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Forget All the Company Jargon: Communication and Customer Service

It is no great surprise that all industries have their share of technical language, terminology and shorthand ways of speaking that those who have been working in the field for decades are intimately familiar with.  However, except in the unlikely circumstance where your customers are experts with a similar amount of experience in your field, there is a good chance that communicating in the terms that you’re familiar with is going to leave your customers bewildered, baffled, and ultimately frustrated.

There are several reasons that you don’t want to speak to your customers in the type of jargon that might be commonplace with industry insiders in your field. First, good customer service, and good sales for that matter, is built upon making your customers feel like they belong. You want them to feel like they’re part of the family, so to speak. However, if you talk to them in the code understood by industry insiders, you have to remember that it is your industry, not theirs, in most cases.

What may seem like a short and abbreviated way of communicating to you and your colleagues may actually be overwhelming and confusing to your customers. Instead, if you’re going to rely on any technical lingo, you may want to learn the insider terms used in your clients’ and customers’ industries. If you can communicate in language specific to their lines of business, it may make your clients feel like you belong to their unique group, something that can help forge the kind of trust and bond that is critical when trying to make sales.

Another consideration is the price of misunderstandings that can arise when using highly technical or industry specific language. No person wishes to be perceived as ignorant. However, when you speak in terms that are very industry or product-specific, you run the risk of being misunderstood. Because people don’t wish to be perceived as not understanding what you’re talking about, they may agree with you or concede to things without understanding what they are agreeing to.

This type of misunderstanding can lead to extremely upset customers. In certain industries, especially high-pressure, high-stakes field such as finance and law, these types of misunderstandings can have extremely serious consequences. If a customer’s business is negatively affected by this type of misunderstanding, you can all but guarantee that you won’t be getting their return business.

The good news is that this situation is completely avoidable. Take the time to explain things to your customers in simple, layman’s language that anyone could understand. That way, you avoid miscommunication and alienating customers and instead help them always be aware of exactly what they are requesting from or being offered by your organization.

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