We’ve all done it. We’ve used acronyms and terms that are specific to our world. Be it financial, medical, industrial – we all have acronyms or terms that are commonly used in our daily operations that just don’t make sense to our customers. When we use these terms in conversations with our customers, their satisfaction level immediately drops.
Think about it – If your medical office staff calls you up to say “You need to have a CBC and a lipid profile. We’ll ask the lab to send the results stat.” What feelings are generated inside of you? You feel some trepidation and confusion. You don’t know what those terms mean necessarily. “Stat” does seem important though because we’ve heard it on all of the medical dramas on television. Now, uncertainty builds up within you, possibly even some fear.
It’s important to remember that the highest need your customers, and patients, have is that of certainty. They need to feel that they have the information necessary to be an equal partner in your relationship with them. Your customer service skills are essential at this point.
To alleviate all of the uncertain emotions in your customers, increase the communication and speak in explanatory terms that your customers understand. Consider the same message above conveyed in layman’s terms – ” You need to have a CBC – which is a “complete blood count”- and a Lipid profile, which measures your cholesterol levels. We’ll ask the lab to send the results to us right away.”
Now the patient has been told what tests they are having and what is being measured. They are now in a position to ask relevant questions.
These same principles hold true in other industries as well. For example, when I have my car repaired, it’s unsettling to me when I hear that certain parts need repair that I didn’t even know existed. My mechanic does an excellent job of explaining this to me. “Mrs. Evey, your rotor needs to be replaced. It’s the machinery that spins and helps each of your spark plugs fire.” He has given me enough information to know what the rotor does so that I can ask relevant questions.
In all of our professions, customers usually enter into our worlds on “as needed” basis. It’s important that we clearly communicate with them and educate them in the process. When we have educated our customers, we have now built some rapport and have begun establishing a relationship. The relationships that we build with our customers are essential, especially today, for the sustainability of our businesses.
Take a some time to review any jargon or terms in your business that you use on a daily basis. Determine how best to convey these terms in a way that your customers can easily process and understand them. Your customers will thank you for it.