In her article regarding the effective communication in customer service, Leigh Richards states, “effective communication is a critical component of customer service for small organizations. In dealing with customers, communication is essential, whether it is face-to-face, over the phone, via email or, increasingly, through online channels.” This can be clearly proved by the success of the company which Michael Cho works for. E-mail communication goes in line with all traditional means of communication and even substituted lots of them. In working with customers e-mail communication is effective and inevitable. Michael, Sales and Inventory Manager in Origin Organic Farms Inc., agrees that e-mail communication with customers as well as real one should be maintained equally in order to ensure proper working environment and to gain clients. Along with this, interaction with consumers, body language, friendly manner and clear communication are also important for building good and stable relationship with clients.
When speaking with Michael, I asked him to answer a few questions regarding different aspects of his work. The conversation was friendly and the interlocutor really helped to get all the necessary information. Speaking about his company, Michael described the main idea of the business. It is clear that Michael likes what he does and has commitment to this company. Moreover, Michael has very inviting manner of communication via e-mails. It is clear that he is well-experienced in communicating with people. His answers were short but explicit and clear at the same time.
The first question was about the company, his position and customer segment. Michael avoided talking about himself by stating the name of his position alone. Instead he described the company to the best of his ability, making me interested in its products. “Our goal is to exceed the customer’s expectation and produce high quality, great tasting organic tomatoes, cucumbers, color bell peppers in the North American market,” states Michael. He also mentioned the target auditory of the company in terms of their age and turned my attention why they choose organic products: “the consumers believe in healthy lifestyle by eating organic products which lowers the risk of other health condition.” The message was clearly about the company’s commitment to the healthy eating lifestyle. Answering the third question, Michael also pointed out at environmentally friendly technologies and methods they use in order to make the products as healthy as possible.
The idea of the second question was to find out more about factors of building good relationship with customers. Michael stated that every consumer must be heard whatever message he or she has. Interaction with people is important, thus reading or listening to feedbacks and improving drawbacks by reviewing complaints are necessary if the aim is to gain more clients. Answering the fourth question about the “customer service”, Michael emphasized its importance for every industry: “good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner.” Such kind of customer’s support makes up the gap between the producer and/or seller, and the consumer. The communication between them is crucial for making business successful.
The fifth question referred to customer service in the Origin Organic Farms. Michael believes that they have good customer service because the level of interaction with clients is high. By communicating with them, professionals from the company work on the satisfaction of the clients’ needs and try to respond to each problem that appears as soon as possible. A great deal of such communication is done via emails and other kinds of electronic correspondence. Answering the sixth question, Michael emphasized that customer service cannot exist without good communication skills. The relation between them is obvious. Staff should demonstrate their knowledge about the product as well as their ability to communicate. Body language, clear communication, charisma, and approach to people are important and should be taken into account. Gregory Ciotti in his article stated that “you need to be cautious about how some of your communication habits translate to customers, and it’s best to err on the side of caution whenever you find yourself questioning a situation.”
The last question was about Michael’s opinion about this interview. As a man who has experience of working and communicating with a lot of people day by day, Michael can provide a competent assessment of our email communication. In his reply he emphasized on our phone conversation: “throughout our phone conversation you give out a good vibe which is an essential skills for customer service.” This is why I decided to ask him to write in more details. However, he again spoke more on our phone conversation rather than our email correspondence. His advice was “just keep it plain and simple.”
In the present case, there were 7 questions dispatched in an email to my friend what, I believe, was more time-effective rather than asking him directly over the phone. The correspondence was short, but I received all answers and feedback on my style of writing emails. Michael supported the idea that there is an obvious strong connection between communication skills and success at work. People should develop such skills because the manner they choose to approach a counterpart either directly or via electronic means can affect the image of the company. Moreover, email communication as well as other forms should be as plain and simple as possible. Obtrusive sentence constructions and vocabulary words does not work. Michael avoided talking about himself but every possible time emphasized on the mission of its company. However, this did not sound busily.
I think that email communication will become even more popular with the passing of the time. Nowadays people prefer text rather than speak and companies and organizations have taken it into account already. The paper demonstrates that email form can be very effective, however it depends on the situation. In some cases phone conversation or personal interview cannot be substituted by any electronic means.
Ciotti, Gregory. “15 Customer Service Skills that Every Employee Needs.” HelpScout 20 Feb. 2013. http://www.helpscout.net/blog/customer-service-skills/
Richards, Leigh. “Effective Communication in Customer Service.” Chron: Small Business n.d. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-communication-customer-service-4806.html