PRACTICING PROPER “NETIQUETTE” IN YOUR BUSINESS October 13, 2020 | Business Tips | business growth , networking , client satisfaction By Zach Vesper, NPI, Inc.'s Marketing SEO & Marketing Specialist Meeting with clients either in-person or digitally is a large part of your daily operations. Now more than ever before, business owners are learning the importance of video conferencing to stay connected. However, there are obvious differences between speaking directly to someone and looking at a computer or phone screen. Here are a few tips for keeping a clear line of communication. Speak Clearly Just like talking to someone face-to-face, speaking clearly through electronic correspondence such as text or email is important. Remember proper sentence structure, and of course correct punctuation. Run-on sentences and random capitalization make it hard to digest what you’re talking about. Although you may not mean to, this can frustrate a customer that’s unable to decipher your message. Before you hit that send button, read over things one last time to catch and correct any errors. Adjust to Your Audience As an inspector, you want to give your clients the best customer service experience possible. That means working to find a solution to their current problems. While your explanation may make sense to you, your clients could be confused. Technical phrasing and wordy emails may find them lost in a sea of sentences. Put yourself in their shoes and read things from their perspective to see if you’d understand it. Watch Your Tone A major downside of talking to a screen rather than a human being is not being given social cues through vocal tones. Not being able to adequately convey emotion could cause disconnect within a conversation. You’ll also need to be mindful of wording since some phrases could be interpreted in more than one way, even if it’s not your intention. It’s always better to be overly kind and helpful than to risk coming across as short or brusque. Know When to Move to Visual Thanks to video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype, you can meet clients without ever needing to leave the office. Whether it’s for scheduling conflicts or safety reasons, you can easily connect on a video call. Sometimes more in-depth discussions are better handled on video instead of repeatedly emailing. If you notice you’re starting a game of email tag with a client, simply ask to set up a video chat. Test Your Setup Before you call a client, you need to check that everything is good to go on your end. Test your internet or cell connection to see how well your video loads, and adjust your settings as needed. Make sure that your microphone and audio are at comfortable levels where you can hear your client and they’ll be able to hear you. Find a Good Spot You should find a place that won’t be invaded by outside noises like traffic or construction. Depending on the time of day, you’ll also need to find the correct lighting. You’ll want your face and upper body to be well-lit and not washed out by the sun or other lights. In addition to finding a quiet spot, find an area with few distractions. Most apps have a feature that allows you to drag a background photo of your choosing into your video. This way the main focus of your client is on you and what you’re saying, not on what might be behind you. Account for a Delay No matter how fast your internet is, there’s still going to be a lag in the video. This delay can be annoying, but you can work around it. Simply wait a few seconds to verify that the other person is done talking before you begin. This way you aren’t constantly trying to talk over each other and getting confused. Professionalism No matter how you choose to connect with your clients, the important thing to remember is to be professional. Dress like you would for a meeting to show that you’re taking them and their time seriously. While you’re preparing for your call, take care of potential distractions. Let anyone else around you know that you'll be on a call and can’t be interrupted. Silence your phone and other devices so you won’t have to worry about a loud notification chiming in. Interested in starting your own NPI franchise? Contact us today. National Property Inspections has the tools to help you succeed in the property inspection business. Give us a call today at 402-333-9807 to learn more!