Running a facility is a constant battle that requires you to constantly be multitasking just to keep your head above the water. So how do you handle staying on top of all your tasks? How do you do your job while maintaining excellent relations with all your suppliers?
Here are some of our top 3 tips to keeping your relationship with your maintenance company strong.
1. Keep the Emails Simple
Avoid any miscommunication by using some simple language. If you can say something in two lines rather than two paragraphs, aim for that. Not only will you be concise and understood, you won’t allow any room for error in your words.
Write your emails with simple language and you’ll create a message that is to the point and easy to remember. Your clear and direct 2-line emails will do and say more than a 3 paragraph list of instructions that will be easily forgotten.
2. Follow Up Communication
The best way to know that your instructions were heard and understood is with a follow up email or phone call. Keep your relationships open with this simple approach.
When you send an email relating some instructions, send another email a couple days later saying, “I’m just confirming everything was clear with our last email.”
You can use the same approach with a phone call. After your initial email, make a quick call to the vendors the next day asking if everything was clear and if there are any issues that need to be addressed. That phone call allows you to reiterate your instructions, and it insures you against your email getting misplaced or deleted.
The other benefit to the follow-up phone call is that sometimes the tone of the email is misunderstood. There are subtle communication cues lost in the written word, that are better heard over the phone. Save yourself unnecessary headaches with a two minute phone call.
3. Limit the Number of People Involved
Designate one person to the sole operator in dealing with the maintenance company. Doing this eliminates two potential problems.
It stops the business from having more than one person giving the instructions, avoiding the miscommunication of separate instructors.
“I thought you called them”
“No I thought YOU called them.”
This method also ensures that your vendors can’t claim they heard something from another source if they only have one contact with the business. Whether intentional or not, they can’t use that as a reason that something wasn’t completed or understood.
Effective communication is a combination of both listening and speaking. If you want to have good communication with your maintenance company, or with any of your suppliers, practice both sides of communication to make sure both parties are happy with the arrangement.