If your staff is struggling with an inability to communicate, it could be adversely affecting your bottom line.
A recent study by the Project Management Institute found 56 percent of any given project can be at financial risk if team members can’t connect with a common set of strategies, goals and actions. And that’s especially true as businesses grapple with global expansions, the challenging “do-more-with-less” economic climate and constant demand for innovation.
“Despite this risk, many organizations admit they are currently not placing adequate importance on effectively communicating critical project information, especially when explaining the business benefits of strategic initiatives to stakeholders at all levels of a project,” the study notes.
Conversely, organizations that maximize channels of communication and keep everyone on the same page complete an average 80 percent of their products on time and on budget, risking 14 times fewer dollars than their low-performing counterparts.
How do you stay on task and keep everyone on the same page?
- Keep customers happy first. Even the best staff-level organization will ultimately go to waste if you’re not clearly communicating with clientele and addressing their needs. Get a better handle on those needs through constant testing and data gathering at every touchpoint in the customer journey.
- Poll staff on how to make inter-company communications as simple as possible, reducing red tape after evaluating what’s really essential. Silos can be difficult to overcome since different groups have different motivations; you may have to remind employees how their roles fit into the big picture.
- Check out the CRMs and other online organizational tools that can efficiently keep your information centrally located, transparent and accessible. Some of the best new CRMs can incorporate social media features, mobile interactivity and predictive analytics, says Jennifer Lonoff Schiff on CIO.com, also seamlessly integrating with your e-commerce platform, marketing automation software, analytics software and accounting system. Schiff also predicts an upswing in industry-specific vertical CRMs as replacements for horizontal CRMs, and the increased linking of smart devices to CRMs to take advantage of the burgeoning IoT.
- Narrow your company’s mission statement to something simple and clear so everyone can focus on what you’re trying to achieve when other factors are muddying workplace waters. American Express simply aims to “be the world’s most respected service brand.” ConocoPhillips wants to “use our pioneering spirit to responsibly deliver energy to the world.” CVS Corp. vows to “be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.” And Patagonia’s mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
- If existing hierarchies of communication seem too complex or problematic, don’t be afraid to start from scratch in re-designing new methods.
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