“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
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.
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.