Poor communication has led to all sorts of problems in contexts of just about every variety. You might think communication would not be a significant problem for your MSP business, yet in some situations, it is a massive hurdle. People often misunderstand others, miscommunicate, fail to listen closely and skim over email text. Some simply assume others are on the same page, but in reality, they really are not.
The failure to properly communicate is especially problematic when it comes to interacting with clients. If you are thinking along certain lines while your clients are on a totally different wavelength, it will create an array of challenges. This is a large part of the reason why communication has been and always will be vitally important to the success of business relationships as well as other relationships.
When in Doubt, Keep It Simple
Nowadays, it seems like everyone wants to be geeky. Computers, glasses and all thing nerd-related are en vogue. However, this does not mean clients are willing to read through an abundance of information, especially if it is laden with jargon just to stay abreast of a project’s status. Do not punish your clients with such boredom! Put a concept directly in front of them in layman’s terms. Once it is fully understood what you are communicating, there is minimal chance for a misunderstanding that has the potential to ruin your business relationship and threaten the bottom line of your MSP business. So keep it simple, and you won’t have to worry about whether the client is on the same page as you and your team.
Provide a Steady Stream of Interactions
Every client deserves to be kept up-to-date on important happenings. Even if you simply provide a status update, it will prove more important than merely letting the client know where a certain project stands. The willingness to regularly reach out to clients shows you value their business and embrace the opportunity to inform them of what is going on. These regular interactions will lay the foundation for a rapport that has the potential to stand the test of time and lead to a lengthy business relationship that proves mutually beneficial.
Do not wait until something goes wrong to reach out to clients. Even if there is no major news to provide, it will still help to touch base with clients. They will appreciate the communication even if it is something like an industry advancement, the debut of a new service, etc.
Use the Phone!
Do not be afraid to pick up the phone. Email can only carry you so far. If you have an urgent concern or question, raise it verbally with a phone call. Reserve email for less urgent questions and concerns. Clients and others will respect your willingness to call and engage in a fluid dialogue. This type of dialogue is much less likely to occur through email or instant messages. The bottom line is picking up the phone is still the fastest and most direct means of communicating aside from face-to-face interactions.
Use Their Language
People are especially receptive to those who use the same lingo as themselves. Consider investing a bit of time to gain a full understanding of your clients’ common lingo and communication preferences. Mix on some of these terms when you are engaging with your clients, and you just might find they warm up to you during interactions. Above all, learning and carefully using clients’ language preferences will make them feel that much more comfortable in your presence.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
You should know how to connect with those who do business and work for your MSP business. Though some people might be a bit annoyed with a steady stream of information, most will be genuinely appreciative of your willingness to share updates and other data. There will undoubtedly be plenty of instances in which co-workers, clients, and others benefit from your willingness to communicate. However, most will be quietly thankful. More importantly, work will prove more efficient and streamlined after you implement the communication tips outlined above.