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In today’s competitive job market, 90 percent of all jobs that one may apply for will require some sort of communication skills in one way or another. Communication is the backbone of a strong business, and is extremely important to emphasize with employees and business managers alike. In order to achieve maximum productivity, good communication is absolutely imperative no matter what type of job is at hand. When an employer chooses to invest excess energy and time into building the communication skills of their employees, not only will morale increase, but there will also be increases in productivity, output, and overall job satisfaction as everyone will be working as a well oiled machine. Poor correspondence in the working environment will definitely prompt unmotivated staff that may start to scrutinize their own trust in their capacities and unavoidably in the association. Job fulfillment for employees can depend a great deal on the employee being able to have a voice in the workplace, regardless of whether it be concerning a thought they have had or about a protest they have to make. Regardless of the purpose, the capacity to openly speak with their friends, partners and bosses will be mutually beneficial to all parties. People with jobs in the project management field, or human resources field especially benefit from strong communication skills with both their peers and clients alike. Most jobs that a project manager takes on involve multiple parties to be in constant communication with, the working crew, the upper management, and most importantly the client. Successful communication with the client is of the utmost importance, because the customer is the source of the business in most cases. As stated by Joann Keyton in her article Investigating Verbal Workplace Communication Behaviors, “Employers expect employees to be effective communicators and rate employees for their communicative performances. It is not surprising, then, that employers rank oral communication skills among the top three most valued applied skills” (Keyton 153). This quote emphasises the importance of employers evaluating the communication skills of a prospective employee before they are hired, as these skills are so incredibly important in almost all aspects of the job. If the behaviours involved with communication are focused on thoroughly, it is possible to decide which skills and communication efforts are most important when in certain situations at work, and employers can use this newfound knowledge to properly select employees that are best suited for each job based on their communication skillset. For example, say there is a position opening as a project manager for a construction company in town, and the upper management needs to decide on the right employee for the job. The first thing that the upper management should look at is the ability of this prospective employee to communicate, not his college education, or his history in the field. Communication trumps all in this field of work, as it is what makes a project manager successful in creating a smooth and clean job from start to finish. The prospective employee must be likeable so that they don’t create any conflict between parties, and so that they are a pleasure to deal with for both the client and other coworkers. The employee must also be able to effectively put out fires so to speak, which basically requires being able to calm a client down and explain an unfavorable situation to that client when it is out of their control. This is perhaps the most important communication skill that a project manager can have, as it could potentially save the business of that particular client when all other options are seemingly out of question. The ability to successfully navigate a sticky situation where a client is upset is extremely difficult to do, and to potentially make something good out of that situation is even more impressive of a feat. These things can both be done with the use of effective communication, and by working with not one’s own interests in mind, but with the best interest of the client or customer in need of assistance. While on the subject of client communication, it is important to touch on what it really takes to develop a strong relationship with your client in the workplace. The primary concern that will enable you to grow great customer relations with prospects and customers is showing that their needs started things out. You need to look at things from their perspective regardless of whether the problem or solution can be solved by oneself. Being honest in what you offer goes far toward creating trust with the client and setting up a decent working relationship. This is extremely important to understand in the project management world, as most project managers take on a sales role as well. To better explain this, it is important to look at it from the employees perspective. The project manager is not only responsible for making sure that the project at hand goes smoothly, but they are also somewhat responsible for gaining new clients from their quality of work. For example, a project manager at a general contractor’s firm is responsible for making sure that all parties work in unison and communicate effectively in order to complete the clients job as seamlessly as possible, and if the work is done well, this could attract future business to this firm based upon customer reviews or referrals. By taking that point of view, it is easy to see how effective communication can lead to new work and potential increase in success and profit in the future for that particular company. By creating a strong and reliable reputation and relationship with your customer or client, trust is built between the client and business, which is one of the most valuable traits that a business could possibly have. This trust allows the customer to stress less and just let the business do its work without question, which makes the transaction go far more seamlessly than if there was not trust between the customer and business. This can be observed in many industries, and is the same for the most part in all fields of work. Once the customer is set up as a client, the initial sale may be over, but this is just the beginning of a relationship that could either grow your success as a business or stifle it. It’s a great opportunity to push onward to the next level and keep your clients as happy as you can. An employee must make sure that their services are astounding throughout the business transaction, and to keep in contact with them after the agreement is satisfied. Another way to keep customer relationships solid is to offer help consistently, and to keep them updated with any new information regarding the business transaction or future business that may interest them (Vahed 2). The primary concern that will enable you to grow great customer association with prospects and customers is exhibiting that their needs started things out in the first place. Being truthful in what you offer goes a long way towards creating trust with your client and should not be looked down upon. Having a sense of confidence and passion in what you do as an employee is also a huge benefit to developing a great relationship with your customer. For example, if somebody is working for an environmental firm looking to protect a certain wetland, that person needs to be extremely knowledgeable about that particular natural environment and all of the flora and fauna of the area and how it will be affected otherwise. When one is knowledgeable in their field and more importantly passionate about what they do, the client can gain a far deeper understanding of the matter at hand, and in turn creates far more trust between the client and the business as the employee seems to know what they are talking about. If the customer knows more than the employee, that is a recipe for loss of trust in the business and for future obstacles throughout the business relationship. To maintain current clients and grow your business, communication is of the utmost importance. Always stay in contact with customers, and update them with the trends of the industry that could potentially influence their decisions as a client. Keep them in the loop of your perspective of potential issues that may arise during the business transaction, as customers may get in their own heads about issues that they view from their biased opinions. Another way to keep communications strong is to utilize social media to your advantage as a business. Social media is an extraordinary way to connect with your clients and portray your company or firm in its greatest light. It is also a great way to include customer testimonials and project updates that keep the customer out of the dark and in the loop with what is going on in the business. It’s also a great way to simply make your business look more credible and trustworthy. Another way to develop great customer relations is to create abilities and knowledge that sets you apart from the other competition in your industry. This leads to the next ideology of thinking of your customer as a long term client rather than just a one time customer. By setting up strong communications with your customer and trustworthy business-client relationships, you are able to go long term with that customer and have a better chance at having a repeat client. Treating your customers well will go extremely far in the world of business, whether it is in the form of a thank you or a promotional discount, a little goes a long way in terms of creating lasting customer relationships. By ensuring that each customer is your most significant customer, you will never miss a beat and every single one will feel that appreciation and be far more open to further business with you. Lastly, focusing on feedback that your clients and customers provide to you is an extremely powerful way to grow your business and improve interpersonal communication skills. Constructive criticism is most definitely the most cost effective way to improve your communications with current and future customers, and can provide valuable insights on what is working and what needs help in your customer relations skill set. By focusing on communication in the workplace before all else, one is able to create a work environment that is functional, upbeat, and successful, as good communication is the basis of all prosperous client relationships.
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