As a business, it’s important to maintain a degree of professionalism throughout all of your client communications, be that through email, telephone, mobile or face to face. A lack of communicative professionalism can lose business potential clients and gain them a negative brand reputation. Thankfully remaining professional throughout all of your client communications can usually be grouped together into 4 key areas, your email, your office phone, your mobile phone and face to face.
1. Maintaining professionalism through email
Email is perhaps the easiest form of communication to get right but also one of the easiest to get wrong. Always proofread your emails before pressing send to check for any spelling errors which can look unprofessional and always check the recipient of the email to ensure that it is going to the person it is intended for. One of the biggest errors that a company can make when communicating through email is to forward on or copy someone into an email thread in which some of the information earlier on in the thread was not intended for them. It’s good practice to remain professional in both internal and external emails to limit the potential damage caused should this accidentally happen.
2. Maintaining professionalism through the office phone
Whether you are a one-man-band with a phone on your desk or you have a larger team with a dedicated person to answer your phone, it’s vital that whoever does so answers clearly and consistently regardless of the number of cold-calls you may receive. Always answer the phone with a polite greeting such as ‘good morning, or good afternoon’ followed by the name of your company and the name of the person speaking, before asking the caller how you can help. As you grow it’s also a good idea to upgrade your phone system to one designed for business use such as www.thinkvoipservices.com, this can help you link incoming sales phone calls to your CRM system and save important incoming numbers.
3. Maintaining professionalism through your mobile
Mobile is becoming a more widely accepted form of client communication, especially between clients and their account managers and although it can be very useful for handling calls on the go, it should be properly managed to keep it professional. Where possible always have a separate dedicated business mobile, this will allow you to clearly distinguish which calls are business and which are personal so that you can adjust your tone and greetings accordingly. You will also want to ensure that you have set a formal answerphone message for instances where you may be unavailable or your phone is switched off, this should be clear and set out your working hours or how else you may be contacted.
4. Maintaining professionalism through face to face contact
Maintaining professional communications when face to face with clients starts with correct body language. Look the person you are speaking to in the eye and if sitting, try not to slouch in your chair or cross your arms across your chest as this can come across as though you are uninterested. Always remember to listen to the client and not to interrupt or rush them to get your point across. Keep language-neutral and do not cuss even if the client does so, remember you are the face of your business. Finally, if networking at an event where alcohol is being served, remember that you are working and do not over-consume as this could cause you to say something you may not have said if you were sober.