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Customers don't like jargon

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

It's fun to "talk shop" - that's why we have the expression "talk shop". If no one enjoyed doing it, no one would use that phrase.

Tech people talk shop for a variety of reasons:

  • brevity

  • show off their knowledge

  • precision

When we use technical terms or jargon with customers, however, this approach can backfire. Saying "the T2 chip requires a different encryption process so we _____" to a non-technical person is likely to garner one or more of these reactions:

  • an eye roll

  • annoyance

  • confusion

  • fear

You may think you're being helpful or demonstrating your knowledge by using technical terms, but this often backfires with non-technical people.

Use too much and they'll be irritated or confused.

Use too little and they may feel you're being condescending or simplifying things unnecessarily, or don't realize they actually know more than you previously thought.

What's the fix? Start low tech and add in more jargon and technical detail only if they prefer it. Some clients don't want to know as much as you may want to provide, so read our "how to fish" post for more specifics.


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