Peter Drucker claims
that 60% of all business problems result from faulty communication. The
percentage is even higher in our jewelry repair shops. The major problems
attributed to the shop are the result of miscommunication - Miscommunication
between the customer, the salesperson, and the bench jeweler.
If the date the customer was told their jewelry will be ready is not
properly communicated to the bench jeweler, problems develop. If the price
quoted to the customer is not properly communicated to the bench jeweler,
more may be charged and problems develop. If the actual work preformed
by the bench jeweler is not properly communicated to the sales staff the
wrong price may be charged and problems develop. If the work to be performed
is not properly communicated, the wrong work may be done and a problem
develops, and on and on it goes.
You have all heard of the 4C's of a diamond and how the Cut, Color, Clarity,
and Carat Weight, will ultimately determine the fifth C cost. I believe
there are also 4C's to Effective Communication.
The First C Stands For CLEAR We must communicate clearly or what we say may be misunderstood. We must
write legibly or our written communication may be misunderstood. The terms
and phrases we use must be clear and understood by all, or our communication
will not be effective.
For example, the term ASAP for As Soon As Possible is often a problem.
To some this means: top priority, drop what you are doing and do this
first. To others, it means: do it as soon as it is possible to work it
in, as there is no real hurry.
The Second C Stands For CONCISE Often in our communication, we ramble on and on and never really get around
to what it is we want to say. We need to be concise in our communication
to be effective.
A jeweler explaining in detail each step involved in a special repair
may give more information than a salesperson or customer wants to hear
and the important information will be missed.
The Third C Stands For COMPLETE Incomplete, inaccurate instructions result in countless problems in the
shop. Directions such as: Please Fix, Solder, or Repair, often result
in the wrong repair being done, incomplete repairs being done, or more
work being done than the customer expected. Then work is performed that
cannot be charged for, or it must be redone in the shop resulting in additional
cost and expense to the store.
Now, being complete and being concise is not contradictory. Being concise
means giving ONLY the pertinent information. Being complete means giving
ALL of the pertinent information.
The Fourth C Stands For CONSISTENT We must communicate consistently from day to day in order for our communication
to be effective. In addition, our staff must communicate consistently.
If on one occasion we write the instruction ESTIMATE in big letters across
the middle of the envelope, then another time write in small letters the
abbreviation est. in the top corner of the envelope, then on a third occasion
check off a small box, those instructions may be missed because they were
communicated in an inconsistent manner.
A story is told about a young couple that had their first baby. Soon
after the baby was born, the father stayed home with the baby by himself.
When the mother returned she was greeted at the door of their home with
a horrendous odor. "Couldn't you change the baby's diaper?"
she demanded of her husband. He assured her that he had thought he should,
and even started to do it. "But" he explained, "The box
states the diaper holds up to 12 pounds!"
Often a bench jeweler feels the same frustration trying to understand
instructions on the job envelopes, as this new father experienced reading
the diaper box. Many salespeople and customers have the same puzzled look
on their face as the new father when they are listening to the explanation
of the bench jeweler.
Do not let this happen to you! By following these 4C's, our communication
will be more effective. As a result our shops will run smoother, be more
efficient and profitable.