Psychologists talk about what they call the Communication Chain. The Communication Chain says that when a person puts out a verbal message, they expect a response to that message. That first message is a link in the communication chain. If there’s no response to the link, the chain is left unlinked or broken.
Let’s say that instead of reading this article, you’re a participant in one of my workshops. And let’s say, I start the training off with, “Good morning!”
And let’s say, that when I say good morning, the room is silent. No one says a word to me. How do you think I’d feel, if I opened with a high energy greeting, and not one person said a word?
I’d feel awkward. Embarrassed. I’d probably be thinking, this is not going to go well. Whatever I’m thinking, or feeling, it’s negative, right? And my next response would be dictated by the negative feelings in my head. I might not be my best as a trainer, because I’m a little embarrassed, and feeling rejected.
If most of the people in my live audience, in my example, said back to me, Good morning, the chain would have been linked; I wouldn’t have felt rejected, and all would’ve been well.
When the link is broken, people can feel rejected, slighted, or angry. – You don’t want your customer to feel any of these emotions. Avoid negative feelings by linking the communication chain. You link the chain by acknowledging whatever your customers put out there.
Here are some good examples of how to acknowledge concern:
“I realize this whole thing is frustrating for you”…
“I can appreciate that.”
“I know this has been just awful for you.”
“I know you’re anxious to see your credit for this return. I’ll do my best to find out what’s going on with this.”
Linking the communication chain is just a matter of making a genuine acknowledgment of your customer’s concern.
Always link the communication chain with acknowledgment, and you’ll leave your customers with a feeling of connection.
I took a module out of my Telephone Skills Online course so you could have a short video to share with your employees on linking the communication chain.
Watch my short video, from my online customer service training portal, on Linking the Communication Chain below.
Customer Service eLearning to Help Your Employees Speak with Friendliness and Empathy, and to Handle Difficult Customers with More Ease – with Interactive Activities, Progress Reports, Knowledge Checks, and SCORM option. See how we do it.