“As a part of a cost-cutting experiment all of our safety measures will be replaced with these good luck charms” – Thank goodness! At least not speaking fluently in English didn’t cost a life but will it affect the bottom line of the company? If your instant answer is not a “Yes”, think harder, dig deeper – It has got to be a spontaneous “Yes” and that should ‘jet fuel’ you quickly enough to visible action. Here’s how improving spoken English skills will increase your professional image around the globe, impact the customer experience and impact the bottom line: Increase customer satisfaction Poor communication in English with customers can cost you revenue and further improvement in successful products. Inability of the employees to speak English fluently can result in inadequate needs analysis which will eventually result in dissatisfied customers. Every organisation has a customer life cycle. Many times a communication policy is set in place to maintain the customer life cycle. Poor English speaking skills won't sustain the customer life cycle and the company will miss out on repeat business. It is a known fact that it’s cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones. Customer satisfaction is also about quick and accurate response to customer complaints, whether in person, by telephone, or through email. Improved English communication skills can help the employees to respond appropriately to questions which can reduce customer churn and negative word of mouth. With improved business communication skills, the road to progress only gets higher ! Improve productivity Ineffective communication in English increases production time which affects the bottom line. Improved English communication skills empowers employees as the more clear information employees have, the better they are at executing their tasks with direction and confidence. When communication is clear, miscommunication is avoided at all levels. When people can’t communicate or speak fluently, they do as they wish, which is a menace for all leaders and managers. When communication is accessible employees feel motivated and there is increased employee morale. Companies that invest in the personal growth of their employees can expect high employee morale. Enhance company image It has been statistically proven that organisations that don’t pay attention to the minute details such as punctuation and grammar on their online web-sites have a higher chance of sending away potential customers. Employees who speak English fluently and have advanced English communication skills create a positive image of the company. Isn’t it simply a delight when speaking over the phone to a customer service officer one doesn’t have to switch between English and Hindi while having to explain one’s problem? Doesn’t it sound professional if the person who is responding to your questions is able to talk in English asking relevant questions and giving sensible answers using good English speaking skills? Decrease employee stress Do your employees have difficulty speaking to clients, use filler words such as um, uh, like, excessively or have difficulty listening to what is being said? Improved communication skills can help your employees overcome all obstacles related to communication. When employees are able to speak English fluently and are able to communicate clearly they are able to express their ideas and thoughts well which helps them to present a positive self image of self, that helps them to perform better. Save your company money There is a significant financial cost associated with poor English communication skills. These costs are associated with misunderstood instructions, poor public relations, reduced customer service, poor training, as well as reduced production effectiveness. One may feel that saving money on improving communication skills or economising on this cost or conducting training on improving business communication skills is good but in fact the opposite is true. If the company invests in enabling employees to speak English fluently, the results may not be effective immediately but the benefits will last for a long time to come.
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Sherin D'Souza, 1 August, 2017 (11:58 AM)

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