Client Communication 101: Asking Questions to Get Quality Answers

             

Even if you don't do business internationally, you probably still have days where you and your clients seem to speak different languages. When communication is difficult, asking questions can help reinforce your understanding of a situation and increase client confidence. But how do you pull off this aspect of client communication? Here are five client communication skills that will be sure to help you ask the questions you need to get the answers you're looking for:
 
 Keep the question brief. Great detail may be warranted as you explain the context of the question or possible solutions to the issue, but the question itself should be no more than a sentence – and a concise sentence at that. "How do you want to proceed?" and "Is there anything else we should know?" are prime examples.
 
Don't artificially restrict the options. If you've ever dealt with an automated telephone menu that doesn't have any option for the action you want to take, you know how annoying restricted option sets can be. Avoid phrasing things like "Do you want X or Y?" unless X and Y really are the only options available.

       I.Don't ask leading questions. "Do you have a good reason not to invest?" is a question designed for persuasion, not understanding. A better way to phrase that would be "What are the pros and cons of investment?" When your client communication is about increasing understanding, be careful not to encode the answer you want to see into the question you ask.

    II. Ask follow-up questions. Analyze your client's answers and ask brief, open-ended, non-leading questions to clarify any details that still aren't 100 percent clear.

  III. Don't dominate the conversation. Provide the information your client needs to know to answer your questions well, but remember the conversation is happening so that you can become informed.
 
These client communication skills are important to remember when you're in need of some quality answers. To improve your client communication skills, don’t forget to read other Hurley Write blogs or take a look at the courses we offer!

 

Image via Shutterstock.com

 
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