Small businesses face a wide range of challenges. Regardless of what industry you work in, having clear communication between team members can often be a major struggle. Miscommunication can be costly and inconvenient, and it can slow down your business. As a result, it is critical to engage in meaningful communication with your team, on a daily basis. To help you take your company to the next level, we’ve written a helpful guide about why team communication is absolutely key to a small business’s success.
Communication improves productivity and makes you more competitive
Anyone with a small business knows the competition is fierce. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 50 percent of small businesses last longer than five years. Having a sustainable communication system in place could help you get a leg up on the competition by improving productivity. Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report found “disengaged employees” cost the American economy at least $483 billion a year. Coincidentally, this same report claimed a mere 23 percent of workers have received “meaningful feedback” from their managers. There is clearly a communication crisis.
Luckily, there are tools out there that are designed to help streamline business management and facilitate team communication. For example, some tools can help you communicate clearly and increase efficiency. Meanwhile, scheduling tools enable dispatch without having to pick up the phone to tell field techs where to go. Tools like integrated messaging give your field techs the ability to send messages about jobs and customers to employees back in the office. Keeping all employee correspondence in one space makes efficient communication possible and gives you a clear record of conversations you can reference in the future.
Job satisfaction comes from feeling like you’ve met or exceeded the expectations of others. Studies have shown that happier employees are 20 percent more productive. By making communication quicker and easier, you can prevent mistakes, delays, and arguments that cut into business productivity.
Communication can help prevent a high employee turnover rate
Gallup’s 2017 report also discovered 51 percent of employees are actively trying to work for another company. This is bad news for small businesses because replacing an employee typically costs a company between 10 percent and 30 percent of that employee’s salary. When you run a small business, wasting time and money replacing workers is not an option. Additionally, the report found employees often quit due to poor internal communication skills.
Incorporating team meetings into your weekly schedule is a great way to prevent employee burnout and miscommunication. During your weekly meeting, we suggest you discuss these topics in order to foster trust.
- Areas of improvement: Managers should give team members feedback about what could be improved. Additionally, team members should be encouraged to give one another constructive feedback.
- Internal changes: Keep your team members in the loop. Are you using a new software? Is there a change in management? These meetings are great opportunities for managers to tell their employees about what’s changing at their company.
- Positive feedback: Employees should also be informed about what they are doing well so they can build off their previous successes.
Communication improves your relationships with your customers
In addition to making your business more productive, having clear communication with your team will vastly improve your relationship with your customers. By letting your employees know what your customers expect from them and letting your customers know what they should expect from your team, you’ll prevent employee and customer frustration.
If there are changes to staffing or appointment times, hop on the phone and give your customer an update. According to one estimate, 78 percent of consumers have not completed a transaction because of poor service, and 59 percent of Americans reported they would try out a new company to attain an improved service experience. Giving your customers great service is absolutely vital for the survival of your business.
Good communication can be fantastic for your brand
Companies with good communication have happier and more engaged employees, which offers serious long-term benefits. In this day and age, it is very easy for a business to lose control over their reputation. With social media, forums, and review websites, companies have a renewed incentive to make sure they are in charge of the conversation surrounding their business. One lousy customer review due to a negative interaction with an employee can have lasting consequences to the perception of your business.
As your company expands, you will want to build off your good reputation to attract new talent and lucrative clients. Referrals are critical for emerging businesses. Customers who find a business via referral from a previous customer have a 37 percent higher chance of staying loyal. A solid reputation can go a long way in generating good buzz and taking your business to the next level. In order to earn a solid reputation, you will have to take an active role in improving small business communication.
This guest post was written by proud TSheets partner, Breezeworks. Breezeworks is a field service management platform that is designed to help field service companies manage their workflow from the office or in the field. We offer integrated scheduling, dispatch, customer communication, estimating, invoicing, and payments from anywhere.