Posted: August 8, 2008
I lost the opportunity a few weeks ago to get a business news "scoop" as a result of a communication gap with the business owner who I intended to write about. Apparently, the business owner sent me an e-mail message with the information about his company expansion, but I did not check my in-box one last time prior to my weekly deadline. Consequently, I had to wait another week to write the story.
It appears to me that many of us are too reliant on electronic communication instead of making sure that the intended party receives the information via a telephone call. I am guilty as well. I find myself e-mailing an associate and assuming that the message has been received. However, with spam filters now-a-days, it is even more important to be sure that electronic messages are being read.
When I communicate with someone regarding a story for The Bottom Line, I intentionally close the communique with my cell phone number to remind the associate to confirm receipt of my message with a simple telephone call. Too many times, I have waited to hear back from a customer or business contact only to find out later that the person I needed to communicate with did not take the time to make the necessary phone call and instead sent me an e-mail that I did not receive.
This past week, I received two handwritten notes from customers. I began to think about how our society has lost the concept of basic communication via the U.S. Postal Service. When was the last time you sent a letter to someone telling them they did a good job? Or, how many times over the past year have you mailed a greeting card to a customer congratulating them on a recent accomplishment?
Of course, it is easier and less time-consuming to send an e-mail. But if every business owner spent about 20 minutes each day to send a personalized note to a few customers, I would be willing to bet that customer retention rates would increase and new business would be generated.
I am not ready to commit to writing letters to all of my customers, but I am convinced that my bottom line would be enhanced if I took the time to communicate the old-fashioned way, instead of only relying on technology to relay important information. So, I would like to remind readers of The Bottom Line to feel free to call me rather than just sending an e-mail so you know your message is heard. (715) 379-4925 is my cell phone number. I look forward to your calls - after you sent an e-mail message.