Communication is a big deal
Many years ago, when I went from the field to the office I worked as an account manager for a couple of years. My boss at the time said something that stuck with me my entire career, “take care of the business you have, and you won’t have to go look for new business it will come to you”. As I moved into upper management, I hired many account reps over my career, and I used that line with every single one of them. And it all starts with communication.
I had a standard rule with my managers, superintendents and account reps. Give yourself 15 minutes in every two-hour period to answer calls and emails. If you are going to be a service provider then part of that service must be communication.
The elevator & escalator business is loaded with equipment related issues, be that breakdowns, back ordered parts, repair work both scheduled and unscheduled and the local JHA testing requirements. Most elevator people look at these things as elevator issues, but the savvy seasoned customer focused elevator person sees these things as customer issues that require timely communication, monitoring and updating.
Owners, property managers, building engineers can understand problems, they deal with them daily, so not sharing critical information with them, not communicating in a way that provides customer service is incomprehensible with the many ways we communicate today. In the AuditMate world it is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
When AuditMate does an RFP for a client, we get references from the prospective vendors, and we call them. Here is the short version of what we ask the references. These answers absolutely influence who we recommend to our clients.
- Do your service providers office personnel communicate important information openly, timely and clearly such as down car status, repairs, testing, parts procurement?
- Do the field technicians check in and out when at the building and keep you informed on any critical items?
- Does the vendor provide a level of transparency you are comfortable with?
- Do they communicate personnel changes that effect your account proactively?
- How often do you communicate with your account rep?
Here is what I am getting at, COMMUNICATION IS A BIG DEAL.
I always like to weigh things when evaluating the importance of something. So, let’s do that.
- Good communication, solves problems, strengthens relationships, protects your reputation, drives your revenue stream, creates less work, lets your customers know you care about them, builds a winning team, makes employees better at their jobs, allows your customers to speak highly of you, is a very basic and necessary work skill requirement at any level.
- Poor Communication is the direct path to failure as a service provider.
Moral of this story, if your looking for something to be great at, be great at communication.