Tag Archive: customer trust

Four signs you’re talking down to customers

One way to demonstrate an understanding of your target customers is to find the right way to communicate with them. One potential misstep is talking down to customers. By communicating in a patronizing or condescending way, you give a sign that you’re out-of-touch with them. They might wind up turning away from the perceived insult.

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John Oliver Tackling Roger Goodell: A Lesson on Vague Language

If you watch the show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (or at least the segments of it posted on YouTube), you might have come across the following clip:

Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, gave a press conference on how the NFL will handle domestic abuse incidents among its players.

However, this proved to be a waste of time, as Goodell avoided specifics. He made noble-sounding statements comprised of generalities.

On the one hand, this might have been a beneficial approach for him to take legally, as nothing could be pinned on him later on. However, even when being evasive for legal purposes, there are ways of sounding more substantive and less vague.

Vagueness inspires a number of negative reactions:

  • Contempt
  • Mockery
  • Disappointment
  • Lack of trust

And there’s a lesson here for your own writing. People crave information. If you’re writing or talking in circles, offering nothing they can hang onto, they will be less likely to trust you and your business.

When relevant, offer facts, statistics, or specific examples. Lay out your objectives in clear terms. Use concrete details. Even the kinds of words you choose can affect the perceived vagueness of your language (for example, saying “sort of” or “kind of” weakens the force of your text).

Have a good laugh at John Oliver’s video. But also remember it as a lesson on being less vague in your speech and writing.

Relying on powerful writing to rebuild your business reputation

Has your business recently experienced a setback? Have you lost the trust of your customers? Large companies ranging from Target to JP Morgan have had sensitive data stolen by hackers. Businesses may also suffer a loss of customer trust when an employee behaves in an appalling way or there’s a defect in one of the products.

Powerful writing is essential for improving your reputation and restoring customer confidence. The way you communicate should be clear and honest, setting the right tone and not coming across as vague or insincere.

What are some of the things you’ll need to do after your reputation has taken a hit?

  • Explaining what went wrong and apologizing for it.
  • Describing what you’ve learned.
  • Stating what you’ll do to fix the problem and improve the situation.
  • Providing updates on progress.
  • Sharing positive news about your company (you’ll need some good press).

To rebuild your business reputation, you’ll need to write up:

  • Press releases.
  • Emails.
  • Content for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
  • Blog posts.
  • Articles.

Don’t discount the importance of clear, powerful writing when working to rebuild your business reputation. Mistakes in communication will only further the impression that your business is unreliable and not deserving of trust.

– Hila