Explaining complex software to customers who may not have a technical background certainly has its challenges. Frustration for both parties is just one misinterpreted comment away. That’s why it’s really important to get it right every time.
There’s a big difference between knowing something and being able to explain it to someone else. Here are four tips to help when talking technical with someone who may not have the same knowledge base.
One: Don’t assume anything.
When you’re talking to your customers, don’t assume they know everything but also don’t assume they know nothing. It’s easy to talk over their heads and just as easy to talk down to them. Neither of these situations will lead to a favorable outcome in the conversation.
Two: Language is important.
Make sure you use language that can be understood. It’s important to find a balance between clarity and brevity so that you can explain the situation in detail, but as efficiently as possible.
Three: Be able to explain things in multiple ways.
Everyone learns and understands things differently, so it’s important to be able to explain things in a way that each person will understand. You should be prepared with multiple examples and visual aids if possible. Be prepared to answer things over email, over the phone, using pictures, etc.
Four: Think like the customer.
Imagine what answer you would like to be given if you were brand new to the subject matter. Also, prepare for follow up questions to the initial question. If you can anticipate the next question in a series that the customer has, you will impress them with your depth of understanding.
Brandi-Ann Moore, PEI