The Uses Of Interpersonal Communication Techniques English Language Essay

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This is a process by which people exchange information, feelings and meanings through verbal and non-verbal messages - this is face to face communication. This is not particularly what is actually said, but how this is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language. Interpersonal Communication have many uses for example

Give and collect information

Form contacts and maintain relationships

Give and receive emotional support

Anticipate and predict behaviour

Express personal needs and understand these of others

Although no communication may be intended, an observer can work out a lot from just watching a conversation happen by taking into account their facial expressions, emotional state or posture. These are all forms of non-verbal communication.

Verbal communication skills are vital to making sure that your message is understood by your audience. You could be the most charismatic speaker in the world, with excellent memory and a good point, but if your language does not sufficiently get that point across your effort is worthless.

Sound and tone of your voice

The sound you make when you're trying to speak may seem like an unimportant aspect in what you're trying to say, but however there are times when your tone can make or break effectiveness. For example, if trying to talk in a room full of preschool children and you speak with a booming deep voice in an abrupt manner, odds are half of the children will be so intimidated they won't actually be listening to a word you are saying. Using the appropriate voice and speech pattern for your audience is key to successful interaction.

Within FCOS we have many phone calls from customers which then are able to increase reputation of the company. By smiling whilst answering the phone can change the tone of voice and make the customer think you are more interested and eager to deal with their phone call. If we are heard to be not interested in the conversation that could jeopardise our reputation.

Language

Another aspect of verbal communication is language. To use the most effective language the speaker must first assess his audience. In a formal setting the speaker should use proper grammar and conservative talk. If you are an employer your language could be more informal relaxed and more casual language. If you are using a type of language that is not common amongst your receivers they will have a difficult time in understanding you.

Authority

An important element of verbal communication is authority. Authority in this reference does not refer to your level of command, but by making sure what you say is true. If you were to start your speech off with a statement that the receiver knows is false, they may lose interest in the rest of what you have to say. Demonstrating your authority will cause your audience to trust what you are saying therefore will be more enticed to interact with you.

Non-verbal communication skills or body language is a vital form of communication. This is a natural unconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions at any given moment and this also gives us clues to how people are feeling around us. When interacting with someone we are constantly give and receive wordless signals. All of our non-verbal behaviours- the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make- send strong messages. The messages don't just happen whilst speaking either, even when in silence we are still giving off these signals. The way you listen, look, move and react tells the other person whether you care or not, if your being truthful or if you're listening.

Facial expressions

The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some non-verbal communications, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, confusion, fear and surprise are all the same across cultures. This can help a conversation flow. If in mid-sentence you notice that the other person has a expression of confusion on their face, you are then able to recognise this and change what you just said to help them in understanding.

Even whilst being on the phone, smiling can change your tone of voice proving that you are more interested in the conversation taking place.

Body movements and posture

Consider how your perceptions of people are by looking at the way they sit, walk, stand up or even the way they hold their head. Body language can give you an indication of how interested they are in the conversation, for example someone who is slouched. This can make you as a speaker feel very uncomfortable, so you should be sure of your own posture is what you expect of others.

Gestures

Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands, when arguing or speaking animatedly - expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking. As an observer you are able to possibly work out what other peoples conversation could be about by analyzing their gestures. If a person is using very sharp gestures, waving hands, pointing, you may come to the conclusion that the conversation could be aggressive.

Within FCO there are many people you don't see consciously, people who could be watching you without you realising, so it is best to keep your gestures to minimal so others wouldn't get the wrong impression of you.

Eye contact

Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is a vital type of nonverbal communication. They way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. Eye contact is vital in maintaining the flow of a conversation. If having a conversation with someone who is looking elsewhere you are not sure whether they are listening to what you are saying, therefore both of you losing interest in the conversation. Also not having eye contact with someone is very distracting.

Touch

We communicate a great deal through touch. Think about how the message is perceived by a firm handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, a reassuring pat on the back, a patronizing pat on the head or a controlling grip on your arm. Once thought about, you know the persons intent of the conversation.

Space

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your personal space? We all have the need for physical space, although this alters on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages including signs of intimacy, aggression, dominance and closeness.

Nonverbal communications can't be faked. You may be familiar with advice on how to sit a certain way, steeple your fingers or shake hands just so in order to appear confident or assert dominance. But the truth is such tricks aren't likely to work (unless you truly feel comfortable, confident and in charge). This is because you can't control all of the signals you're constantly sending off about what you're thinking and feeling. And the harder you try the more fake and uncomfortable you will look.

Listening

This is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major effect on the relationships you can have and keep and your job performance. We listen to obtain information, for enjoyment, to learn and to understand. Research now suggests that we remember between 25 and 50% of what we hear. This then means that if your boss was talking for about 10 minutes, we pay attention to less than half of the conversation! Turning this around and the directions and information you are giving, most of the people in that room aren't listening to half of what you say! So making sure your information isn't rubbish, factual and to the point will have an advantage on them actually doing and remembering what you say.

Clearly listening is a skill that we can all benefit from. By becoming a better listener, you will improve productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings - all of these necessary in the work place!

To become a better listener you have to practice! This is where you make a conscious effort to not only listen to what somebody is saying but completely understanding the full message being sent. In order to do this you must pay attention very carefully. If you're finding it difficult to concentrate on what somebody is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them. This will reinforce their message and help you stay focused. You need to also let the other person know you are listening to them, this will make them want to carry on and not feel like they are talking to a brick wall. Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod or 'uh-huh'. This doesn't mean you are agreeing with the person just letting the other person know you are interested. Using body language and other signs help this as well.

Positive and negative communication

Our communication styles are as different as our personalities. While positive communication skills can make you seem friendly, smart and helpful, negative communication skills can make you come across as rude and uninterested.

Positive communication skills can help you connect with someone. Speak clearly and direct to others rather through mumbling. Speaking loudly doesn't mean you have to shout, just loud enough to be heard. Positive communicators ask about others rather than focusing on themselves, use humour when appropriate and respond attentively to others. Positive body language can make a person seem interested and engaged.

A negative communicator is not pleasant to have a conversation with. They may speak too loud, too soft or not pay attention to the other person. Their content of conversation may be selfish, pretentious and dishonest. Negative communicators are not good listeners and may be impatient or interrupt others during conversation.

Listening barriers

There are many distractions that can draw needed attention away from someone trying to listen to you. Holding someone's attention is difficult enough without background noises and other voices making this person distracted. Listening barriers can prevent effective listening if they aren't understood or managed.

Noise

Many times it's difficult to have a meaningful conversation due to a noisy location. Noise can come in many forms; from people, equipment, street noise and more. When it becomes difficult to hear move to a less noisy location.

Visual

It can be tough to concentrate when there is a lot of activity or other visual distractions in the area. As with noise, move to a location where there are less visual distractions.

Stress

The stress in someone's life can make them more distracted and not interested in a conversation due to too much on their mind. Stress could involve; family worries, financial problems, work problems, illness of self or a family member. Refocusing frequently works. If it doesn't and the context of the conversation is important, then chose another time to talk.

Describe the implications of customer satisfaction

Customer Retention

This is defined as the activity that an organisation undertakes to reduce customer defections. This can be through complaints that a customer has given. Through looking at these a organisation is able to see the flaws in their system, where they are going wrong and come together to see what they can do to improve this. Having a good relationship with your customer will always bring you business, money, loyalty and a good reputation. Whereas having a bad customer relationship will not. A company could sell the cheapest products and services, but if there is poor customer service then all of that is worthless to the customer. Customer retention had a direct impact on profitability.

Working Relationships

There are many working relationships that exist within an organisation and how effective these relationships are can play a significant role in dictating the overall effectiveness of the business. Working relationships can mean those between customer/suppliers, a manager and their workforce, and those between colleagues in each department. Regardless of the nature of the relationships there are a number of key factors which can determine whether these relationships are healthy, productive ones or whether they will have a detrimental effect on the business. It is generally accepted that a happier workforce, one that understands the needs of each colleagues, and where good relationships are in place, is a more productive workforce. Good relationships are built on a culture of cooperation where each individual is working towards shares aims and objectives of the department/organisation.

Describe relevant methods of measuring customer satisfaction levels.

Measuring customer satisfaction

Satisfaction measures three psychological elements for evaluation of the product of service experience: cognitive (thinking/evaluation), affective (emotional-feelings/like-dislike) and behavioural (current/future actions). Customer satisfaction often leads to customer loyalty and product rephrase. But measuring satisfaction isn't the same as measuring loyalty.

Satisfaction measurability typically includes questions like:

1. Overall how satisfied are you with FCOS? (Emotional)

2. Would you recommend FCOS to other business partners? (Affective, behavioural)

3. Do you intent to reuse FCOS as part of another project in the future? (Behavioural)

Satisfaction can influence post-purchase/post-experience actions other than usage (such as word of mouth communications and repeat purchase behaviour.

Feedback

Predefined formal feedback

This method is one that a company would set out to use. Examples of this type of feedback are a questionnaire, which is a predefined document that the company would have created for use of by customers. Companies use this to get the answers they want without having to search through tons and tons of irrelevant information. The easiest way to do this would be having multiple choice answers. Other methods of customer satisfaction would be surveys, where they will directly ask the customers what they thought of the service they received.

Unsolicited feedback

This method is one that a company won't be expecting, but could come in handy for them later. This method is basically when a company is not expecting this, but it is given to them and they can do what they please with it. An example of this is if a business were to receive a complaint. Every customer will be expecting premium service from the company they chose, and if they receive anything less they have the right to make a complaint. Measuring this is done by complaint handling, assessing the number of complaints they have received and comparing it to different periods of the year. If this alters drastically then questions could be asked to find out how this situation occurred.

Anecdotal feedback

The final type of feedback a company can receive from their customers and clients would anecdotal. This basically means that you have received a written account of a couple of actions that have been recorded and happened to the customer/client. So basically a customer would have had an event or an incident within your company's property which they believe you would have a written account about. This feedback would be more concerned with the complaint side of the business, where a customer/client has had a bad experience, and wishes to fully express these feelings directly towards the company. They would write their accounts of the events as they become apparent through their eyes and deliver a decision of which the company must then act. Whatever action they do decide to take will then impact upon what the customer then thinks of the company as a whole, meaning the action is the most important thing for them to worry about. This could be a simple apology and a refund for their troubles or could result in worst actions such as dismissal of a member of staff.

Describe the organisational requirements for customer care including:

Customer Care

It's a well known fact that no business will survive without its customers. It is important to work closely with your customers to assist them with their problems and to make amendments where needs be. It is crucial that you form a close working relationship with your customers to make them feel at ease - if they don't, your services won't be recommended, simple.

Encourage face to face dealings

If you're not used to this, it can be a nerve wracking experience. Rest assured it does get easier over time. In experience, a customer finds it a lot easier to relate to and work with someone they have met. When meeting be calm, confident and above all, take the time to answer their needs.

Respond to messages promptly and keep your clients informed

We all know how annoying and timely it can be waiting for someone's response to an email or a phone call. It might not always be practical to deal with their call right away, but a quick email to say their message has been received can make the customer feel more in the loop.

Be friendly and approachable

You can hear a smile through a phone. It's very important to be friendly to your customers and to make sure they know you are there to help them out. There are times where you would rather hang up or walk away from a customer as they're being rude, but keep a clear head and respond to your customer's best wishes as much as you can.

Have a clear defined customer service policy.

This may not be too important when starting out, but having a clear, defined customer service policy is going to save you a lot of time and effort. There's nothing more annoying than a customer being passed from person to person without their problem being solved, so making sure your customer knows which number/person to contact in event of any problem.

Honour your promises

When you promise something to a customer, you must deliver. The most common example? Delivery dates. Customers don't like to be disappointed, and so if they are your services will not be recommended.

Customer service, like any aspect of the business is crucial. It's a practiced art and takes effort to master. All you need to achieve this is to switch roles with your customer. How would you like to be treated? What would you want from the business as a customer? Treat customers like you would your friends and they will always come back.

Customer Service Procedures

I worked within a department in FCOS which dealt with laptops that were given to users to use outside of network within FCOS. If the customers had any problem with this they were given a number to call which would put them straight through to our help desk (1st Line). They were asked a set of security questions and a 'Call' was then opened for that specific customer once the security questions had been passed. Within the call that was opened they were able to use the information that the customer had given them to fill in the gaps of the Call. For example

Name

Where they were currently working

What their contact number is incase they needed to be called back

What their problem is

The first line team were given a list of procedures for a range of failures that a customer may have. These are step by step guides for them to follow which have all been reviewed by the team manager. These procedures and processed came in very handy to the 1st Line team as they covered the minor problems that most of the customers had, which in turn was able to correct the customers problem within about 10-15 minutes of them calling.

If, however, there was a more major problem that the customer was having they were able to tell the customer that they would be called back within 1 hour. This was then passed onto 2nd/3rd line, depending on who was available, who were more technical and had more knowledge to be able to fix the problem that the 1st Line team cant.

Once the problem had been fixed, the customer would then be asked if it was ok for the call to be closed and that if anything else was needed for the customer. This would then be reviewed and closed and any additional comments would be added.

Complaints were dealt with very specifically and would be passed onto the team manager to be able correct. If it was due to their standard of service, this would then require further action to that team and we would be able to recognise where we went wrong, and where we could have done a lot better.

The department I worked in had a very good working relationship with the customers and were able to talk to them on an informal basis if anything was to occur whether this being, someone new wanted to learn how to use these laptops, if they had a minor problem, or even if we had a minor problem from our side which meant it was unable for the customers to use their laptops for that specific time. The organisational aim for them is for the customers to feel that they are happy with the service they receive and if not, giving us feedback on what we could do better in the future.

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