Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

The B&B Team

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

Breakdown of Communication in the Digital Age

 

Have you experienced a breakdown in communications in the digital age? We have come a long way from the Pony Express or the carrier pigeon as a way of communicating, or have we?

Email is and has been the most universal mode of communication for business. It is good and efficient in many ways. Today most businesses can’t recall how they functioned without it! But in some ways, it is lacking.

Good

                For organizational communication. Contracts, proposals, confirmations, policies, directions.

                Quick, convenient and targeted.

                Email trails can be kept for documentation, proof.

Not Good

                For communicating subtlety, nuance, intonation and tenor of voice.

                Poor interactive form of communication.

                More susceptible for getting lost in the shuffle with too much information, aka ‘email noise’.

Suggestion: Anytime you perceive a problem in your email communications. Pick up the phone, make that call. One five-minute phone call can often solve an issue versus 15 back and forth emails throughout one day. Plus, more time efficient in the long run and more satisfying to both parties.


breakdown of communication in the digital age

How about face to face communication? In many businesses talking to people face to face is a lost art. Workers stuck in a cubicle with only a computer to talk to!  Innkeepers know how satisfying and effective face to face communication can be. They do it all day.

But of course Innkeepers rely on email as well, all for the good reasons listed above. But have you ever checked in guests that you were sure would be…you know,  PITAs but turned out to be lovely people? Your first perception could have been tainted by your email communications with them. The subtlety, nuance, intonation and tenor of voice could not be heard in the emails.

Scenario

15 back and forth emails over multiple days from guest requesting; 1. Special dietary needs  2. Multiple reservation day changes 3. Assurances of ‘best room in the Inn’. 4. on and on.

Their emails communicated a needy, demanding nature and a bit snarky. Then they show up and are as sweet as pie and very appreciative of your attentiveness, patience and response to their needs. Bingo!

Just like never judge a book by its cover, never judge a guest by their emails! In the scenario stated, this may be a time to pick up the phone. Smile, it’s seen through the line. The result, both parties feel satisfied and say to themselves…”OK, that’s done, I feel much better!”

Food for thought. Check out this article from Forbes, by Adam Rogers. As Workplace Communication Evolves, Email May Not Prevail. Interesting look at the future of email. Evolving towards texting, and messaging on social media. Also discusses the annoying presence of automated emails that clutter the landscape. And no one likes clutter!

So when in doubt, pick up the phone. All of us at The B&B Team love to talk (email is OK too) and…

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

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