When you work in a particular industry, you are probably exposed to the jargon of the field every single day. Words get abbreviated and technical terms become a part of your everyday language.
However, customers do not have the same exposure to that technical jargon every day. When words that they do not understand are used to explain issues or policies, customers become frustrated and even angry.
Thankfully, we have tips to help you teach your staff how to communicate with customers without using the techno-jargon that can become such a source of frustration today.
Define the Techno-Terms
Before you can train staff to avoid technical terminology, they need to understand which words and terms fall into that category. Your employees may spend so much time throwing around techno-jargon that they may not realize they are doing so.
At your next staff meeting, take some time to brainstorm a list of terms your customers may not be familiar with. It may be technical product names, the process involved with ordering the product, or terms describing the transaction process. See how many words you can list on a white board in fifteen minutes.
Analyze the Terms
Once you have a hefty list, you can begin analyzing the words to determine whether customers would understand the terms as they are listed, or if they need to be revised into easier terms to understand.
Keep in mind that your list probably will not be complete, but that is perfectly fine. The idea is to get your staff thinking about the words they use every day and how those terms might sound to customers. Make a second list of the words you think should be revised when communicating messages to customers.
From your revised list, begin analyzing each term and finding new ways to say them that the customer will more easily understand. In some cases, it might be simply a matter of shortening the term to eliminate possibly confusing words. Other times, it might involve eliminating an abbreviation to refer to the product or document by its full name.
For example, instead of calling a document an "EDA," refer to the paper as the "authorization for electronic debits." It takes a bit more time, but your customer knows exactly what you are referring to and does not get frustrated by the process.
Apply the Lesson
Drive the point home by beginning your meeting using terms your staff has never heard before. Give them an instruction using techno-jargon they are not familiar with and then ask if they are ready to begin. See how many willingly ask for clarification of your instructions.
Explain that customers feel the same way when policies or procedures are described to them in this fashion. Thus, it is important for customers to understand what your customer service representatives are talking about the first time around.
By eliminating techno-jargon from your communication with customers, you eliminate the potential for frustration from the beginning of the transaction. When your staff understands the importance of positive communication, they will be more likely to satisfy customers on the very first try.
- Meredith Estep