We live in a world where there are so many communication options there really is no excuse for not staying in touch. That said, I have noticed something that is really bothering me of late and that is how slack some businesses are on the communication front. It bothers me because at times I am guilty of the same crime and I am communication professional.
In business we all have those amazing suppliers who just seem to get the job done, with no real fuss, on time, every time. I have been dealing with a printing company called Lotsa Printing who have been supplying my printing for about ten years. My emails are answered immediately, quotes turned around in a matter or hours rather than days, jobs processed on time and the quality control is very good.
Sure, every once in a while they may make a mistake but they fix it up immediately and take full responsibility if there is an issue. I have done an enormous amount of printing with them and never had an issue. As a company they have grown dramatically in the past ten years and now I really understand why.
Their amazing quality, which is a real credit to the owners, is consistency. They are consistent in all that they do and that what makes them stand out from the crowd. As a customer I know exactly what to expect with Lotsa Printing and they always meet that expectation and very often exceed it.
I encounter so many businesses that struggle financially, that are deadly keen to try and grow their business and yet they take three days to return an email, or even acknowledge that they got it in the first place. What message are they sending to their customers? I am more busy or important than you.
We are all busy, we all get a million emails, we all get too many phone calls but acknowledging contact only takes a second. How many times have you been waiting for a response from someone only to find out that they haven’t even got the email you are talking about or the message you left?
To become a truly exceptional business I believe many of us need a total communication overhaul. We need acknowledge any contact from our customers, speed up responses and keep our customers updated on progress of orders or projects. Any business that does this will be so far ahead of the crowd it will be amazing.
So what am I going to do about it personally? I am making a personal commitment to respond to emails and phone calls immediately (or as immediately as I can when I am on the road). I will get back to people even simply to acknowledge that I have got their message and I will be following up at a specified time in the future. I am going to commit to practicing what I preach and use modern technology to be the best communicator I can be.
At the same time I am going to send all of my suppliers an email explaining my expectations from them in terms of communication. What I need, when I need and why? I am also going to get a little tough and say if you can’t do this, then I can’t work with you.
Any businesses that share these views on want to add to my feelings, please drop me a line and I will get straight back to you!!!!