I believe that efficient communication in any organisation forms the back bone of the organisation. I am going to discuss about how communication is handled at Vitruvian Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (VPTL) . I will cover the sales cycle followed and how communication takes place within and outside VPTL. As a part of the sales activity we used to send product e-mails in quantities of 500 to 1000 mails per batch. This generated enquiries for the product but the issue here was that the numbers of enquiries were very less and also there wasn’t a way to identify if the receiver read or visited any web-site links in the mail.
The solution to this was we adopted the “e-mail campaign” technology. This technology allowed us to identify those prospects that have opened the e-mail or have show interested by visiting the links in the mail. Based on this data the sales team was asked to call up these prospects and initiate a verbal communication regarding the product. Since they were interested the e-mail they were happy to get a call from VPTL. There was often a mistake made by the team when they sent e-mails to the clients such as the subject was missing, attachment was missing, ‘Carbon copy’ and ‘Blind carbon copy’ field were missing.
Such mistakes either sent a very wrong message to the receiver or the seniors were left out of the loop. To make sure that these mistakes were never repeated again all the members were asked to follow a quick check list before sending an e-mail. Written communication with the prospects gave rise to oral communication on the phone. Here addressing to their queries and managing to fix and appointment were the key goals for the team. Mobile phones were the primary mode for communication. Often there were abrupt disconnections during the conversation on the mobile phone.
Such disconnection would lead to client losing interest in the product or less interested. To counter such situations a land line phone was installed. Telephone communication played very important role for the sales team. All the sales call was done via telephone communication. Sales team was specially trained to do sales call. Major difficulties faced were establishing the communication with the client. A lot of time the client use to be in a meeting or out of range or driving or considered the call as a call from a call centre.
Special attention was given during initiating the call so that the client was interested in the conversation. If the client was busy in a meeting the client was asked for a suitable time when he would be available for the conversation. Even after establishing the communication, identifying the choice of language in which the client will be comfortable was smartly identified by the sales executive on the fly and then he tactfully switched the communication in the respective language. This was how the difficulties of telephone-communication were overcome by the organisation.
Communication within the organisation was also important. Communication between the team and any member of the organisation was done with the help of online messenger called “Google Talk”. This was the fastest way to directly communicate with any member of the organisation since he/she is just a click away. The technical team head would get in touch with the sales representative (who is responsible for bringing the order in) for understanding the requirement of the customer or if any customisation which was promised to the customer for doing the sale.
The management was just a click away from each and every member of the organisation. “Google Talk” also helped us to transfer files immediately and thus not relying on the e-mail service. The benefits offered by Google Talk were very attractive but there were also disadvantages. These disadvantages were identified after using Google Talk for a while. The extensive use of Google Talk leads to a lot of unofficial communication or communication without any proof or authentication. Information communicated had no proof of validity and time.
Tasks and jobs assigned just by sending messages on “Google Talk” were very spurious and because of no documentation of any type the receiver usually forgot it since he was busy in some task or away from keyboard and thus not received the message and the sender would assume that the message was delivered successfully. The above issues bought issues in the daily work flow. There were disputes between the team leaders and the subject matter experts (SME). Also information shared between the sales team and the technical team caused issues. The sales team member sent the information to he SME but was suppose to send it to the team leader. This lead to wrong interpretation of the information by the SME since the information was for the team leader who could have better analysed the information. All the members of the organisation had a lot of other friends in their member list on “Google Talk”. This lead to a lot of unwanted unofficial communication during the office hours and thus hampered work. To overcome this problem we installed a private network messenger which was operated only within office premises. This messenger offered all the features offered by Google Talk.
This was how the difficulties in this technology were overcome by the organisation. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system was implemented for seamless communication of customer information. Constantly updating the system was the most important job. Communication between the Business Development Manager (BDM) and the sales team was mainly through the CRM system. Weekly tasks for the sales team were simply allocated to the respective sales member. Then it was the responsibility of the sales team member to complete the tasks. The status of the tasks at any given time was available to the sales manager at a click of the button.
This eliminated the communication between the sales executive to report to the manager since reporting was automated by the CRM. There was also elimination of communication between the technical manager and the sales executive. Technical manager communicates with the client for understanding any details of the order requirements. For this purpose the sales executive has to mandatorily fill the minimum information required to the technical head for communication. Though CRM was extensively used within the office the client had no access to the same. Major communication with the client was through the e-mail.
Also telephone communication with the client was not encouraged since it often lead to conflicts with the client later. E-mail’s were the back bone of the communication within the organisation and also for communication outside the organisation also. One of our products was mass SMS (Short Messaging Service) we offered with our software products. There were a lot of features offered with the SMS package. The SMS received by the receiver by the company name. This feature was called customised Sender-id. This also helped the sender in leaving an impression on the receiver.
The difficulties in the SMS package were that often the SMS’s were not delivered on time. This leads to delayed delivery of messages to the receivers. Since delivered late the essence of the message was lost. Often this service was used by the customers for wishing clients on festivals. Due to excessive traffic in the networks the SMS’s would get delayed or the delivery would fail. Also late delivery to the receiver would also send very wrong message. With Blackberry you can be up and running in just a few steps, regardless of email account type — and without IT support.
It’s the easiest, most affordable way for individuals or small businesses to start using BlackBerry devices. Although push e-mail had existed in wired-based systems for many years, one of the first uses of the system with a portable, “always on” wireless device outside of Asia was the BlackBerry service. BlackBerry became very popular, in part because it offers remote users “instant” e-mail; new e-mails appear on the device as soon as they arrive, without the need for any user intervention. The handheld becomes a mobile, dynamically updating, copy of the user’s mailbox.
BlackBerry push technology lets you receive your email effortlessly because messages are automatically pushed to your device. BlackBerry is the latest communication pioneer with respect to communication on the go. BlackBerry supports e-mail and mobile communication services. All the senior members of the organisation use BlackBerry for their daily business. It also helped in keeping them in touch with the entire organisation. But there were difficulties faced by the users such as: If you exceed your email account quota, you cannot receive email until you either clean out your account or request a quota increase.
This leads to an abrupt pause in the service and often went unnoticed by the user. The sender is unaware that you receive your mails on the BlackBerry and if the e-mail size is greater than 20MB then the service blocked the e-mail because of which there are chances you might miss out an important e-mail because of your technology limitations. Outlook is very extensively used and sometimes there are issues with integration of Outlook with BlackBerry. There are also viruses, such as Klez and Sobig, which spoof the sender’s address.
An infected computer sends out infected messages and puts addresses in the “To:” and “From:” fields that it finds somewhere on the infected computer (the email addresses it finds don’t have to be in the contacts lists of the email program, but could even be, for example, in a stored document or cached web page). Again, if the “To:” address doesn’t work, the message bounces, but it bounces back to the “From:” address, which may be yours. If you forward your email from one computer to another, it is possible to set up the forwarding in such a way that there is no final destination for your email messages.
For example, suppose you have accounts on two computers named Coffee and Tea. If you set mail forwarding on Coffee to forward mail to Tea, and set forwarding on Tea to forward mail to Coffee, you create a mail forwarding loop. Mail sent to Coffee would go to Tea instead, but when Tea got it, it would send it right back to Coffee. The mail would never have a final delivery location. The very essence of human nature to touch something is the heart Touch-Screen technology. Touch-screens are not a feature restricted to high-end devices any more, it is a feature offered in a number of mid-range mobile handsets as well.
All major mobile device vendors now have a range of touch-screen models on offer in response to increasing customer demand. Also devices such as the Apple iPad are so user friendly and intuitive that there is almost no effort required to get yourself use to the interface. Organizations worldwide are encouraging their marketing and sales executives to carry iPad for business meetings and presentations. This is one very successful technology in history which has shown the most acceptances globally. It is no more restricted to ATM’s and public ticket booths.
The touch screen technology is expected to cover 40% of the global cell phone market. If you come across someone looking at a phone and frantically looking for some shade, you can be sure that he has a touch screen phone. Touch screen phones are also prone to scratches, which makes screen guards a necessity. If you have a phone with accelerometer, you have one more headache. The phone would suddenly go into landscape mode even if tilted a little. Thus most of the technologies feel complicated because there is resistance from the users to accept it or rather accept change in the current working methods. e. g.
Out of 100 CRM systems implemented in organisations today 60 CRM systems fail in the implementation stage itself because the users are unaware of its benefit and/or are not trained properly. I such a fast way of living what we lack today is the patience to pause and educate ours elf’s to the new technology, instead we just start using it without even opening the manual and when we encounter a problem we just curse the technology or regret ever buying it. Complexities of technologies can be overcome by learning what the sole purpose for which it is designed is and what are the boundaries of the technology.