One of the most frustrating aspects of doing business has to be the amount of time wasted due to lack of clarity in communications and hit or miss follow through on everyday business transactions. Even the simplest of activities can be derailed by a person failing to pay attention to detail or making assumptions that are not warranted. If you haven’t faced this type of problem, you are lucky indeed; but if you have, then read on.
Naturally, most of us want to get our work done since that is what gets us – and our customers – what we and they want. However, in the hurry to get projects into the “out basket”, it often happens that something is overlooked or misstated. The result is usually an exasperated customer and additional work to be done to get things where they should have been.
Case in point – following negotiations on an agreement, a business person stopped by the office with a stack of forms to be signed. Pointing out where signatures were required, and stating that the dates and some other information would be filled out later, this person couldn’t even sit down. I was asked about a few points that needed to be noted in the forms and my questions were met with the standard, that’s OK, we’ll get it done.
So what happens next? A series of e-mails requesting much of the same information already verbally provided or in the hands of the business my visitor represented. A request to print out an e-mailed scan of one form already signed, check one of several checkboxes and return. Really? You are going to fill out the forms, oops, now you are not? So what could have been a simple process, taking a few minutes and a little thought, now is dragging on into a new week and some items still are not resolved.
Admittedly, not every business transaction is like this one, thank goodness. But far too many require one to retrace steps, not once but several times. There is a cost to that – the business is paying someone to do the work who is not getting it done correctly or timely and the customer is losing confidence in that business as well as becoming increasingly exasperated at the manner in which the business is conducted.
Does your business have a problem with failure to communicate clearly or perhaps lack a work-flow process which is understood and followed by employees? If so, save yourself some expense and some customers and get it fixed.