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Are you spelling it out clearly enough?

by Alison Bradford

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A recent experience with BT reminded me of why small businesses have the edge over the bigger businesses in terms of customer service.

It also reminded me of the need for communicating clearly, and how frustrating it is when somebody doesn’t spell out for me what I need to do.

Now I’m not an idiot (or so I like to think), but I am very busy with lots going on, just like you, so sometimes a bit of clear, ‘this is what you need to do next, step-by-step’, is what I need.

Your customers are probably looking for this clarity from you too, so how clearly are you spelling out for them how you can help them and what they need to do next?

Here are 2 common mistakes I see that mean your people are not taking the action you want them to take:

1. Giving too many options – trying to offer everything you can, ‘just in case’ simply ends up being confusing and you’ll lose peoples attention. As a general rule of thumb, giving people a choice of 3 options is about right.

I hate it when I go to a restaurant with a massive menu – straight away I feel overwhelmed and confused and it takes me ages to decide what I want. They probably think they are giving the customer more choice but I always prefer a smaller menu as it makes it easier for me to make my decision. (and how can they keep all those different ingredients fresh on a big menu?)

Understand what your customers are looking for and offer them 3 choices that meet their need.

2. Not giving a clear next step – if you want people to comment on a Facebook post, ask them to comment. If someone says they’re interested in working with you, tell them what to do next. If you want your existing customers to refer other people to you, ask them to and tell them how to do it.

Never assume your customers or potential customers know what to do next – they are looking to you to clearly tell them what to do.

Confession time now – I know I’m guilty of not spelling things out clearly enough too, so I’m working on this with you, so free to point it out to me if you catch me being vague or woolly!

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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