Saving time with communication precedents
How many times do you find yourself saying the same thing over and over, or sending the same email?
For example, to new enquiries, at a typical stage in your process or transaction. Or in response to a certain query, the repeatedly comes up? What about to staff about an upcoming meeting or event?
One way of generating an easy workflow, and creating email/letter precedents and SOP’s, is to begin noticing and recording your communications, as you go about your working day.
When you next send that typical email, or answer that almost identical call, you immediately have your potential wording for a precedent, and identifying where that is in your workflow stage.
Take a moment to save the wording you have created, to use again. Ensure you save it somewhere you can quickly access, or search for. Otherwise you will think it’s quicker to type it out again than to find it. There are numerous tools available, you can save it as a whole document, or the text, including in Outlook (i.e. Quick Parts).
Not only does it save you time, but it allows you to improve your message over time.
If appropriate, you can now pass over these queries to other staff, with some training, freeing up your time further.
You might even discover patterns leading to you establishing FAQ’s, or pre-empting clients with information being sent to them at a certain stage of the transaction or process.
It is worth noting that if you decide to share all of the process information at the start, you may find they will have forgotten it by the time they reach a certain stage. You might choose to remind them, or send it out in stages.
Depending on your business, your precedents can now be shared with others for consistency, determining workflows, and in setting any SOP’s.
One final point. Having determined the most common FAQ’s. You can also use these in your marketing content, blogs, and messages to generate trust, show know how, and share experience, for existing and attracting potential customers.
Whilst it might be useful to sit down and focus on creating time, transactional, or process flows, and accompanying SOP’s and precedents. Sometimes it isn’t happening, despite best intentions, or it isn’t a significant priority right now. As such, this is a useful way to make as significant start as you go about your normal working day, which can then be brought together in a more formal way, if needed, at a set date.
What is your next action step?