I – Internal Communications

I

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”   Anne Morrow Lindberg

“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”  Joseph Priestley

Internal Communications

 

 

Years ago, as a volunteer in the Public Information Office of the local school district that my kids attended, I was asked to create an Internal Communications Audit.  This was a hot topic for me as I too wanted to know if the teachers, staff, and administrators knew all about the 26 programs their district offered to help kids.  Having never created a survey for an audit I worked at creating questions. Then I submitted my survey to all of the teachers, staff, and administrators in the district.  What we learned from the survey is that everyone worked so hard at their job that they were not familiar with the other options in the district. No one even knew the requirements for all these programs. They forgot to communicate with one another. This was eye opening to the district, but a benefit to the children.  Communications were about to change for the better.

Then years later, while working for a Title company in the real estate industry, they learned a hard lesson about internal communications. This company had two major departments that dealt specifically with one national lender.  One department helped this national lender and other national lenders relocate their clients into the state of Washington.  The other department for this Title Company helped relocate homeowners out of the state of Washington. How hard is that… “Are you moving into Washington or OUT of Washington?”  One problem— the various escrow offices around the greater Seattle area did not realize the difference between the two departments, consequently when the lender’s clients contacted the escrow office, they were more often than not sent to the wrong department. Humorus2

Have you been transferred from person to person within a company becoming angrier and angrier?  Well, this happened over and over again to the clients.  I frequently would end up with a VERY angry client that needed another department, so I resolved their problem and connected them to the correct department as I dealt with the people moving into the state.  I made sure my clients were satisfied. Because many clients were transferred to the wrong office within our company, the complaints about our company became so horrific that our largest client found another more competent Title company. The lack of internal communications impacted the service we were supposed to provide for our clients, as it put our company out of business.

Sadly, corporate America forgets how essential internal communications is to their business.  It is important that employees within a company learn about the various aspects of other departments… not just their own department.  Internal communications and customer service go hand-in-hand.

Too many companies ignore this fact. Internal communications is critical to EVERY organization… take time to learn the aspects of other positions within your company.  Your customers will thank you.

Internal communications and bickering

 

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About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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23 Responses to I – Internal Communications

  1. Amy Bovaird says:

    Gwynn,
    You are SO right. I have been stuck on lines in companies being transferred from person to person and then end up getting hung up on. I’ve had two hour waits before I’ve given up myself. It is frustrating. Thank goodness, you are there to remind people of that and to try to solve these problems! Thank YOU!
    Amy

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Amy, I’m delighted to hear from you again, but I’m shocked that you would wait two hours for a response. To me, there is NO reason for a company to treat its’ customers that poorly. Since I have been in sales and customer service, I found that excellent customer service would sell a company’s products faster than the sales force could. Thank you for working to train people how to better serve their client through communication.

  2. Amy Bovaird says:

    Amy here again. By the way, I taught English in what is called a Practice Firm. It is a simulated business and my Arab students had to write letters and emails within the department and to various departments of other practice firms in Australia. It was such a good experience for them! (I taught business communications and English).
    A new reader from Blogging from A to Z.
    http://amybovaird.com/h-is-for-hair/

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Amy, Thanks for stopping by to communicate with me! Your job sounded quite interesting and an EXCELLENT way to teach people the value of proper communication. Responding to one another is critical… as is understanding the customer’s request. I have never heard of a Practice Firm, but I’m applauding.

  3. You are so right! It is important to know what others do within any organization. Communication is vital.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Sheila thanks for stopping by to comment. It is amazing to me that we have forgotten how to deal directly with one another and how important it is to understand one another’s needs… whether family or business. Having worked for small and large corporations I have seen many mistakes in my time.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      It is me again. I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it did not have an option that would allow me to sign in. I enjoyed meeting your husband. He sounds like a fun and interesting person. I wish him luck with his book. Again, thanks for commenting.

  4. pat garcia says:

    Hi,

    Yes, I have been kept on the line for an hour while waiting for someone to answer the phone, only to be told, I’m sorry but you’re in the wrong department, and then they connect me to a department where I have to wait another thirty minutes or so.

    What I do now is lay my phone beside my computer and keep writing or I hang up and send an email, if I have the email address.

    Shalom,
    Patricia

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      It boggles my mind that companies don’t understand that quality customer service and internal communications benefits everyone. In talking to the company that makes my eye medicine I was getting totally different information from the departments I was transferred to. This carelessness shocks me and I’m surprised that more companies aren’t going out of business because of their lack of interest in communicating and service.

      It is totally ridiculous that you had to stay on the line for so long. I’m surprised that you didn’t complain to a supervisor.

      • pat garcia says:

        My Dear,
        I write it off to learning to be patient. There was a time when I would have exploded but those times have changed because I refused to let someone else taint my world and cause me to react.
        Love you.
        Shalom,
        Pat

        • Gwynn Rogers says:

          I am patient and I don’t explode at people, however, I WILL voice my frustration. Sometimes I can actually find a person to listen and understand… sometimes! 😉

  5. This is a huge problem in the U.S., I think. Sometimes communications break down even within departments. On my last job (which I left in 2008), I took the time to write a manual for our group. I wrote down everything I had learned over the years so the knowledge wouldn’t be lost. I used a lot of screen shots with examples. Yet people didn’t seem to want to use it, and other departments resisted writing anything down. It made for a lot of confusion within the company.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Yes, I outlined all 26 programs of the school district and how they worked so that teachers, administrators, and staff could better serve the kids. I don’t think they ever used the manual. Supposedly, they did create changes in the ways they taught kids.

      It amazes me that companies think sales are more important than customer service as GOOD service creates MORE sales! It is like people don’t care about quality anymore… or am I just OLD??? 😉 (Don’t Answer that! ) Hehe

  6. Stephen Tremp says:

    Love the coffee cup! Wifey and I love to take pics and text each other. Texting has helped us communicate better with each other.

    Stopping in from A to Z and thanks for the continued participation!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Co-host
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

  7. These days when you call anywhere getting through all the automation is so frustrating that by the time a live person is reached most people are probably already angry and upset. They really need live person as one of the first options.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I’m with you regarding automation. Half the time the recording does not offer the option that I want. I am learning that by hitting “O” for operator, most of the time I can reach a live body. Trust me, you don’t want to let me climb up on my soapbox regarding automation.

      Thanks for coming by!

  8. Susan Scott says:

    Thanks Gwynn. It’s a hot topic. Here in SA we have an organisation to which we can make our complaints about shoddy service, and also compliment the company or individual who provides good service. Recurring companies like banks or cell phone providers are on the hot list for bad inexcusable service. It’s a good outlet to have such a place. We name and shame. BUT we’re also good at complimenting when its due. You’d think that companies etc would get a wake up call when they’re named and shamed – I’m not sure they do. But they sure don’t get my business. I will count to ten if I’m in a store and not attended to, and walk out.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      So Susan, tell me who started the compliment/complaint company? Is it government run or run by individuals? I have not heard of that before, but I would LOVE to start one here in the U.S. Companies, I think, need to wake up. Service is becoming awful!

      In store, I don’t usually have a problem. It is calling a company and trying to get customer service on the phone that I is a problem. Then I want to pull out my marble rolling pin and WHAP someone over the head!! 😉

  9. What Patricia said, but I add that when they FINALLY answer and then transfer me, they cut me off and I have to start over. {{{ }}}

    What Susan says they do in SA is good. Those similar organizations we have here in the U.S. seem to be largely ineffective.

    And I don’t you just love the one where you tell them, “No, I did not say the cupcakes are soggy. I said your communications are foggy.” And, then, they say, “Well, now, you have to understand that … blah, blah, blah” — and this while talking over me.

    Oh, I could go on. But I like the G.B. Shaw wisdom about the illusion.

    You’re a good writer, Gwynn, and I enjoy your wit and humor. Please keep going.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I cheer Pat on for actually staying on hold for an hour. I would hang up and try again another time. However, if that wait time is typical for companies in Germany, putting them on speaker phone while I worked else where would be advisable.

      I have never hear of a company that monitored the service of other companies. I think that is FABULOUS. I want one… or want to start one!

      I do laugh about the miscommunication over the “foggy” cupcakes, as since I wear hearing aids miscommunication is a problem I have. I remember a friend told me that she “self meditates” only I thought she said she “self medicates.”

      These days I think we should be able to Skype with the customer service dept. of a company. Maybe we could REALLY keep the company on its’ toes then!

      Thanks Samantha for your lovely comments.

  10. You write about this so beautifully–and with such great images. Glad I stopped by on the A-Z Challenge!

    http://shrinkrapped.com/

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Lorrie, Thanks for stopping by with your kind comments! Internal communications is so critical from within families to businesses. It is so amazing to me that the “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand” is doing in so many organizations. It is like we have forgotten the essentials of business and working together.

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