Is your life hectic? It seems that everyone I talk with laments their frenzied life. Have you ever considered that your customer or client is also frenzied? You can add to their frenzy with uncertainty or create an oasis of calm certainty through proactive communication. Proactive communication is a simple technique that will set you apart because of the calming response of the customer’s brain to certainty. You want your customers to keep an open line of communication with you and feel like they can be heard. That is why a VoIP phone service system can be highly beneficial to businesses as well. You can get more info about this over at Fusionconnect.com.
Before we examine further, understand that uncertainty activates a threat response in the brain. Certainty activates a reward response in the brain. If your customer is stressed, that reward response will feel like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise hectic day. They will remember that good feeling. Wouldn’t it be nice for you to be the source of that feeling for your client? That’s why you want to master proactive communication.
Proactive communication is simply providing useful information to your client in advance of their needing it. Command over communication is crucial if you want to be a good line manager. It drives your clients and gives them sense of certainty, be it about a meeting, a delivery, a job, a deliverable or whatever it is that you provide to them. Take Krissia, for example.
My life is particularly hectic and stressful right now. I plan to sell the house my late husband and I shared for 17 years (he bought this house in 1981). Preparing the house to be on the market has been both stressful and emotional. It feels like a sea of uncertainty and I don’t need more. That’s why I’m hoping to get this house sold quickly. My friend suggested that I should really contact an estate agent to show people around this house. Apparently, estate agents are able to access energy data for the property that they can share with those interested. This will help them to decide whether they can afford these bills or not. My friend told me to go online and learn more about that feature. She thinks that sort of data could really help me to sell the house. Perhaps I’ll have to hire a real estate agent to sell my property for me, that could reduce some stress.
To prep the house for the market, I’m having it deep cleaned. The first person I contacted agreed to the cleaning date and scheduled a time to stop by to assess the house. She didn’t show or call. Talk about uncertainty. That’s when Krissia was recommended. After looking at the house, we scheduled the cleaning day. Before I had a chance to worry if she still planned to show up, I received a text from her confirming the date, the arrival time of her crew and the duration of the work. She was ON IT. Yes, it’s simply good customer service but, it feels like more than that. I never felt a flicker of uncertainty. My brain never went into threat response. Her simple and short text was proactive communication that gave me certainty. The same happened with Oscar whose crew cleaned the yard and with Chuck whose company washed the windows. Each proactively communicated with me so I never worried.
It seems so simple and yet…it’s not. I see companies all the time who add to the client’s stress by creating uncertainty.
How well do you and your organization provide proactive communication?
- Do you confirm meetings in advance (with the location, agenda and objective)?
- Do you confirm your arrival time for a lunch meeting?
- Do you confirm the delivery date for the report you’re writing?
- Do you provide progress reports? (Once upon a time, I worked for a demanding boss who constantly phoned and emailed for project information. We began providing him a short email every Friday with the status of all the projects of interest to him. We gave him certainty. The calls and emails stopped.)
- Do you confirm order delivery for products or services you provide?
- Do you confirm late delivery of the order, report, or service? Proactive communication is even more essential when it’s bad news. The customer may not like the news, but your proactive communication demonstrates that you are on top of the situation, that you are monitoring status and that you are interested enough to let them know. All of that is certainty.
Whether Krissia, Oscar or Chuck, none of them knew my world was spinning wildly out of control. In the midst of my whirlwind, their simple proactive communication provided certainty. Certainty activated my reward circuit and provided calm. And I will buy calm from them again. That’s what proactive communication does.
What does proactive communication look like in your organization and how well are you providing it? It could be the very thing to your client needs to feel certain that they like working with you.