Archives for posts with tag: communication

working day in office. two businessmen at work.

Professionalism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” While many professional characteristics are unique to the industry in which they apply, some cover all professionals. Check out our short list of qualities below that outline what it means to pursue professionalism:

Build your Personal Brand

What makes you, you? Are you a go-getter who always takes the extra step, or perhaps the dependable coordinator of all things process improvement? Whatever your personal brand is, build this into a recognizable reflection of who you are – thereby establishing your reputation and identity as a business person. Become known for your positivity or forward-thinking – in the long haul, you’ll open up opportunities for yourself for different projects or even a promotion!

Dress for Success

Cliché, I know. But one thing that’s not cliché – a first impression. When meeting someone for the first time, there’s quite a bit to be taken from personal appearance. Paint yourself in a positive light! If you show up to a business meeting in tennis shoes and well-worn jeans, odds are that you might lose that big project to the business professional in a pant suit. When presenting, a common rule is to dress a level above your audience. Pack up those old painting jeans and trade them in for a new suit!

Komm. Comun. Communikation.

Grabs your attention, doesn’t it? A pet peeve of self-proclaimed grammar nerds across the globe, spelling, punctuation, and grammar issues occasionally make a dreaded appearance in professional communication. As with any communication, whether it’s a personal email or company press release, communication is marketing. Every email, every phone call, and every interaction builds an image of you. With this comes an important role: protecting and building your company’s image. When communicating, make sure to be effective, persuasive, and clear. When in doubt, use the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why (and How)!

Know a thing or two about what it means to be a professional? Share your tips with us below!

As you know, customers are the most valuable asset to your business, so it is important to invest in keeping them happy. Did you know that each unhappy customer will tell an average of ten potential customers about their dissatisfaction? That’s a staggering thought. There’s a lot more at stake than you may realize when a customer becomes upset. You have to consider the potential loss of their future business in addition to the cost of potential new customers. On average, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain satisfied customers. Now, that’s not to say we don’t need new customers. But what if we balance the satisfaction of our current customers in addition to acquiring new ones?

Next time you are faced with an opportunity, here are 6 steps that will help demonstrate your commitment to the customer:

1 – Listen. Especially in Customer Support, it’s in our nature to want to solve the problem right away. But by listening first, you might hear something differently than you first assumed. Be an active listener. Take notes and summarize what you heard to ensure you completely understand the matter at hand.

2 – Remain calm. Emotions can run high, especially in the heat of the moment. Remind yourself that you are here to help, and remove your emotions from the situation.

3 – Don’t take it personally. When an individual is frustrated, it may feel like it is being directed at you.  Remind yourself that it he or she is frustrated with the situation and not you personally.

4 – Provide regular updates. Nothing is worse than the waiting game. Even if you don’t have all of the answers, keep the customer updated on the steps you’re taking to resolve the issue so they will understand it is important to you and to the company.

5 – Pick up the phone.  In today’s email and social networking world, a message can be interpreted many different ways. To avoid miscommunication, pick up the phone and have a conversation.

6 – Find a solution and follow-up. Most importantly, provide a resolution and follow up with the customer to close the loop and ensure they feel the situation has been resolved.

HON’s Customer Support members live by these steps. We understand the opportunity to not only help our customers, but to also demonstrate our loyalty and commitment to them.  What additional best practices do you follow?

Communication is important in any environment, and is especially important in the workplace.  Miscommunication can result in low employee morale and motivation, decreased productivity, and increased employee conflicts.  As simple as communication may seem, it is not always easy to communicate at work. It is important to choose your words wisely, listen intently, and verify that you are understood.

Here are a few simple tips you can use to be a more effective communicator:

1. Don’t just hear—Listen.  This includes paying attention to body language if you are speaking to someone in person.  When a coworker approaches your desk, make sure you fully focus your attention on him or her.  If you do not have the time to do so, offer to schedule time to meet with the person later.

2. Be comfortable with resolving conflict.  No matter how well employees get along, there is always a chance that people will disagree. If you are a manager or leader in your office, help create an environment that allows your employees or teammates to discuss potential issues, and find a way to resolve them. Be sure that any conflict resolution focuses on the problem and not the personalities involved.

3. Be open to constructive criticism or feedback and be prepared to give it in return. Be appreciative of feedback that you receive, and make necessary changes to drive improved performance.

4. Use language that is easily understood to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.  Make sure you are aware of any cultural communication differences.

5. Follow correct grammatical guidelines and use spell check.  This is key, especially if you are communicating with customers or people outside of your business.

6. If you are conversing over email and have questions, speak to the customer or fellow employee in person or give them a call.  Although emails are a quick and easy way to communicate, they can also be misunderstood at times. Never be afraid to verify!

7. Always be aware of your audience and setting.  Make sure you consider what is appropriate to discuss in a workplace environment, with your coworkers outside of work, or on social media.

Remember, effective communication is key to the continued success of any company. Set clear guidelines around workplace communication, and ensure all of your employees or teammates understand them. This will only improve the overall effectiveness of the company or department.

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