Internal communication is what we live and breathe and are hugely passionate about at theblueballroom. Running global comms campaigns for clients in every continent around the world (see our little video here for an example of that), we need to be great at communicating with our customers. And I think we really are. More of that later.
First I want to share a sad story. A couple of weeks ago, we were pitched to by a supplier of professional services (I’m not going to be too specific to save their blushes). Their pitch was professional and I liked the people. They knew their stuff and I felt they would be a really safe pair of hands. But they were expensive. We were keen in our post-meeting follow-up (you could possibly say too keen) and then having slept on it, we got cold feet because of the cost which we then shared with this supplier and explained we would be doing some benchmarking and searching for similar services to see if we could get better rates. Don’t we all do that to enable us to keep our costs down for our own clients?
A week later, we received an email asking for a meeting. For some reason I scrolled down the email and to my utter horror saw a damning email trail between the two people we had met. Clearly the foul exchange had not been meant for our eyes, but nonetheless, it got me thinking.
Firstly, I’m just so sad that seemingly nice people can change so much when they look like they may lose a sale. I’m saddened by the fact that two people can say such horrible things about others they hardly know – potential customers who were really interested in what this supplier had to offer. In my mind, whatever a client or prospective client does to offend or anger, it doesn’t warrant unkind words. It warrants understanding, discussion, explanation. However frustrating work can be at times, by offering kindness and great customer service when the chips are down, you as a provider of great services will be memorable and will be recommended to others or your services used at a later date.
Secondly, how easily trust can be shattered by a hastily sent email. Moreover, how dangerous email can be – regardless of whether it’s something that should be seen or not. Email can be misconceived so easily. Time and again, I find myself telling people, both in work and in my personal life, to pick up the phone and speak to people. Email is amazing and I couldn’t imagine life without it but it can be dangerous.
At theblueballroom, we’re not beholden to faceless shareholders; it’s our clients who drive our business and it’s to them that we answer. Our average client relationship is about eight years; we still work with our founding client DHL, 16 years after we began. We’re proud of the level of customer service we offer which ensures flexibility for our clients and includes some great email communications. We use email to follow up a call and make clear actions for a project team; to share ideas, articles, beautiful creatives.
We would never feel the need to speak about our clients or prospective clients in the way that this supplier did, for no reason, about theblueballroom. We love what we do and that comes across in all the client and prospect-facing communication we have, whether that’s face-to-face, on the phone or by email.
If you’d like to chat about email comms training or working with theblueballroom in any way, do get in touch. I’d even be happy with an email … if it’s kindly worded.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net