6 Communication mistakes you might be making
Talking to people is at the core of what you do as a wedding pro. Because with a calendar full of client meetings, calls with other vendors, and an email inbox that seems to never stop, a lot of your job hinges on the conversations you have with everyone involved in bringing a particular wedding to life. But, life is busy and you’re likely balancing everything that comes along with having more than one client at a time, so you might slip into a habit of rushing through your emails, calls, and meetings in order to get onto the next. The thing is, when talking to and taking care of people is your job, you have to make sure your communication skills are nothing short of Grade-A. So today, we wanted to talk about some common communication mistakes you might be making—even if you aren’t meaning to. A little worried? Don’t be! Just read on to learn the do’s and don’ts of client communication.
Don’t use wedding industry jargon
It can be tempting to demonstrate your expertise by dropping all the wedding industry terms you can when talking to people, but it doesn’t always do you justice. That’s because if your couples don’t know what you mean by “a king’s drape” or “a BEO” (and they are too embarrassed to ask), you’re likely to miscommunicate an important detail. So, the key here is to not assume your couples understand the vocabulary you use in your everyday and to give them a definition when you catch yourself using industry jargon with them.
Do use formatting options
There is always a lot to share with your couples as you work with them to plan their wedding and a lot of what needs to be done next is communicated via email. And, contrary to what your high school English teacher taught you, this is not the time to follow the 5-paragraph format; rather, it’s time to play with your formatting in order to make sure the important tasks or pieces of information don’t get buried. So, avoid this common communication mistake and instead use things like bullet point lists and bolded text in order to make things easy to read and scannable.
Do use the right communication channel
When it comes down to the best of client communication best practices, being sure to use the most appropriate communication channel is key. Regardless of whether you are sharing something quick or needing to talk through a potential roadblock, you want to make sure your couples really understand what it is you need to say. So, ask yourself—is sending an email really the best channel or should you pick up the phone? If after thinking about it you are still unsure, asking yourself if there is anything that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted is usually a good sign you need to give your client a call.
Don’t send too many emails
Your days are busy and (let’s be real) sometimes you’re trying to clear your inbox during naptime, but just because you’re trying to reply to emails quickly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reply to them thoughtfully as well. Sure, we’re all human and occasionally hit “send” before we’re ready, but sending a “and one more thing” email should be the exception as opposed to the experience. Our advice? Read back through your email (and your client’s email if you are replying) to make sure you’ve answered all the questions you need to and have shared all the details as well.
Don’t forget to personalize your templates
Templates are a great tool that can help you streamline your client communication but they are also a tool that creates room for error. Between forgetting to change a detail, a date, (or worse) swap out a name, neglecting to do so is a common communication mistake you definitely want to avoid. How can you reduce the chance you’ll make a mistake? Be sure to highlight the parts of your template that need to be customized—it’s hard to miss something that screams at you in bright colors.
Do be a good listener
Just as much as having strong communication skills is important to getting a 5-star review from your couples, so is being a good listener. That’s because sometimes the best thing you can do for your couples is to simply make them feel like they are being heard. And here are our top tips to help you do just that:
- Repeat important details back to your clients after they say them. This doesn’t have to be verbatim but you do want to show them you heard what they said and understand what needs to happen
- Try not to interrupt. Basic, we know, but you might be surprised at how much you do
- Don’t try and multi task when you are on a call with a client since it pulls your attention away from the conversation and creates an opportunity where you might miss something
Learning about communication mistakes might not be the most exciting part of your job but it is a really important one. So, if you want to step up your communication skills, learn how to have great client communication from the start before hitting send on your next email.
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