People-Skills: Confuse Before Bad News?
by Kate Nasser |
When you must deliver bad news, do you first confuse? Do you mislabel your dance around the issue as great people-skills and empathy.
If you confuse before bad news, you deliver double pain.
I received the following letter from my health insurance company with instructions to call customer service with any questions:
Our records show that you are currently covered under of our New Jersey Individual Plans. This letter is to provide notice that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 11:20-18.6, we are making a change to, therefore not renewing, the current Termination of the Policy/Contract-Renewal Privilege provision in your Policy/Contract.
Termination? Not renewing? I read the paragraph twice and still wondered, “What the hell is this?”
Do you know? If you are a lawyer, you will probably get it right. For the rest of us it just sounds like confusing bad news. I called customer service as instructed. Simply put:
The grace period on the policy has changed.
The grace … the grace period! That’s all? You confuse me and scare me and make me wait in a telephone queue instead of stating it clearly in the letter! Arggh!!
- Clarity is a gift you give to your employees and your customers. Think of them not you.
- Clarity is honest. It doesn’t have to be blunt and insensitive.
- Clarity builds trust which eases future communication.
- Clarity takes effort. Are your employees and customers worth it?
What else drives people to be unclear in their communication to employees and customers?
©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish, please email email@example.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, delivers customer service and teamwork training and improves your company’s customer loyalty quotient. Preview and purchase her unique DVD Customer Service USA – Regional Differences That Matter.