Communication: We need to talk.
Communication: We need to talk.
We’ve all seen that moment. Two fielders, both single-mindedly running to the same spot, with a cricket ball high in the air and on the way down. No-one is calling out for the catch – there is either going to be two people running into each other, or they will both pull back in time to see the ball drop to the ground between them. Depending on which team you are barracking for you are either squeezing your eyes shut, barely able to watch, or you are willing-on the chaos.
To quote Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here, is failure to communicate”
Communication is fundamental to everything. We see the results of good and bad communication in every aspect of our lives, every day. This is no more so than in businesses. While there are of course successes, we are also bombarded with examples of communication fails – in communication between colleagues, between management and staff, and between businesses and their customers/clients.
There are lots of tools that can help you to improve your communication – such as communication plans, communication logs and templates. However, there are also some basic principles that when applied, go a long way towards improving morale and customer satisfaction. Although timing, clarity and accuracy may seem basic, they lay a powerful foundation when you get them right.
There is nothing more frustrating than last-minute communications. Parents cannot just drop everything to attend an information session at the school with just one day notice. Customers cannot pick up that back-ordered item before close of business today. Managers cannot prepare a presentation for a meeting tomorrow. Planning ahead to ensure communication is sent in plenty of time, and then followed up closer to the time, is crucial to reducing dis-satisfaction, improving attendance and fostering happy stakeholders. If you are not sure how much lead time various communications require, we can help.
Ok, maybe there is one thing more frustrating than last-minute communications – unclear communications. If you have ever found yourself scratching your head trying to work out whether an email was actually intended for you, what the purpose of an email is or whether or not you are supposed to be doing anything about it, you are far from alone. Communication only works when it clearly and unambiguously answers the questions:
- Who is this intended for?
- What is the message?
- What action is required and by whom?; and
- When is it required?
The use of templates to ensure each of these items is covered can be very beneficial.
“Respond by Monday 12th March” causes confusion when the March 12 is actually a Friday. Which date do they actually mean? What about when an email says an event is at one location and the attached word document says it is somewhere different? I have seen examples where a website or Facebook post says one thing and an email another. When you communicate, take the time to fact check and get the details right. This will not only save you time answering lots of questions from confused recipients, it will also improve everyone’s perception of and satisfaction with your business.
Communication is one of the most common things businesses can improve on. Setting up the basics with assistance from professionals such as Kirbi Solutions is a simple step with positive impacts that might just surprise you.
For information on our range of communications packages, contact Kirbi Solutions on 07 3635 7345.