Communication Skills

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Soft Skills for Indian Postal Service- Project Arrow Phase III

Welcome to today’s session on soft skills for postal staff of the Borivali Head Post Office. Today’s session is on Communication skills and Excellence through Customer service. The postal department has its presence in the service industry and it is important for all of us to develop a customer service orientation.

The most important rule of customer service is ‘Customer is our God’. In today’s fast-paced world, the quality of service offered says a lot about you as a person and as an organization. Most of us have extensive experience of working for the postal department; hence this session will only help us polish our already existing knowledge and skills.

Communication Skills

Introduction

The most important part of customer service is communication with your customer. In order to communicate well with your customers, you have to know the real meaning of communication and how the manner in which you communicate has a direct impact on your customer service.

Communication-Definition

Communication may be simply defined as an exchange of information between two or more people. We communicate all the time, sometimes with our language and at other times with our behavior and actions. When your customer asks you for an Rs 10 postal stamp he is communicating with you.

Communication Cycle

Communication is a process and not a one-time activity. It takes place in a cyclical manner.

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Let us understand this cycle better:

The sender - initiates the process by conveying information:

■ has a meaning s/he wishes to communicate

■ encodes the meaning into symbols

■ transmits the message through some channel, like voice, written notes, actions and body language, etc.

The receiver - person for whom the message is intended:

■ decodes the messages

■ attempts to interpret the sender’s meaning

■ may provide feedback by encoding a message in response

Noise- interference in the surrounding that blocks understanding

Feedback is most important to the completion of the communication cycle. Lack of feedback can lead to miscommunication and errors in understanding. Without feedback the sender may never know if the receiver understood the message correctly.

If this cycle is broken at any point then there is a breakdown in communication. E.g.
1. The Sender does not understand the message correctly.
2. The receiver does not receive the message completely.
3. The receiver misunderstands the message.

For e.g. A customer has submitted his book with the MIS details to you and has come to collect his monthly income. You take the book from his hand and place it on the table and carry on your work. There is a chance that the customer may feel that you have put his work aside and are doing something else. This is because you have left the communication cycle incomplete without giving your customer any feedback. Providing feedback can lead to fewer mishaps in communication.

Types of Communication

There are two main types of communication:

Verbal Communication- any communication written or oral that involves the use of language is called as verbal communication.

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Non-Verbal Communication- any communication that involves the use of body language, like facial expressions, posture, gestures is called as non-verbal communication.

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Barriers to Communication

Unclear Messages: Always be sure and confident about the information you pass on to your customer. An unclear message will result in confusion on the part of the customer.

Language: Language is a big barrier in communication....
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