Do this One Thing For Happy Clients in Your Business
Delegation is great, until your communication breaks. One of the most common reasons communication breaks down between you (or your business) and your clients and/or suppliers is misunderstandings. It’s usually because of a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ type scenario. I recommend having a single point of contact for your suppliers, employees, and clients.
This does NOT mean that one person is the only one who can talk to everyone. However, it does mean that you need to determine a way to segment your team into who speaks to who. An easy example is if you have a money question, you only talk to the bookkeeper or accountant. Likewise, if you’re having a software issue, you should speak to your tech-support person, not your assistant.
What are the benefits of establishing who speaks to who? Below are four specific reasons.
Consistency is key to so many things in business. Keeping up on your presence. Doing all of your marketing activities. Continuing to create quality content on your determined schedule. But it also applies to communication - internal and external, both for your team and for your clients.
When people are communicating with the same people for the same reasons, with very clear roles, they ‘get used to’ each other’s style. They can pick up on the tone of voice used and know if the other person understands what’s being discussed. They can also pick up on the subtle emotions from the other person. They create a normal between them.
Because of this consistent contact, the people build a stronger relationship with each other. They know things about the other that they learned over time and can open conversations with AUTHENTIC and GENUINE concern for the other person. It goes a lot deeper than ‘How about this weather?’
Because they know what to expect from the other person, there’s less ‘drama’ over how someone responds. And, they’re better able to be honest when an issue does arise. Because they are invested in the relationship, the quality of their interactions is increased.
If you are familiar with the stages of team building, then you know that stage 2 is ‘Storming.’ This phase is avoided entirely when the relationships between the team-members don’t change as often.
Consistency and strong relationships actually create clarity in the communication between two people. Why? Because neither is afraid to speak up if something ISN’T clear to them.
When I worked in a corporate setting, one of the main responsibilities I had was to train the team in their job role. What I found over time was that if the trainee wasn’t sure what to do with a bit of information and they leaned over to their cube-mate to ask for help, the answer they received wasn’t always correct. Because they had more than one point of contact for their learning, they went awry. In fact, sometimes, if you ask the same question of each member of the team, you’ll get a slightly different answer. Why? Because some of the members will interpret the meaning of the question differently, or perhaps don’t take the time to learn what’s driving the question or gather all of the facts before answering. A single point of contact for training solves this problem.
A single point of contact for each role keeps this broad misunderstanding from happening. There’s also value in knowing which questions are being asked over time, to identify issues before they erupt into much larger problems.
Consistency, Strong Relationships, and Clarity of Communications helps your team and business run faster. You save time because people know who to call. They’re not wondering and searching for the information. (Do you have an org chart with clearly defined roles? If not, check out Magnify Your Masterplan for help.)
There’s also the fact that there’s a history of interaction between people. Over time and many conversations, you remember what that person asked you before. You can start to see the patterns developing, and identify if there’s a gap in knowledge.
Have you ever called a company and reached a customer service rep who put you on hold to ‘review the notes on your account?’ Especially in a case where you’ve had multiple contacts to that company over an issue you’re having, and you have to retell the story from the beginning each time you speak to someone new? (Sometimes even in the same phone call because you get transferred? *shiver*) The single-point-of-contact method solves this.
Consistency + Strong Relationships + Clear Communications = Faster Getting Stuff Done
My invitation to you is this: think about this in your business and decide which of these you could improve on. I have a hunch that you can speed up your business with a couple of small tweaks.
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