HOW TO COMMUNICATE MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH CLIENTS June 20, 2023 | Marketing , Business Tips | client satisfaction , entrepreneur , inspection industry By Kimberly Stevens, Marketing & Business Coach Running a successful service-based business requires a significant amount of technical skill and knowledge. As such, the sorts of people that tend to be drawn to these industries tend to have a highly analytical disposition and a preference for structure and detail. In the property inspection industry, these traits are particularly beneficial since missing little details can lead to big problems down the road (and part of why we’ve found veterans are such great home inspectors ). While these traits are beneficial on the technical side of inspecting, they can sometimes come at the cost of being a good, empathetic communicator. Property inspectors have to communicate with a lot of people, so owners who might struggle in conversations with clients would be wise to invest in some introspection. To get started with upgrading your interpersonal skills, let’s take a look at the basic pillars of client communication in business. Prioritize Clarity Early When coordinating a home inspection, it is crucial to establish an open line of communication early between the inspector and client. A significant amount of negative reviews or otherwise dissatisfied client experiences can be traced back to misunderstandings, assumptions, and a lack of clarity. Perhaps a client thought that a home inspection warranty covered something that it doesn’t, or maybe the scope of the inspection didn’t fully match their expectations. These issues are ultimately avoidable by reconsidering the approach of initial conversations. Property inspectors have a specialized knowledge of homes and the standards of their industry - two areas where their clients will be at a considerable disadvantage. Inspectors who are able to simply explain their process and outline expectations while maintaining a respectful demeanor can work to ensure there are no surprises in store for their clients. Good communicators will also ask questions in pursuit of clarity. The risk of annoying a client early on for repeating themselves will be worth it if the job is then completed within the established expectations. Pay Attention To Tone The natural risk that comes with simplifying language for a client’s benefit, however, is the potential of coming off as condescending. All relationships should have a baseline of respect, and professional relationships are no different. Even if a business’ services are performed perfectly and ahead of schedule, employing the wrong tone can leave a client feeling dissatisfied. A “know-it-all” tone can leave a client thinking their inspector is too cold or intimidating, potentially leading them to avoid asking questions or seeking necessary clarification. On the other end of the spectrum, employing a tone too casual can leave an impression that an inspection isn’t being taken seriously. Becoming sensitive to your personal tone tendencies can provide valuable insight into client reactions, and lead to stronger, deeper long-term relationships. Build Relationships Along the Way With these points in mind, small business owners can be better equipped to invest in the relationships that will lead to leads and future business. Business owners who have seen success in the home inspection industry will agree - the ability to build relationships and then manage them with professionalism is the key to breaking through. One way to improve relationship development is to practice active listening. According to studies conducted by Florida State University and Michigan State University , people forget one-half to one-third of things they learn after only eight hours. Participating in a conversation by asking questions and verbally or physically acknowledging important information not only improves retention, but it will encourage clients. Showing that you understand what is being said, and proving that you are listening is a practice sure to enrich all kinds of relationships. Learn more about improving your public speaking in our previous blog! Every NPI franchisee receives personalized marketing coaching so that they can fit their communication style to their clients. Get your free info packet today for more information on franchising with National Property Inspections! About the Author Kimberly Stevens, Marketing & Business Coach The baby of eight children, Kimberly learned quickly to master the art of communication in order to be heard. She has been with NPI for more than 15 years and is passionate about getting to know our franchisees. Kimberly is a certified marketing and business coach, trainer and speaker, leading training seminars, one-to-one coaching and more. She's a high-energy, fiery red head and an eternal optimist. Her greatest joy is celebrating our franchisees’ victories!