What image comes to mind when you hear the word, “professional”? A buttoned-up, unemotional approach to service perhaps? The thing is, professionalism doesn’t have to be stuffy! In fact, adding some warmth and friendliness to your professional interactions can work wonders to make your customers feel comfortable. Here are a few quick and easy tips to soften a hard professional line:
Here are a few quick and easy tips to soften a hard professional line:
- Freshen up your email. Skip impersonal, antiquated phrases like Dear and Sincerely when corresponding via email. Instead, try friendlier openers like Good Morning Susan or Hello Jason. Best wishes and Kind regards are excellent closings because they are both professional and kind, but not overly personal, like Love or Yours truly.
- Address customers the way they address themselves. Unless a customer introduces themselves as Mr. or Mrs. so and so, it’s generally safe to assume that they’re comfortable being on a first name basis with you. Addressing people by first name adds a touch of familiarity, and feels lot more personal too.
- Put a face to a name. Even if most of your business takes place over the phone, email, or the Internet, you can still find ways to show that you are indeed a real human being! At Ruby we welcome new clients with a handwritten notecard and a photo of a few of the smiling faces who take their calls every day. Also, when a Ruby has a memorable experience with a client, they’ll send a short, one minute video of themselves to highlight the interaction using a fun service called Vsnap. It’s like a video notecard, and clients love seeing the person they just connected with face to face.
- Recall past conversations. Speaking of connections! If you listen closely, you’ll find that people offhandedly share all kinds of information about their lives. When your customer mentions an upcoming vacation or their kid’s basketball game, jot it down and ask how it went the next time you chat. They’ll surely be delighted that you remembered, and you’ll show that you’re there for them, even from many miles away.
There’s no better path to likability than by putting your most professional foot forward while also being personable and approachable. How do you balance friendly professionalism? Tell us @callruby on Twitter!