Today’s post is by Katie Eschenburg, Sr. Production Services Manager and appreciator of star-spangled fanny packs.
A couple of months ago, we undertook a pretty extensive reorganization that assigned more people to each of our precious accounts. The idea: more scalable structure, with focused responsibilities for each person and a deep support system in the daily optimization of each client’s account.
Like any restructure, it’s had some challenges. But with the dust settling, several enormous benefits have become clear…with one caveat: more hands on an account mean that communication is more mission-critical than ever.
But we’ll get back to that. First, here’s what we gained:
– Multiple people are highly invested in each account.
– Smart people can bounce ideas off of each other – and there are even more eyes to catch potential errors.
– Each team can focus on his/her points of expertise.
– You can take a vacation and know your account is in capable, dedicated hands.
– More knowledge of the overall account leads to more contribution in more areas than before.
It’s pretty sweet stuff, and our clients have been thrilled with the level of service in the new structure. But it hasn’t come easily; with expanded teams spread across different offices ,we’ve had to learn some valuable lessons in communication.
Communication must be constant.
– Things that seem obvious can sometimes be easily forgotten. Don’t assume everyone knows anything.
– Any change or new development needs to be communicated ASAP to all of the team members. (Send our reminder emails, calls, or Skypes before it slips your mind!)
– The more communication you have up front, the less time you spend on back-and-forth explanations down the road.
– One good idea: morning scrums where all members who touch the account at any point go over the account so everyone is on the same page.
Communication must be thoughtful.
– Before you start hammering out an email, think through what we’re trying to tell our team. If you’re not sure the message is clear, have someone else scan it before you send.
– Let team members know how you yourself would approach a task or an issue. Maybe they didn’t think of it that way, or have a better way. Either way, someone’s learning something.
– When writing a task or giving information, try to think of all the questions people could ask, and answer them in your first contact.
– The easiest way to keep everyone in the loop is to pick up a phone and call. Sometimes discussing hashing things out over the phone is more beneficial and effective (and quicker) than trying to write out all your thoughts.
– Utilize screen share to get an even more in-depth explanation. The more time we invest in overall comprehension and understanding of the account, the easier it is later.
Of course, there are other methods to add, and these may seem obvious – but the re-org suggests that everyone can use a refresher now and then.
What are your favorite communication techniques? Leave a comment!
– Katie Eschenburg, Sr. Production Services Manager