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Calculating the True Cost of Poor Business Communication

Calculating the True Cost of Poor Business Communication

How much does poor communication cost a business?

Are your remote workers costing your clients?

Proper Planning

The military has a phrase “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” This mindset is the basis for their emphasis on training, training and more training. They rely on soldiers who can perform when called upon. Soldiers will tell you that training is only one part of the equation. Admittedly, their gear and equipment must be up to the task. 

The combination of planning and training work to produce positive results. Your employees have the best chance of success when they know what to do, and how to do it. It is good to have data; it is good to have reports and studies. But if your employees aren’t sure what to do, how will they ever perform? 

Training your employees what to do is only the beginning. Every infomercial has tried to convince us that results are easy to achieve. The truth is, success takes time. To be successful you must be devoted, and you must strive for the best each day.

If having a beach body were easy, everyone would be walking around looking like most of our time is spent at the gym. Achieving a toned physique takes commitment.

Time, commitment and using the right equipment are the recipe to getting in shape. Unless you have all three, you will only achieve half or a portion of your desired outcome.

My wife reminds me often that exercise is good, and the weights are good, but if I don’t eat right I won’t see the gains I am looking for. 

All the training in the world can’t compensate for equipment that malfunctions or is unreliable. Soldiers need confidence in their gear and be able to trust it when they need it. Athletes also need their equipment to function properly. 

Like soldiers, your employees need to have reliable communications equipment. I know employees who have begun to use their personal cell phones because the business service is unpredictable. They can’t afford to miss a phone call or not be able to clearly communicate to their customers and prospects.

While cell phones aren’t as clear as their desk phones, they know that at the very least the call will go through. 

Your Employees Need Confidence

For your employees to operate at their best they must be confident. Success is 90% mental. Athletes need physical endurance but to excel they must have mental toughness. 

If even a sliver of doubt can enter a champion’s mind, a determined novice can easily defeat them. Being able to fight through the pain allow individuals to win marathons. 

If your employees reach a point where they are doubtful or become frustrated the quality of their work will suffer. If the doubt and frustration seep into customer interactions your customers will soon lose confidence or start to have doubts.

There is a cycle at work. Confident and trained employees produce satisfied customers. These satisfied customers equate to more sales and more customers.

If the cycle gets broken, or begins to fall apart, then the opposite will happen. Frustrated employees will lead to frustrated customers who will take their business elsewhere. They may even persuade people to avoid bringing their business to you. Referrals can work both ways.

You don’t want frustrated employees. You need confident and determined employees. 

Is your equipment up to the task?

If you own a car, and rely on it, you need it to start every time. Imagine needing to go somewhere and trying to start your car, and when you turn the key it clicks and fails to start. Right after you cancel your plans of going somewhere you are going to call a tow truck.

Now imagine if your car only started half of the time. Or worse if you had a car that started when it wanted to, would you consider this a reliable car? No, you would make plans to either fix it, or replace it.

Look at your phone system. Is your phone system a 1999 Chevy Cavalier that starts every 3rd time you try to start it, or a 2019 Toyota Camry that is ready to go when you need it? 

If you weren’t confident you could reach your appointments, you would stop making them. And if you did continue to make plans, you would build in a buffer. But eventually this would get old and you would demand a change.

One thing is for certain, you can expect more out of the 2019 Camry than you can the 99’ Cavalier. 

If your phone system is unreliable, could it be causing uncertainty in your employees or customers?

Let’s Explore The cost of failed Business Communications and how it is affecting your business.

Number One – Failed Calls

If you have used a cell phone, especially in the 90’s then you know the feeling of a dropped call. 

Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a conversation and the call failing. Who hasn’t continued talking long after the other party dropped off? It is only when you stop talking to wait for a response that you realize the other party is gone.

Cell phones have become more reliable. Most homes have cancelled their landlines in favor of cell phones. The major cell carriers service is reliable enough that people are relying on it even for emergencies.

People held onto their landlines because they knew that if they picked up the handset, they would hear a dial tone. When called upon, the trusty landline would allow them to call for help.

In a similar way, companies have been migrating to SIP for their dial tone. PRI’s and POTS lines, while reliable, have continued to rise in price. The cost for phone carriers to maintain these old facilities has increased, and they have passed this increase on to their customers. 

Phone carriers are now pushing SIP as their primary voice offering. SIP is a reliable and affordable option for business communication. 

Since most SIP trunks are delivered from data centers, they can often be more reliable then PRI’s. Today’s data centers and cloud services have been built with redundancy and reliability in mind. 

Voice service such as SIP is only part of what your business needs to have reliable communications. The platform you use is equally important. If your dial tone is reliable but your phone system fails, the call will fail.

At one time computers filled entire rooms. In the late 70’s and early 80’s mainframes were huge. No one envisioned a time when computers would fit in our pocket or on our wrist. These ideas were considered science fiction.

We now know that we do indeed have computers that fit on our wrist and in our pockets. Computers are also small enough to fit on the back of your monitor, and don’t even occupy real estate on your desk.

Today’s phone systems don’t require the various cards and wires their ancestors did. Fewer parts means fewer things that can go wrong. 

Some of the risk’s businesses make with running older equipment include:

  • Lack of replacement parts
  • Fewer qualified technicians
  • High cost of repair

Computers, cars, and cell phones all have an expiration date. Sooner or later things wear out and need to be replaced. Even humans can have parts that wear out, like knees and hips. 

Don’t wait for your phone system to fail before you make plans to replace it.  Failed calls will lead to frustrated customers and frantic employees. 

Number Two – Unanswered Voice Mails

When my wife and I were buying a house, the realtor would say “Time is of the essence” I was able to tolerate this phrase the first 20 or so times he used it. Eventually, I wanted to resort to a physical altercation as I grew tired of hearing it.

Despite my eventual frustration, our realtor was right. Submitting our offer quickly and responding to the requests made of us in a prompt and timely fashion resulted in the purchase going through.

Had the realtor’s voicemails gone unanswered we would have lost our opportunity. Sure, there are other houses, but we wanted that one.

In the same way if you are leaving voicemails unanswered you can be sure you are missing opportunities. If your employees are failing to answer voicemails, then you have a training issue.

However, if your employees aren’t receiving the voicemails for them to answer then you have a technology issue.

Here are some of the features your outdated phone system is missing that is costing you money:

  • Voicemail-to-email
  • Voicemail Transcription
  • Chat
  • Web Conferencing
  • Mobile communications with smart phone application

You miss 100% of the chances you fail to take. 

It is one thing to have an opportunity and not take it. It is an entirely different scenario if you never have the opportunity because your phone system failed to deliver the message. 

Number Three – Poor Audio and Video Quality

I had a boss who had an old pickup truck as his daily driver. The truck didn’t have any modern conveniences like power steering or air-conditioning. On hot days he would roll his window down to provide some sort of relief from the hot cabin.

Now if you have ever driven around with your windows rolled down, you know that it can be loud. The sound of the air as you drive along can be overbearing.

Well every time he would call from his truck you would be overwhelmed by the sound of the air rushing in his truck. 

You knew exactly who was calling the moment you heard the sound, but making out what he was trying to say, proved difficult. If it was raining and hot outside, there was almost no way to make out the conversation. This left you guessing and pretending you had another call come in so you could talk to him when he got to the office.

Is poor audio driving customers to get off the phone?

While trying to have a conversation with a customer from a wind tunnel is unlikely. It is possible that your customers could experience choppy calls. Hearing every other syllable is annoying. Not only is it annoying but it can lead to a poor experience. 

People can forgive the occasional bad call. It has happened to all of us at one point. Normally when this happens, we apologize and agree on a time to reconvene. If poor audio is the norm, eventually the offer to reconvene is avoided and replaced with excuses. 

Stop settling for poor audio quality. Take action now and see how Cloud Communications are right for your businesses. 

Change is inevitable

Trying to avoid change is as futile as trying to live without oxygen. No one had an opportunity to prepare for Covid-19. Businesses were forced to change how they operate and how they work. Without the proper planning the likelihood of poor performance is a real concern and almost certain reality.

We have all been thrust into a new normal. Don’t let poor communication be your new normal.