Out of Office: Beating the Summertime Communication Slow Down

That’s right, folks. We’ve hit it.

Automatic reply emails apologizing for being out of the office seem to be more common than a customer picking up their phone in the first place. You look outside and can’t help but wish you could trade in your office chair for a beach chair. The only topic you talk to the other salesperson about at the next desk over is fantasy football and, well, we’re still a few months away from that starting back up.

The dog days of summer are officially here, and fighting through those longer-than-normal days can feel like a daunting task. So, the question is – what can you do to combat the summertime business woes and take your customer communications to the next level?

Take Advantage of Vacations

Spoiler alert: I don’t mean this in the way that you probably think I do. You may be talking to some high-level officials from Fortune 500 companies, but at the end of the day it is important to remember that we’re all human. We like to hear stories and more importantly, we like to tell stories. Following up with a customer who just returned from an African safari, or a trip to the Bahamas with the family is a great way to break the ice on a follow up call, as well as build rapport that will only help your work’s bottom line. Take the time to put away all the industry’s jargon for a bit and communicate with your customers on a more personal level.

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Believe it or not, this acronym coined by the U.S. Navy back in the sixties can be incorporated for your summer communication plan. Because your customers are undoubtedly more on-the-go now as opposed to other months, be mindful of the space you take up in the body of your emails. People are connected to their phones now more than ever, but with time potentially being limited, it is more important than ever to keep your messages short so that ideas can be conveyed quickly.

Flexibility Is Key

Plans change all the time, so when your customer asks to rearrange a meeting time because something came up last second, make sure that you can accommodate that. If it’s shifting around your calendar to make some room for them, show the initiative that that’s what you’re going to do. A great way to do that is to offer a handful of different meeting times so that your customers can pick and choose when the communication can occur, and you can both get the most out of the meeting.

It’s important to realize that the “dog days” can open your customers personally, as well as create fresh opportunities for yourself that you would have never known about otherwise. The need for enhanced customer communication is higher than ever, so don’t let the warm summer days cut into your work flow – keep making the best of your summer whether you’re in a beach chair or an office chair.

To stay on top of leading customer communication expertise, follow Xpertdoc and David Hanson on Twitter: @xpertdoc@dhansonxpertdoc