• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • October 2008
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Get Off the Email and Deal with It

For some time now I have noticed a trend in business (and in personal situations) where people do not want to deal with situations or problems unless they can do it electronically. I have seen this phenomenon with my kids for a few years now and it has been very frustrating. They almost refuse to pick up the phone or go talk to someone face-to-face about something. Instead, their standard response is, “I’ll send them an email (or text) when I get a chance.” Almost nothing I say will get them to pick up that phone or go deal with the issue in person.

The same thing seems to be happening in the business world. I have had several different clients tell me recently that they have a few younger employees that just don’t like to deal with customer problems, vendor issues, employees or other issues unless they can send an email. They tend to let the problem go or wait for someone else to deal with it. When the boss or owner asks them to take care of something they are reluctant to do it.

I don’t mean to imply that all young people are like this, but it does seem to be a trend. There are just some problems or issues that are not dealt with best by electronic communications. Sometimes it can be solved better and faster just by picking up the phone or visiting someone. Email can be impersonal and the tone of the message can be misinterpreted. It can also be hard to explain information and you cannot answer questions or clarify the issue unless you swap multiple emails.

A recent example came from a client that has a store manager in his 20’s who needed to deal with a problem on a customer order. The correct solution was to pick up the phone, call the vendor and get the information needed, then call the customer and explain the situation. The customer would have been happy had the manager took the time to call them and, they would have built a strong relationship with the customer this way. Instead, the manager told the store employees that when the customer came in to tell her what happened. This created two big problems. First, it did not solve the problem and was an inefficient way to handle the issue. Secondly, it created poor customer service. If this manager had the email address of the customer they would have sent them an email, but he didn’t want to call.

The best solution is the one that solves the problem quickly, efficiently and in the best interest of everyone involved. Personal interaction is still very important in this tech heavy world that we live in. There is nothing better than being able to talk to someone, make sure they understand your situation and address any concerns or problems right away. Technology is great and it has made our ability to communicate easier and faster, but not necessarily better in all situations. Apply the right solution to each situation and you will find your business will become more efficient and your relationships with customers and vendors stronger.

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