In this seventh and final segment of “Keeping Your Customers Delighted, While Also Maintaining Your Own Sanity And Joy“, we go into the most important topic of all – Clear and Good Communication in your Business! If your communication isn’t up to the mark, then all the other good work you do is in danger of getting wasted.
This episode covers:
- Limiting the need for active communication
- Why keeping your promises is a must
- Listening and thinking before responding
- How not to let things get lost in translation over texts
- Avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings
- Two examples of how business owners could’ve done better
- And so much more…
I’d say this is the most important episode in the whole miniseries!
Listen on the embedded player below, or on your preferred podcast platform. If reading is your jam, then scroll down for the transcript. Enjoy! 🙂
“Be very careful with your words. What are you promising your customers? What are you committing to? You don’t have to commit to anything that you don’t want to. But once you do commit, once you do make that promise, make sure to live up to it.”Susmitha Veganosaurus – The Feel Good Factor Podcast
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Transcript of Joyful Customer Delight Part Seven – Good Communication in your Conscious Business is the Key to Everything
(gently edited for a better reading experience)
Heyyyy! Oh man, what a whirlwind this week has been for me. Some ups and downs. I met some very, very, very interesting people, had beautiful conversations, but I also had a few disappointments. But ultimately after everything, it’s so good to be back here sitting down and recording this episode for you.
I always find so much relief and relaxation recording my podcast. It’s such an uplifting feeling for me, and it feels so nice that I get to do this every week, or at least as often as I can.
So yeah, here I am in my little podcasting nook, recording. Okay, I’m kidding. I don’t have a podcasting nook or anything fancy. You don’t need any fancy equipment or any fancy setup to start a podcast, by the way. I just find a really quiet spot inside the house. Usually on my bed. I just lock the room, close the windows and everything. And I just sit here and plug in a simple, you know, the earphones to my laptop and then I start recording.
The reason I’m sharing this is because if you ever thought of starting your own podcast, you should just get on it and do it. It’s much simpler than you can imagine.
Anyway, we’re on to the seventh and final segment of the miniseries – keeping your customers delighted while also maintaining your own sanity and joy
- The first episode was all about pricing, and how you don’t undervalue yourself. You price with confidence, and you still get the right kind of customers.
- The second episode was all about creating a very smooth, very comfortable, and clear ordering experience for yourself, as well as for your clients.
- The third episode was all about creating healthy boundaries. And how those are gonna save everybody a lot of grief in the long run.
- The fourth episode was about building a community around your business. How important that is, why you need to do it. And all the different aspects of your business community.
- The fifth episode was about handling unwanted advice. When people just shower you with unwanted advice, how do you handle that?
- The sixth episode was about receiving and responding to feedback and online reviews, in a very efficient, calm and peaceful way.
- And now finally, the seventh episode is all about clear communication.
In every business, communication is key
In fact, all the stuff I’ve spoken about in this miniseries so far, all of it would work only if your communication is clear, is done well. So you need to focus on that part of your business, need to give a lot of importance to it.
Because if your communication efforts aren’t done well, you don’t have the right way of communicating, talking to, discussing with your clients and customers, with your team, with everybody, with your audience… If that is not clear, if that’s not done well, then a lot of all the other effort – the effort you put into building your business, into creating those fantastic products and services, to building those relationships with your community – all of it can go to waste.
One bad incident of miscommunication and you’ve messed up the relationship, that particular relationship or potential relationship with your customer. So that’s the reason communication is so so so important.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, clarity and transparency from the outset, right from the beginning is very important
You need to be upfront with as many relevant details as you can (relevant though). And that’ll cut down the amount of time you spend in active communication. So that’s also important, you know, reducing the amount of time that you’re actively communicating with your customers, because that’s a lot of work.
And if you’re going to repeat the same thing over and over and over again, you won’t be in that state of mind to actually, even when the conversation has to happen, you won’t be in the right mindset to do it. You might get annoyed or irritated because you’re just repeatedly responding to the same things.
So that’s why it’s important to cut it down. And if you listen to the first two episodes on this mini series, you’ll know how to do that, how to cut it down, how to make sure that right from the get go everything is clear and upfront.
The second thing is keeping your promises and commitments
Be very careful with your words. What are you promising your customers? What are you committing to? You don’t have to commit to anything that you don’t want to. But once you do commit, once you do make that promise, make sure to live up to it.
I’ll tell you an example. There was a person I used to order from. I loved this little business and I would promote them quite a bit on my social media too. I loved their food, their concept. The whole idea behind that business was so good. It was very noble. They cared about feeding clean (vegan obviously), and healthy food to their customers. They went above and beyond as far as their basic consciousness was concerned.
I ordered this one particular dessert. The first time I tasted it I was in love with it. It was so delicious and it didn’t even taste like it was as healthy as it was. And I absolutely loved it, all of it. The simplicity, the taste, the flavour, and the way it made me feel afterwards, the feeling in the stomach.
So once I tasted it, I decided after a couple of months that I wanted to order it in a little bit of a bigger quantity, in a bulk quantity. I placed the order and I said, “can you make this for me on special order in a larger quantity?” and I got it made. And not only did I get it made, but even the day before I got it, I was promoting it on social media. Saying, “hey, I’m ordering this in bulk quantity, so if you all want you should do it too. It’s such a delicious dessert.” And you know, I was very, very enthusiastic about it and I was really looking forward to it.
But when the dessert did come, it was extremely disappointing
And that was so sad. They hadn’t used the same ingredients. They’d switched a few things around based on availability, or I don’t know what. But that lack of consistency was disappointing. The perfection, the creaminess, that texture, the taste of that first time were just not there this next time that I ordered in bulk.
I figured out what the problem was. It was a banana based dessert and instead of using one variety of banana, they had used a completely different variety which is not conducive to cooking. It doesn’t work well in cooked dishes. And they had also used a higher quantity of sweetener. So I knew precisely what the problem was.
So I called up the owner, I knew them well, and I told them, “hey, this was kind of disappointing and you know, I didn’t like it at all. I could barely eat it. The bananas were hard and turned sour even though they were ripe. And the whole desert experience was so bad. I’m really sad about this.”
The owner said, “oh, you know, these bananas were available, the others weren’t, so I just used them. And they were very ripe, I don’t know why it turned sour. I don’t understand.” And they weren’t very apologetic about it, they were more defensive. But in a nice way. You know, the defensiveness was done very politely.
I was like, “okay”. And then I didn’t ask, I didn’t even say, “give me a replacement.” That person offered and they said, “so next week, when I get the other banana I’m going to send you a replacement. Make it with that variety of bananas and send you a replacement.”
So I was happy. I was like okay, sure you know, because that’s good, right?
You mess up, then of course you offer a replacement
A replacement of course is always a better option than a refund. Because with a refund you know, it just gets closed there. And really nobody’s happy. But with a replacement, a person gets to enjoy what they originally wanted.
Because that’s what a customer wants, right? They wanted to have that product that is why they ordered it. So a refund is not going to make them happy because they never got the product, but when you offer a replacement, then there is that opportunity to satisfy your customer.
We’d do this at the restaurant too. In case there was some mess up from our end, we would always send a replacement to the customers. And then they would always be happy and satisfied.
So here I was expecting this replacement to come soon. And I was waiting around for it. But I never heard back from the owner of the business.
Like, they promised me this replacement and they just happily forgot about it
That’s it. And because I had a prior relationship, this relationship I had with the owners was beyond just a business relationship, I felt awkward to remind them. Or ask them and say, “hey, you know you said you will send the replacement, why didn’t you?”
So I let it go. But even though I let it go this was something that did annoy me. You know, at the back of my head it annoyed me. And later of course I continued to have good experiences with them, because until this one experience, up to that point, the rest of it was really good, and I continued to have it.
But the way I felt about them had changed by then, the enthusiasm with which I was promoting them had changed by then
Because in my head I’m like, “oh, you know”, my audience is important to me, and whatever I promote has to be legit, like they have to like it too. It has to benefit the business as well as my audience.
I promoted this dessert and then it was so disappointing. And then they offered me a replacement and I didn’t even get it. It was totally forgotten. So the next time before I could recommend them, I would think twice. I’m like, I don’t want someone else to have that experience with them. You know, that’s not a very nice thing.
So yeah, your communication, when you make a promise, keep it. Stick to the promise, value your words, value what you say. Valuing your promises and your words is as important as valuing yourself and your own products.
Another part of communicating well is about how you respond to messages
How you respond to feedback. I’ve spoken about handling feedback, handling reviews, all of that before, but I want to focus on the communication aspect of it, the ongoing communication aspect of it now.
Say somebody has ordered something from you, and they’re not very happy about it. Or they they want a few changes and they would be happy about it with a few tweaks. They write to you saying, “this works for me, but this doesn’t work.”
It’s very important not to bring your ego into this, you know. Not to feel hurt or angry just because somebody is pointing to a certain change that you could make, which would make it much more easy for them to keep on ordering from you, keep on giving you more business.
First listen very well. Usually these days, communication happens over texting or emails more than the phone right? So read and reread a couple of times, and understand where they’re coming from.
A lot of miscommunication happens over written words, because you don’t know the tone of a person you’re just reading the words
So don’t jump to the conclusion that the person is just complaining, or you’re being criticised outright. Instead, contemplate what they’re asking. And then figure out… Is this something you can do? Is this something you can oblige?
And think about the person themselves, the person who’s communicating with you. If they’re new, you don’t know much about them. If they’re not, think about what past experiences you’ve had with them and then you can communicate accordingly.
But if it’s a new person in particular, then give them the benefit of the doubt
You know, whatever they say, at least to start with, you be open. And think like, “maybe this is something that’s gonna help me get business not only from this person, but also, it might make it easier for others, or make the experience better for others too. People who may not have told me that this is an issue and who would have just stopped ordering from me.”
There are plenty of people who do that. They have an experience with you, there are some things they’re not happy with, but some things they are. But the things that they’re not happy with, that’s enough to make them stop ordering from you, or stop giving you repeated business.
But here is a person who is very honestly and openly explaining exactly what the issue is, and how things can be tweaked in such a way that it would help them order from you more. So in that case, think about what kind of compromise can be arrived at. Is it something you can change? Is it possible for you?
Now if it isn’t possible, then you can very sweetly communicate to them saying that, “hey, you know this is not really possible for us to do. I’m sorry it’s not working for you. If we do change things we’ll let you know. Or maybe we can come to some other understanding in the future when we are able to make this happen for you.”
Don’t try to justify or get defensive, you need to communicate well and close the loop as quickly as possible
One thing that’s very important to remember is that when you’re texting, a lot of things are lost in translation. Especially if it’s in another language that you’re not super comfortable with.
Like here in India, many people may not be very good with English. But you know, with texting and stuff like that people are using English to discuss. The communication skills may not be that great if that is the case.
Then don’t respond with texting, because your words may end up sounding rude or come across as rough if you don’t think very well, and if you don’t respond very clearly.
If something escalates then request a call, and then talk to the person, hear them out
And then you be clear about what you can do, what you can’t do, and how you can tweak things for them if that’s possible at all. So be very careful about this. Because, again, I’ve seen relationships get spoiled unnecessarily, you know?
There was this business. The business is somebody I was ordering from, plus somebody else also was ordering from, and then I heard this from the other person.
They asked for a certain change saying, “hey, all this is good, but I would prefer this, so can you make that happen?” It was a small change. It was not a very big deal. But unfortunately, the business owners made a very big deal of it.
I saw the screenshots of the text messages and the customer had communicated quite politely and very, very clearly exactly what they want. But the business owners who weren’t very good with English had responded quite rudely.
They were being so defensive again and again. And even once this person stopped, you know, they said, “okay, fine, leave it”, that person kept going on and on, trying to justify.
The worst thing you do is treat your customers like crap
That’s the worst thing you can do, right? Now just because they’re asking for a particular tweak, you shouldn’t be making them feel like somehow it’s their shortcoming. You know, that’s not okay. And that’s exactly what this business owner had done.
When I read that, I was like, “Oh, shucks!” Because from the outside when I’m looking at this, I know so well that this particular customer, if the business had actually managed to get them on board, they would have brought so many other people on board, because all the principles of the business were so much in alignment with this customer. And it was such a sad waste of things.
In fact, at that point of time, I was like wishing this business owner was one of my coaching clients. I wish they had been, then I would have been able to talk to them in detail, and kind of guide them on handling certain situations, because this is not the kind of thing you just tell someone as free advice. It’s not going to be appreciated, right? They will have to come to you for it. So I was really wishing that.
So here was this beautiful, potentially very lucrative business opportunity that was lost
Not only lost, but the bridge totally and thoroughly burnt simply because of poor communication on the part of the business owner. That is really heartbreaking to me. Especially when this happens with a conscious business, you know, with a vegan business. Not just vegan, but beyond that so many other principles. When it happens to somebody who honestly wants to make a difference in the world, it’s like, “damn it!”
But I have to tell you, the funny thing is that it’s because of that experience, because of hearing from this friend of mine who was the customer, and reading all those screenshots, that this whole idea of the entire series, about keeping your customers delighted while also maintaining your own sanity and joy, the seed for this series was actually planted in my mind at the moment.
Those screenshots when I read them, I’m like, “oh my god, I can do a whole workshop on this!”
Later on I decided, “no this can’t just be a workshop, this has to be lots of information, out there in the world. I need to freely share this, put it out there.” And I created this whole seven part podcast miniseries.
I hope listening to all these segments has given you a lot of stuff to contemplate upon. I hope it helps make your business journey so much smoother, more joyful. You know, more satisfying and fulfilling. With really good relationships between yourself, your team members, your customers, all of it you know, your entire community. I hope this really, really helps you.
And if you’ve been enjoying the series, then do share it with others. What I have heard is that it’s not just for somebody who’s running a business. A lot of what I say is something that you can just apply to your regular life. Just like that in other parts of your life.
So do share it with anybody you think would benefit from it. Share the link to the podcast or your favourite episode in the miniseries, either one of it. And of course before I sign off, as always, I’d like to remind you to sign up for my newsletter, The Feel Good Tribe.
Transcribed using Otter
“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.
If my content resonates with you, join my free newsletter where I share Life and Business Tips, Vegan Hacks, Holistic Guidance, and more.
Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”