Communication is an integral part of the human experience.
Despite superior developments in communication technology, under-communication remains an anathema in the workplace – and it carries forward a negative impact on customer service. Poor internal communication prevents an organisation, and its employees, from reaching their full potential.
A study from Accountemps confirmed 41% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) state a lack of communication between staff and management is the most common mistake companies make when managing their teams. Furthermore, according to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives said a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication creates failure in the workplace. These statistics are difficult to ignore.
Let’s dive into two recent incidents that highlight the repercussions of poor internal communication…
Celebrity Chef vs. Intercontinental Resort
For those not in the know, Lance Seeto is a renown chef (dare I say it, “influencer”) within Fiji’s tourism industry, and people across the country revere his recipes.
Lance recently ventured over to the Intercontinental Resort for a leisurely meal, but upon trying to enter, the celebrity chef was stopped in his tracks.
Well, because he needed to fork out $40 to enter, without any explanation. Naturally, Lance refused to pay the fee, resulting in this:
To which the resort representative shed light on
Given Lance’s influencer status, you would think it’d be in the resort’s best interest to welcome his presence and clarify the rationale behind the $40 fee. If this was communicated efficiently, the issue could have been avoided altogether. A positive endorsement would have been invaluable for the resort and word of mouth travels.
In fact, it becomes cumbersome to regain a consumer’s trust when an experience goes south.
Trouble at Marriott in Momi Bay
A week after the Lance Seeto saga, my wife and I decided to check out the Marriott Resort in Momi Bay to enjoy a well-deserved leisurely Sunday experience.
We arrived at the boom gate, and the guards asked about the nature of our visit. We explained we were looking to grab a nice bite to eat. To our surprise and dismay, the guard told us that the restaurant & resort was fully booked and to come back the following day.
What a way to kill a Sunday vibe.
Unfortunately for these staff members, we kicked up a fuss and demanded to speak to someone senior. After a host of intercom chats, we were allowed to go through to talk to a member of the management team, in person.
We arrived at reception and Director of Rooms Gregory Underwood was there to greet us – we explained our situation in depth. Luckily, Greg diffused the situation by explaining that the resort’s stance was a case-by-case situation to prevent the masses coming in for day trips on weekends. He also went on to tell us that the guards at the gate should have called him instead of applying a blanket rejection policy.
Question: Should management enforce such measures when staff who fulfil their directions fail to communicate them in the correct manner?
Poor internal communication has the power to wreak havoc on the productivity of a business, stunting the development of individual employees and entire departments. And you know the problem is really bad when your customers get the brunt of these internal communication issues.
How could the above situations have been avoided?
Why not consider a Chief Customer Service Officer to carry out the role and invest in your on the ground team (whether it takes weeks or months) especially where a policy excludes potential customers.
Communication is Key
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Communication helps to build relationships, promotes mutual understanding, and prepares employees to contribute to a company’s success.
The problem with corporate communication is the blurred line between management goals and employee directions. If you believe in the human part of business, then you must communicate meaningfully and consider the following;
- The nature of the message: How important is it? How complex? What is the impact on operations?
- The Messenger: Who should deliver the information? Supervisor, Director?
- Timing of the message: When should the message be delivered? Is there enough time to understand and implement? Employees should always know about something that affects them before anyone else.