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“So talk like you really talk.”

November 11, 2010

The title of this post is pulled from another of the bite sized chapters in “Rework” that discusses how we speak to customers. At Kronos, we’ve made an effort to become more “conversational” and less “formal” in our customer communications. I think we’ve done a good job overall, but written business communication is always measured and can be stiff. It’s “customer-speak.” It doesn’t build relationships.

It’s funny how “customer” in the B2B world is seen as some sort of weird hybrid between an “account” and actual human beings. I met many of our human customers this week at our annual “KronosWorks” customer conference. Still, I know much of what came out of my mouth was through a filter, hopefully a minty fresh one. Why is that? I think it’s mostly to avoid:

  • Offending the customer
  • Over-promising what your product or service can do
  • Stating incorrect information
  • Contradicting what a colleague may have told them

I’m doubtful these parse-o-meter conversations build much real relationship between people. Don’t we all have our own BS radar to do some incoming filtering ourselves?

Now in contrast to the surgical mask chats observed during business hours, the scene was quite different at our Hard Rock Café Vegas blowout Tuesday night. We were really talking and laughing and generally carrying on with our customers. One told me my voice sounded like that of a main character in a holiday animated special. No, I’m not telling which one. It was offensive, but in a pretty hilarious way! Of course we all still have to behave appropriately. No one wants to audition for a reality show called, “Intervention – HR Edition.”

I guess my point is the more we “talk like we really talk” with our customers, the better chance we have to build relationships and human trust that really solidifies what we call customer loyalty.

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