A great business, with brand consistency and loyal raving fans is built on accuracy!
Accuracy in communication is the key to everything!
And it’s not rocket science. It’s built on three founding principles:
- If there’s a system – use it.
- If you don’t know – ask
- If you’re not sure – check.
Let’s look at the reasons that information either isn’t received, entered, used, or forwarded correctly.
Not listening properly
Not bothering to write it down
Not bothering to write it down fully.
Not my job.
Don’t know how to/not trained properly.
You’re not organised! You don’t prioritise/multi-task/single task well.
You waste time doing something else. Socialising, gossiping, phone?
Ways to minimise these reasons?
- Listen carefully, don’t interrupt, talk over people, or wait for your turn to talk – just listen! If you are still not sure then clarify by paraphrasing or asking another question. Do NOT let it go until you have the correct information on both sides.
- Write it down. There and then. In the correct place. In the correct way. Prioritise this individual interaction that you are working on right now and stay present.
- Write it down FULLY. If you are not sure clarify. Ask. Show them what you have written down or read it back to them.
- If a language barrier is severe get help from a staff member who speaks the language. Do not get agitated. Remain calm. Talk low and slow, and read information back to them to clarify.
- If you are ‘too busy’ then prioritise what you are doing at that moment. The ripple effect of not processing information properly is usually ten times worse than taking the time to do it properly and remaining present.
- Not my job. If it’s really not then tell the person that in a compassionately assertive way, or tell a supervisor. If it’s not but it would help a team member out and/or protect the brand then why not?
- If you need further training or practice then ask for it. Do not ‘soldier on’ and then make a mistake that diminishes the brand or customer experience.
- What is the reason you are you not organised. What are your barriers?
- Don’t disrupt others at work. Socialising has its time and place. When you disturb others, you are damaging the output of that person and there is always a ‘recovery’ time from doing so. Stick to your job, and let others do theirs. Imagine what it looks like to a customer, and other staff members.
What to do if it’s the system at ‘fault’?
Report it to a supervisor, explain as clearly as you can, and show/give evidence of your findings to back up what you have found – don’t just whinge to others or put up with it. – Especially if health and safety is at stake or mental/emotional wellbeing. Be prepared to take it to the next level if your supervisor does not help/does not take you seriously.
What to do if it’s you?
Get an attitude check. No one likes the passive aggressive in the room. It’s totally non-productive, toxic to teams, and can undermine the well thought out processes that underpin the business. Come to work with a positive frame of mind, do the very best you can, and build up, role model and empower others to do the same.
What to do if it’s someone else?
Corrective coach them in as compassionately assertive way as you can. The easiest, way to do this is to get them to ‘self-reflect’ on what they are doing/saying. That is much more effective than becoming aggressive, or saying things behind their back.
What are the implications of information not being received/used/recorded properly?
Disruptions to the business and/or customer
Loss of revenue through mis-charging or refunds to correct mistakes
Loss of customers
Bad reviews on Trip Advisor
Health and Safety incident
Stress for yourself or another team member who deals with the issue after you
Loss of hours/pay for staff due to implications
Additional staff hours dealing with aftermath of implications
What are you taking out of this blog that you know you need to work on most?
What do you ‘bring to the table’ that others could benefit from?