From the Academic world to the workplace – Communication – Part 2

These tips will make your emergence into the world of work more comfortable and make you more confident in tackling issues that will inevitably arise.  For example, dealing with customer complaints or attending meetings with senior colleagues and important clients, will initially, take you out of your comfort zone.

  1. Answer phones professionally.  Ask what the correct greeting is and learn how the switchboard operates.  That way you can be confident of not cutting important clients off!
  2. Acknowledge all letters, faxes and e-mails form colleagues or customers.  This way people know you have received them and there is less uncertainty.
  3. Forward messages and correspondence to the relevant person if you are not the individual dealing directly with the matter.  Everyone dislikes having to repeat requests for information so ensure messages are passed on quickly and accurately.
  4. Write or e-mail to a customer after a phone call where important decisions were made or changes agreed.  This way there can be no misunderstandings as to what has been decided upon.
  5. Call your colleagues or customers as soon as possible if it becomes apparent you are not going to meet an agreed deadline.  They will acknowledge that you are thinking of them and they will not see this as a let down.
  6. Return calls and reply to correspondence as quickly as possible.  Business today expects a speedy response.
  7. Avoid using the ubiquitous e-mail all the time.  Call people or even visit them on occasion as there is nothing more effective than communicating face to face, particularly with important clients.
  8. Never abuse your e-mail privileges at work.  Ask what the company policy is with regard to sending and receiving personal e-mails.  Abuse of e-mail is usually a sackable offence – so check first!  This also applies to phone calls.
  9. Follow up.  If you meet people at events, have an interest in your products or services, ask permission to contact them.  If they do not respond within a reasonable period of time, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To many people feel like this…stand out from the crowd.
  10. Keep in touch.  If you have not heard from a customer for a few months, contact them to let them know of any new service you can offer them…you never know!

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