All small businesses should be built on a strong foundation of communication, anything less will set you up for failure. Frankly, the costs of poor communication can be devastating to small businesses. From labor costs to the cost of lost business, if your company is in a pattern of failing to share information, you will see the consequences in your budget.
Let’s be honest: as the business owner of a water damage restoration company, you have a lot on your plate. Good communication may be the last thing on your mind. We’ve got a few easy steps for getting miscommunication fixed, but first let’s take a look at the cost.
What is the cost of miscommunication?
How often does conflict happen in your office because of miscommunication? When this happens, do you slow down enough to consider the cost these habits have for your business? Honestly, the consequences of not making healthy information sharing a priority in your business are endless and could include:
- A job lead turning to a different contractor because of a slow response rate or a failure to return their call.
- Increased labor costs because a task has to be repeated after an employee makes a mistake when they weren’t given clear directions.
- Lost work after an unsatisfied customer shares negative feedback with other homeowners in your area.
- Hiring and training costs when frustrated employees leave for a company that prioritizes communication.
These are just a few of the endless cost you company might experience if you don’t make building strong systems for communication a priority in your company. Not sure how to get started? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
Steps to Avoiding Miscommunication
Adopt a foolproof phone answering system: When we’re helping a business clean up communication in their office, we’re always amazed to find that the source of the problem begins with the very first phone call. When a restoration contractor doesn’t have a system in place for answering calls, gathering information on the damage and sharing information with the potential client, they set themselves up for failure.
Develop a system for answering phone calls that is fool proof. We encourage our members to use a checklist that prompts the employees answer the phone to walk through ordered steps of gathering and disclosing information from client’s name, to the extent of the damage, to when the customer can expect someone to give an onsite estimate.
Create a clear system for communication while onsite: Even your most talented restoration staff members may need coaching on the best way to communicate while they are on-site gathering information on a potential job and providing the customer with an estimate.
Equip your employees with a check-off list that clearly outlines everything that needs to happen while they are visiting the home of a potential customer. Make sure they are prompted to gather any information about the damage necessary for providing an estimate and make sure they know how to communicate all of the vital information about the details of the job with the customer.
Operate in real time: In the water damage restoration industry, things are always changing. Your staff may be able to be flexible on the job site, but they need to remember that any changes must be documented and communicated with everyone involved.
When it comes to operating in real-time, mobile technology is a tool your company can’t afford to ignore. Thanks to smartphones, your team members can now communicate, in writing, to everyone involved in a restoration job. For instance, if the time frame of a job may change, onsite employees can immediately send an email to an insurance agent and the homeowner, communicating the change clearly in a timely fashion.
Make training required and routine: Sometimes, miscommunications aren’t the fault of the entry-level employees who often face the harshest criticism for their mistakes. In fact, we frequently find that hard working employees make mistakes because someone in management didn’t do an adequate job training them and explaining expectations for communication on the job.
Avoiding miscommunication ultimately falls on the shoulders of those responsible for running the business. If you aren’t taking the time to make training required and routine, you can’t expect your employees to follow the systems you have in place.
Lead by example: Training your employees to communicate efficiently isn’t enough. As the owner of your restoration business, it is your job to lead by example. Take a close look at your communication habits. Are you providing your employees with clear directions when you hand off a task? Are you putting things in writing so that expectations are clear? Find the weaknesses in your communication style and make changes for the good of your company.
At More Floods, we work with the owners of water damage restoration businesses all over North America to refine their communication processes through regular staff training and expert developed operational system. To learn more about joining our network and the resources we have to offer, click here or call 1-866-667-3356.