Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the collaborators are his.
With a plethora of productivity tutorials, gurus, and tactics, many companies are constantly looking to be more effective by optimizing their internal processes. It is widely known that for a company to operate more smoothly and efficiently, there needs to be a continuous adaptation of flexibility, speed and cooperation. Another thing that should be an area of focus is the elimination of friction. If you look at all the startups, brands and their leading products, you can see that the more friction they eliminate, the better your product or service will be and the more it will be adopted by the market at scale.
Elimination of friction doesn’t just happen to SaaS products or next to customer service. It also happens with the management and employees of the company. In this article, I will share several ideas that I think people should pay attention to, even if at first they seem strange or unconventional.
Related: The main communication skill ignored by great leaders
How to use secretaries and helpers in the right way
We’ve all seen and found one of the most resonant “status symbols” of employers: the secretary. How many times have you heard the following sentences?
“Let me do it in my secretariat.”
“You can schedule a call with me directly with my assistant.”
“Please email my attendees and they will take care of that.”
“I’m very busy. Please check with my assistant.”
Surely you have heard these phrases many, many times. I want to share with you my personal opinion on this. Listen, I work with many leading entrepreneurs and investors, and what stands out when I analyze super cash is that they never use those phrases. They are never removed from the conversation. They may have assistants to help them with certain things, but that usually happens behind the scenes. Effective leaders are often exceptional communicators and know how important every moment of interaction is.
Let me give you some examples. One of my dear friends is technology influencer Hillel Fuld; when people talk about it, they often mention its incredible productivity and time management skills. They don’t understand how he is able to meet so many people and respond so quickly to messages and emails, while making sure to use the “Zero Inbox” approach. People might think he has a number of attendees following him. But no. He makes every moment of communication for himself, and he loves it that way. He knows it gives him an edge.
Another example is Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. If you read articles about him, you understand that this man is a communication machine. Journalists constantly admire his quick responses to inquiries, as well as the constant availability of direct communication with him. This has led him to become one of the most dominant business thought leaders.
The mistake many entrepreneurs make is that they decide to cede direct communication to their attendees. They are so preoccupied with time management that they forget to think about the other side: the other person interacting with them. By letting your assistant take over the conversation, they might be more efficient over time, but forget that in business, being effective i influential it is much more important than being efficient.
Related: Become a better leader by improving your communication skills
The demo, the seller and whoever wants a solution
Some companies try to automate their demonstration process. Instead of attaching a specific vendor to each incoming demo request, they try to automate and streamline the process by sending a 30-minute demo video and three or four slang-filled PDFs to the potential customer. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous.
Think about it, do these companies spend a lot of money on marketing, and when they start getting leads (you know, real people interested in your product), they simply decide to hand them over to an automated process? How do you think the perspective feels? Which provider do you think you will choose? What attached a salesman “like a bulldog,” or what sent a 30-minute recording? Optimizing a company’s time management is very important, but it should never go at the expense of the buyer’s experience. Once again, be effective it is more important than being efficient.
Related: 4 easy ways to better communicate with your customers
In this article, I gave two examples of ways to eliminate friction in your business. Obviously, there is much more to be said on the subject. But I think you’ve absorbed the essentials. To be able to eliminate friction, you need to think about it in an unconventional way. Many times, people think that it eliminates automation friction. While this is true in many cases, there are points of contact that should not be automated. Always strive for efficiency. Strive to see what really moves the needle of your business back and forth. Focus on the customer, offer them a continuously optimized experience and they will become enthusiastic fans.