To connect with your customers, it is tremendously important to speak their language. Here, we don’t mean language like what you studied in high school — we mean direct customer communication that is easily understood, without cumbersome jargon. When it comes to a brand’s success, there might not be two more necessary ingredients than communication and customer service.

Many Americans think in English. CFO’s think in terms of numbers. CEO’s speak ROI. IT professionals think in bits and bytes. Everyone has a language they think in — are you speaking your customers’ language? See how you might better do so in the tips below:

When Speaking Your Customers’ Language, Context Matters

Speaking your customers’ language means different things depending on the context. It means not talking about “synergy” and “best practice” when the customer is talking about “metrics” and “ROI.” It means using the right keywords online so you can be found in search. It means not bombarding your customers with a lot of industry speak in an attempt to look smart.

As an organization, direct customer communication can get lost in a sea of buzzwords or crash on the rocks of technical jargon. We often become so familiar with our products and services that we lose touch with the laymen’s terms that our customers are using. When you take your car to the mechanic, he may be talking about bearings and tie rods, but all you want is for the car to stop making that infernal clunking noise.

Communication and Customer Service Go Hand in Hand

Remember, you will earn the trust of your customers when you can communicate with them the same way that they communicate with each other. Not sure how to speak your customers’ language? The first step is easy: just to listen to them! Your customers are talking about their challenges and problems — are you listening to them? Value communication and customer service and you immediately set yourself up for success.

Listen to Your Customers and Followers on Social Media

Phone calls and emails are one receptacle for customer questions, but be sure to also listen to your customers on social media. (And while ensuring this, make sure you have a strong social media strategy.) Today, social media allows for immediate and direct customer communication

Ask your sales people — they work with your customers all the time and should be able to give you a sense of your customers’ priorities and how they describe them. Also, you can always ask your customers. Use surveys or focus groups to gain insights on speaking your customers’ language.

Stay Up to Date

Read industry publications and blogs and look for recurring words and phrases. Go to customers’ industry events and listen to how companies there describe challenging situations and make your communication fit those needs. Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your customers’ business and monitor the discussions.

Reaching your customers where they are is only half the battle: once you’re there, you have to speak their language too.

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