Security dealers usually have different departments—sales, service, administration, accounting, and so on. Because these departments are in regular contact, interoffice communication is a crucial factor for success. Technology tools can facilitate easier office communication. Cornerstone Billing Solutions, as a cloud-based company, has used a work-from-home office model for over 20 years. We understand that poor communication strategies can lead to quiet frustration, slow processes or mistakes being made due to misunderstandings. Here are six suggestions for how you can improve the exchange of ideas in your small business:
Removing the barriers in interoffice communications
Small Inc.com suggested “walls” put up between employees are major obstacles to business communication. These can be physical barriers or the separation of departments.
Sales agents could ignore customer service until a complaint is registered. Field technicians making infrequent trips to the office might not feel like they are part of the company culture. A small business can encourage communication through robust customer management software. This helps sales and field techs feel connected to the office’s administrative workers. Mobile applications that keep field workers connected can reduce the feeling of being isolated. Our field service app keeps field workers up to date on the daily work schedule and can be updated easily by the office to avoid miscommunications.
Employ tools like Google Hangouts
Business Knowledge Source argued modern offices don’t rely on phone calls or physical memos. Most employees are using online tools for office communication.
A small business might use emails, instant messaging, texting and an office intranet to exchange information and ideas. We use Google Hangouts to help our employees quickly and easily communicate with one another. This works well to quickly resolve simple questions or issues. Likewise, our security dealer software has a chat option to help us quickly resolve more basic questions or “how to” issues.
Technology provides speed. As soon as a question or concern comes up, communication tools can be used to report the information to the rest of the company. Fast messaging ensures the entire business is working together and nobody is using outdated resources.
It is important that no matter what channel is being used, the information is consistent. A company should use security dealer software that can be utilized to update or forward information to “field” employees.
Formal vs casual: what’s best for interoffice communication?
Are you chatting or are you conveying important company information? Your office needs to determine which channels of communication are for work and which can be used personally.
Friendly conversations are great for team building, but you may want to ensure company emails remain professional. Some companies use chat programs for casual online communications and then insist meetings stick to an organized schedule and formal exchanges.
Figure out which systems work for you and make your employees aware of the preferred company communication decorum.
Casual office interactions create a positive atmosphere.
Keeping a record helps interoffice communication
Formal communications should be saved as part of the company software system. Any information generated during employee interactions that will affect business practices or customer service must be kept on record. Cornerstone software allows the logging of Support Notes, keeping a detailed record of communications between customers and employees. Reporting data from communications will not only create a clear history that can be referenced by other members of your team, but it will help during times of confusion between either the customer and the business or between business employees.
“Cornerstone software allows the logging of Support Notes, keeping a detailed record of communications between customers and employees.”
Be specific in your interoffice communications
People can’t read your mind; if you are not crystal clear on your needs and requests, there is always room for misinterpretation. Business 2 Community recommended office communications should avoid using too many words or abstract ideas.
Hard data is always best. Real-time information reporting and a unified communication process will allow you to update different departments with facts as opposed to vague guesses. When conversations takes place, every member can be looking at the same set of data provided by an integrated software system.
Schedule routine interoffice meetings
Technology and online tools are great but there is still a need for physical meetings. Demand Media suggested scheduling regular interactions to discuss plans and goals in person. With today’s trend of working remotely, webcam meetings can really help re-establish the human interactions. Zoom meetings allow for more personal, face-to-face gatherings. Visual communication will be complemented by body language and emotional inflection. It is the simplest way to get a read on your people and determine what information and messages are most important to them.