The customers must see a positive impact on their business and companies must gain profits and reputation from the association. However, if a company does not take time and make the effort to understand its customers, know their pain areas and what they like, the offerings would end up being completely useless for the customers since it they would not speak the customer’s language or capture the very essence of the customer’s expectations. Such proposals, offerings and service are of no value to the customer as they do not communicate and portray any concern, care and understanding of the people who will ultimately use them. To speak the customer’s language would mean that even if the customer’s native mother tongue is different, your company is still able to communicate with them and through customer service, product quality and delivering on promises you are able to show them that they are valuable. It does not hurt though, to learn some basics of your customer’s native language – this will further the cause of your company and make it easier for the customer to see that your company cares for them and their business. Putting in this effort and having such dedication to customers, is what differentiates one company from the next.

Customers need to know that your company cares and that it will stand by them when they need – and no particular language is required in order to convey this to your customers. For them to know that you understand and speak the customer’s language, all your company requires is to make them feel comfortable, instil trust, deliver on promises and give them memorable customer experiences each time they interact with your company. When people become customers, very often there is also an emotional angle to it. Companies that claim to speak the customer’s language, should be able to gauge this emotional need and address it proactively, even before the customer has opportunity to display it. Being able to speak the customer’s language goes beyond words and is about understanding what the customer is trying to convey by means of body language, tone and pitch of voice and the responses they provide through the number of channels available. It is the responsibility of the company and its representatives to latch on to these non-verbal communication methods and gain insights into the customer’s needs, thinking patterns and also predict future behaviour.

If a company does not take the time to decipher the customer’s feelings, needs and expectations, sooner or later the customers will lose interest. For a company to have the optimum positive impact on customers they must be able to speak the customer’s language – since clearly it is not the need or duty of customers to understand the company they are investing in. To remain successful is all about pleasing the customer and keeping them engaged through any means possible.

Whatever a company offers, its brand and services – all must resonate with commitment to quality and top class service. To speak the customer’s language means doing whatever it takes to protect their own reputation by complementing it with customer service, products and pricing that no one else can match or beat. Often the differentiation and uniqueness of a company comes about by paying close attention to the entire gamut of customer service that ranges with swift service and delivery to offering advice and information to their customers that over and above the actual business relationship. When your company can win the trust and dependence of a customer, you would know that your company has begun to speak the customer’s language.

The key to showing customers what your company can do is in being consistent. Your offerings, service and even communication must reflect elegance, perfection and an unrelenting desire to keep the customer’s business and also to keep them happy and loyal. Your company would make it easy for them to do business, make it convenient for them to connect and the website and social media sites would be easy to navigate and use the services online. All this may seem like a lot of hard work – it is – but the payoffs and advantages are huge. When you speak the customer’s language they will find your company relevant and accommodating and will be sure to recommend it to others, thereby gaining additional business along with the existing business.

Learn about a new approach to better customer service!

Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree