Improve Communication by Creating Guidelines
Joy from Knapsack again - ready to show you another method I’ve learned while working here as a client experience specialist. This one is about communication within your business.
There are two main audiences you interact with in your business: external (your clients/customers) and internal (people within your organization).
I have found that it is important to set a standard of how your company communicates with each of those audiences. This helps to ensure the information gets to the right person in a timely manner. Having defined channels of communication eliminates the guesswork of where a specific message went or where to find certain information.
To help illustrate what I mean, here is how Knapsack handles different types of communication:
External (i.e. clients, leads, customers)
Our clients know the best way to get an answer or response is to email me directly. Then I can direct the question or information to where it needs to go.
This frees up our designers’ time to not have to deal with their inbox, but rather whatever I present to them.
For clients who have regular questions or needs, we have a monthly Membership. Our members place their requests in our Dashboard (ticketing) system.
This ensures our designers have the exact information they need for the moment they work on membership items. Now their time is spent doing the work, rather than gathering information or sorting through files.
And by the requests going to a separate location from my inbox, it allows me the ability to keep everything sorted and organized.
Internal (i.e. team members, employees, people within the organization)
We use Slack for the majority of our (short-term) internal communication. With Slack, you can create different channels for separate topics.
The channels quickly give us context for the communication, so if it’s something time sensitive, we have a heads up. Slack also helps to keep our inboxes clean from internal discussions, so less email checking! (I believe less emails are always a win)
For information all of our team needs long-term access to, we use Dropbox Paper. We create documents for each internal or client project.
We know that if we need to find information about a specific project, to check in the Paper doc.
These standards help us to successfully interact with each other and our clients, and everyone at Knapsack follows them.
It’s not always easy; sometimes we can seem strict if a client prefers a different method of communication that we don’t utilize. However, it allows us to be more consistent and dependable if we stick to our standards, rather than being open to any method and losing track of a conversation.
Each business is different and has different needs. Figure out the best ways to handle internal and external communication, and make it a standard within your business to go with these methods moving forward. From my experience, if setting a standard wasn’t easy, the years of clear communication after is worth the effort.
There are a lot of great systems and solutions out there for communication. I’m partial to Slack and Dropbox Paper myself, but I’ve heard great things about WhatsApp, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Google Docs. Explore, research, and find the best fit for your team!