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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Most offices are following an organisational structure devised in a time when the most sophisticated technology available was the telephone switchboard. Communicating with people has changed immensely in the last few decades but organisations have often been slow to catch up. Check that your office is in the present day by examining the different ways you can communicate with clients, prospects and businesses.






Phone

If you still have a simple phone system then you need to upgrade it. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems such as Easy Call Now allow customers to interact with a company’s phone system and service their own inquiries by following the IVR dialogue.  Smaller companies and start-ups can use an IVR system to make their business appear larger than it is.  The person calling never needs to know that their Sales and Support calls are directed to the same person for example. It provides a more efficient system in which agents have more time to deal with complex interactions so that customers receive better service.
Children in the future will have difficulty imagining that there was a time when we did not have mobile phones. Make sure you have a coherent mobile use policy and assess whether you need to provide work cell phones for your senior staff, especially if they travel.



Email

The average office worker sends and receives 10,000 emails a year so it is easy to lose efficiency checking your inbox. You should encourage your staff to check their email once an hour at most- if something is so urgent it cannot wait an hour then it should be discussed by phone.
Outbound email marketing needs to be properly managed to avoid appearing to spam people. At the very least you should be using a reputable Email Service Provider. Ideally you should have a trained member of staff responsible for email marketing.



Face to Face

You should reserve face to face meetings for only the most important occasions. Video conferencing via services such as Skype is more than sufficient for most situations. When you are considering a face to face meeting, weigh up the opportunity cost against the potential benefits likely to be gained. If senior staff spend hours out of the office travelling and meeting, what does that cost your organisation? Not just in terms of their wage but in terms of what they could be doing instead. Is the meeting really crucial enough that it cannot be by video conference or phone call?



Post

There is still a place for postal correspondence of course, but for how much longer? Scanned documents can be securely sent via email which has almost completely killed the fax machine, and soon the only things sent by post will be brochures and bills. Unless you are in the take away food industry, there is very little reason to pay postage for communication that is probably unnecessary.


Remember smarter office technology leads to more productivity.


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