If you take a moment to think about what you spend most of your time doing, what fills that space? Is it time answering emails? Attending meetings? Creating timelines? Booking staff? Every wedding pro’s answer is likely to be different, but they all likely have one thing in common—communication. Because, at the end of the day, it’s hard to do much of anything without needing to ask or inform another human being when your job is to be a part of a team bringing their expertise to an event and making it happen simultaneously (it really is magic). But, for as much as you spend time communicating with others, it might not be something you actively think about, even though communication impacts nearly everything you do. So today, we wanted to dive into a specific area and talk about the topic of client communication: what it is, when you need strong skills, and how to improve them over time. Ready to level up your communication skills? Read on.
What is client communication?
Client communication really is about more than you think because it is about more than just the emails you send. It’s everything you write, everything you say, and everything your posture and expressions communicate—whether or not you explicitly mean to say something or not. So, it is important to know the mediums you have for communicating with your clients – here are a few things to be aware of.
Written communication – This is an obvious one since it is the one with an actual paper trail. And, there are two things you should look at in addition to the actual words you type: your brand voice and brand tone. Your brand voice is key to having a consistent presentation and personality and your tone influences how it gets interpreted. Pay attention to both in order to come across the way you intend without being misunderstood.
Verbal communication – The important thing to remember when verbally communicating with clients is to follow through on anything you say you are going to do. Take notes and set reminders to keep on top of what you promised in order to build a reputation as someone who is professional, detail oriented, and gets things done.
Non-verbal communication – Whether you call it body language or posturing, the way you physically carry yourself has an impact on your client communication. Do you make strong eye contact? What facial expressions do you make? How much actual space do you take up? Are your arms crossed or not? What you do with your body can conflict with what you are saying, so it is important to understand how to come across as calm, welcoming, and professional.
- Maintain eye contact to tell your clients you are interested in what they are saying
- Don’t stand too close and invade someone else’s space
- Avoid crossing your arms as it makes you look defensive
- Nod your head to show you are actively listening
Pro-tip: Having an authentic style of communication should spill into your brand. Learn how to increase your brand’s authenticity to create a consistent experience for your clients.
When you need to have strong communication skills
We mentioned it earlier and it bears repeating—you are required to communicate something for almost everything you do on a daily basis. But, because we are focusing today’s conversation on client communication, here are a few aspects of your business that require you to have strong skills:
- When marketing your business in order to make a strong impression and demonstrate your understanding of what your couples need
- During the sales process in order to communicate both your value and how you can be the solution to your potential client’s problem
- When needing to establish or reinforce boundaries with kindness
- When you receive an out of scope request and need to say no
- In situations where you need to resolve a conflict
- When you are communicating ideas
Pro-tip: Feel like a cat has got your tongue when it comes to meeting people for the first time? Here are tips to help you start a conversation.
How to improve your communication skills
Like lots of skills that are important for business owners to have, communication skills are something you need to practice (even if you have naturally strong ones). Because, when it comes to communication, the way that is most effective for each client can be different from couple to couple. So, when you find yourself needing extra tools to help you get something across, here are things to think about:
- Use their language to be relatable and get everyone on the same page (read: limit the use of wedding industry jargon)
- Be proactive in getting your clients the information they need
- Be clear and concise (no need to over explain or overwhelm)
- Mind your formatting in order to make things easy to read
- Know when to pick up the phone
- Be aware of how much space you take up in an effort to not make people feel unheard
Thinking about how you can change up your approach to client communication in order to build a better client experience? Good thinking! Be sure to learn more about how focusing on your client experience can also help increase your customer satisfaction here.
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