By Sid Chadwick
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.”……………………….George Bernard Shaw
Virtual Communications with customers ….may be the critical success link… for your organization….and its future.
Sales Reps and CSR’s…remote… or in the office….are dropping out.
Paralyzing turnover of experienced personnel in these key communications positions… is decimating the organization's future prospects.
Recruitment of hirable replacements challenges the toughest managers…who have not yet learned to promote the support, recognition, and ongoing Training these key positions (should) receive.
Too often, senior management makes sure they stay….. “above the action.”
In the last month, we’ve received multiple complaints and requests for assistance re. “perceived communications ineffectiveness of their customer contact personnel”….representing many different positions in an organization.
A few suggestions…that can lead to changes in your Team atmosphere, and accomplishments:
- Work as a Team to identify problems, share experiences, make changes, identify what can be improved -- and your desired outcomes.
- Have daily and weekly “Check-ups”.
- Be flexible…!
- Recognize “wins” – that do not have to be orders….so that others on your Team don’t miss the signals in similar customer conversations.
- Share with each other how to make better use of your time.
- Customer relationships, of any quality and depth, require time, depth, patience, and persistence (Dick Gorelick called this “Industrial Courtship”.)
- Work to develop specific metrics…that lead to success.
- For example:
- I’ll call 5 of my neglected customers -- each week, and also send supportive emails, hand-written notes, and announcements.
- I’ll work to obtain one Referral every two weeks, that I follow up within one week.
- I’ll ask at least two different customers each week, “Why do you buy from us, and what would you like to see us improve?” (I’ll be sure to share what I hear, good or bad – at our Weekly Team Reviews.)
A great resource: Remote, Inc., by Robert C. Pozen and Alexandra Samuel. (Note: The authors recommend reading Remote, Inc. – as a Team.)
Identify “your elephant in the room”…… and attack it..!
Call the association you trust most and ask for their best independent Educator or Trainer – in Communications.
You can not afford to allow conditions you are observing and experiencing…to continue.
To do nothing….is totally unacceptable.
“The only safe thing is to take a chance. Play safe and you are dead. Taking risks is the essence of good work, and the difference between safe and bold can only be defined by yourself since no one else knows what you are hoping when you embark on anything.”……….Mike Nichols