July 6, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Communication is the most essential tool to have for personal and business relations. It enables connections between people and allows for learning and growing.

In our industry, where emergencies occur on a daily basis, communication not only provides opportunity for growth and improvement, but also allows us to offer efficiency and agility in our services. By effectively communicating the problem, process and solution, less confusion occurs, which causes less questioning and room for error, which, in turn, saves time – increasing revenue and building customer loyalty.

That sounds great, but how do you attain effective communication? While most of us immediately think of speaking and writing, especially in a business sense, listening is also a vital component of possessing good communication skills.

Find the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why)

Listen to your customer. Ask him/her questions that apply to the situation – right away – to avoid the otherwise back-and-forth time-wasting technique.

Who is your customer? Get his/her contact information, first and foremost, but also get to know him/her. Be friendly and personable. If this is an emergency, initial chit-chat may have to wait, but eventually get to know your customer to develop that unique, yet expected customer relationship.

What is the emergency? Where and when did it happen? Why did it happen (if applicable)?

Communicate to your team

Once you have the applicable and necessary information, relay it to the members of your team. Consider using a customer relations platform system, where each member of your company can easily organize, access and update customer information. This way the Project Manager and others, handling the emergency doesn’t have to ask the customer the exact same questions he/she already provided the answers for to your company. This will save time in completing the project.

This also builds huge points with your customer – to discover that your company communicates with one another to have the customer’s best interest at heart.

Convey the How (Your solution to the problem)

Fill your customer in on the process – every step of the way, but also explain why you’re doing what you’re doing. Remember, not everyone thinks like a restoration expert. Be patient and use simplified terms that anyone can easily comprehend.


After the restoration and mitigation is complete, follow-up with your customer. Make sure your company met or exceeded his/her expectations, and leave an opening for future conversation or restoration projects. Your relationship doesn’t have to end once the work is done.