Have you ever cringed when you read over an email that was sent to your client by one of your employees? Yeah? Well join the club! Hahaaa!
Yes, this a challenge that comes across my desk on a weekly basis as I work through these brand refinements with Design Firms around the world. The big question is how to infuse that Lux Touch into all points of contact with clientele. I help companies rebrand and up-level the the type of clientele they are attracting, but that is only part of the equation. If you’ve been in business long enough and had a team, you know better than anyone, communicating that refined brand ‘through’ your employees can be a challenge.
I was coaching a business owner the other day on polishing up how her employees communicate with their clientele. I want to share one of the points I made, as I think everyone here could benefit from it. It’s about communication style. Obviously a lot goes into that communication and writing style and hiring people with more sophisticated backgrounds can certainly help in this regard. That being said, there are a few easy tips that everyone in your office can incorporate that tend to smooth out most rough edges quite nicely. Are you ready for them? Here they are:
3 LUXURY COMMUNICATION STYLE TIPS:
ALWAYS start and end each exchange dialogue / email / letter with either a congratulations, a thank you or a good wish.
Eliminate the use self-referral words “ME” and “MY” and reduce the word “I”.
Eliminate the use of “YOU” when the topic is negative or awkward.
These 3 simple rules will improve the quality of communication coming out of your office and impact your business significantly. These rules change interactions like this:
Our records show that you have not paid your last invoice. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.
To a more polished exchange like this:
I hope this finds you well. This is just a gentle reminder. Our records show that the last invoice sent has a remaining balance. Please bring the account up to date at your earliest convenience.
Thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you in the office again soon.”
Hear the difference? What it does is add grace and appreciation to the beginning and end of the exchange. Also, by avoiding self-referral and associating “You” with something negative, we are more likely to address the topic more directly, objectifying it rather than making it about you or me. This is especially helpful in those awkward conversations. A great technique for you to use during employee reviews as well.
For instance, the simple example above was about a past due invoice. Instead of making it about “YOU’ not paying, we made it about the invoice having a remaining balance. It is a subtle shift, but there is no implied blame when we simply remove the YOU from the sentence, and that always feels better.
These 3 guidelines are also a very straight-forward and tangible way to help your team to refine their exchanges with your clients. Since we can’t review every email or voice mail, it’s nice to be able to provide them with some tools to help them represent your firm well.
I try to incorporate this into my communication style and what I’ve found is that these 3 rules often force me to re-frame the message and restructure the sentence. The result is generally a little more gracious and that is always a good thing.
Thanks so much for visiting me here! Have a wonderful holiday weekend and I’ll see you next week! (See, I just did it!)
You are amazing,