By Ben Lane, News on the Block’s publisher.
As a publishing company specialising in the dissemination of good, reliable information to those working in property management, we communicate in many different ways: in print, on-line, by email, by ‘phone and, yes, in face-to-face conversation.
Clarity is crucial for effective communication. There is nothing worse than obfuscation. How very annoying it is to listen to 47 different options on a company message service to discover none of them service your query.
OK. This time you get a real voice: it’s a temporary worker, a baffled one at that, who can't work the big new telephone system, can’t find the right department, more interested in going home. It’s your business to ensure your customers can get through to the right person quickly.
Or maybe you find a useful website, one that might service your needs. Closer inspection? It’s full of errors and links that fail to link. You need Whizzo Wizard Gorgonzola plug-in version 24 to access any area. You can't find anyone one to call. There is one of those e-mail message forms, but you have no idea if the thing arrives and you certainly won’t get a response. Don’t let this be your business!
Even in face-to-face communication, these days no-one listens (too pre-occupied with what they have to say) and no-one responds to your last point, so you get a cacophony of unrelated conversational nonsense.
It must stop! So, if you are in the business of truly servicing your clients - landlords and directors of RMCs – this is what you need to do – o Return ‘phone calls and emails promptly; o Service with a nice big smile; o Get your communication looking good and reading correctly; o Ensure staff are trained and understand your business; o Update and continually check your website for gremlins; o Deliver good news with bad news; o Be consistent; o Be clear; o Be the kind of company you would want to deal with; o And, finally, listen to the needs of your clients and respond quickly.
There, it’s easy. Now go and do it.