December 21, 2017
Bad communication can hurt your business in many ways. The way we communicate can affect our sales, reputations, relationships, and productivity. We’re all guilty of not communicating as well as we could have, at certain times. Here are a few ways our communication skills shape how we’re viewed as a company.
Customers: How long does it take you to give an estimate to a prospective customer? If you can’t get out there right away, do you tell them it will be a few days, or do you keep them guessing? When they call with questions, how long does it take you to get back to them? If you get the job, do you give them an idea of when it will be scheduled? Do you notify them before your crew shows up? You have probably had contractors do work for you—do you like it when they keep you guessing? No, it irritates you and makes you less likely to recommend them to your friends. That’s how they’re feeling about you if you don’t communicate.
Vendors: Good communication with your vendors can really help your business. Your suppliers are there to help you—to give you good products at a fair price and support when you need it. It’s a lot easier for a vendor to give you what you want if you tell them what you need. Vendors want to please their customers, but they don’t always know what the customer wants. Tell them and they’ll do it if they can. Another common communication problem with vendors comes into play when you're past due. Do you disappear, avoid calls? A supplier will work with you if you communicate. They feel a lot better about customers that tell them the truth, than someone who is avoiding their calls. Some calls are hard to make, but that’s part of running a business. Don't make your suppliers chase you for money.
Employees: How well do you communicate with your employees? Breaks in communication between the office, estimators and crews can wreak havoc on your company. Are your estimators giving the crews all the details they need to make the customer happy? Are your crews telling you about issues that arise with equipment, job layout, or delays? The sooner you find out about problems, the sooner you can handle them. It's best to hear about problems from your employees, not your customers. Proactive companies always look more honest and professional.
Good communication will keep your customers happy, allow suppliers to help you grow and keep your employees on the same page. Bad communication leads to a company with a poor reputation and unproductive crews. It’s not easy, but you’re in business to stay in business, the goal is clear—good communication.
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