On November 15th, you’ll find us in new space at 9801 Westheimer, Suite 302. Of course, our clients probably won’t notice at all (well, we may be a little less prompt on the 14th due to the move) as we always come to you and will continue to do so. However, for those of you who do like to come visit, we invite you to come by any time after the 15th.
Companies come to us concerned about their brand. They worry about their large communication issues, seemingly unaware that their daily communication issues speak volumes about their brand.
Your employees are your brand. Their interactions with vendors, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders are how the brand is lived and experienced. In our hyper-communicative world, how your employee handles routine email correspondence speaks volumes about your brand.
I can’t think of a company today that doesn’t want to be seen as responsive and sensitive to all of its audiences. If you want your company –and your brand – to become known as responsive or to be seen as sensitive, here are three tips that will demonstrate these traits:
- When you receive the information you requested, let the sender know. A simple “Got it, thanks” or “Got it, will review” or even “Got it” will let the sender know that the email hasn’t gone into the ether where it is roaming freely. Sending any of those emails doesn’t imply favorable treatment, doesn’t imply acceptance of terms, and it doesn’t enter you into a binding contract. A courteous acknowledgement that lessens confusion demonstrates responsiveness and sensitivity.
- Respond, when you say you are going to respond. If you say, you’ll let someone know “by the end of the day,” “by the end of the week” or “next month,” shoot them an email to let them know. This is especially true if your email is merely to tell them that the deadline has been extended by some amount of time. Again, this demonstrates responsiveness and sensitivity.
- Avoid the “reply all” button. If possible, disconnect it from your thought process. Most of the time, “reply all” merely clutters up mailboxes, potentially consuming time and space better occupied by more important matters. Avoiding the use of this button will not directly establish responsiveness, but it will demonstrate sensitivity, which is equally important.
While we prefer to deal in the larger issues regarding a brand, it is amazing how frequently we see a brand’s promise leach away through inattention to the nuances of etiquette.
I just returned from an abortive meeting at Apache Corporation’s headquarters (which was entirely my fault as I was at the wrong building in the organization). It turned out to be an exceptional experience, however, because of Apache’s waiting area.
While I was waiting to be picked up by the Apache employee I was to visit, I was able to tour a room dedicated to highlights of the phases of the company’s growth and learn interesting tidbits about the company. I learned how it came to be named Apache ( from the first letters of the last names of the three founders, APA, turned into a recognizable word). I learned that it was originally formed as an investment vehicle for high net worth individuals. I also learned about where Apache works throughout the world from display cases highlighting aspects of each region’s culture. They even have their very own tartan – also appropriately displayed in a case.
As an investor relations practitioner and marketing consultant, I’ve been in thousands of waiting rooms. None have been as interesting or as informative as Apache’s. I wasn’t there long, but I enjoyed the visit.
Next week I’ll make my meeting – at their Briar Forest location.