The Oxford Dictionary definition of perceive is to “become aware or conscious of (something); come to realise or understand”.
Why am I showing this definition you may wonder? I recently attended a very important (and pivotal) performance review of our business and how we are working with one of our partners. What struck me was how many times one of the Directors used the phrase “my perception of it is…” when discussing important details.
What made the sentence so telling to me was that their perception wasn’t my reality. Clearly, there was a communication issue – an issue that every business has at some point in time.
For example, because My Home Move is perceived as the biggest, it’s sometime assumed that we only play with the ‘big boys’ of property. In reality, we work with and for everyone – after all, the client is at the core of our business.
The client is an individual with dreams and desires of moving home – so whether they’ve been introduced to us via the giants at Canary Wharf, or from a single-office operation on the high-street, we want to help that client make their dreams a reality.
The truth is that we want to say “yes” to every opportunity we have to help the homemovers of the UK. If there is any doubt, the answer is not “no”, but “let me check and clarify” and if we can’t help, we’ll explain exactly why we can’t.
I am also personally guilty at times, because I’m in a rush or I haven’t got sufficient time, or I’ve assumed too much and let my communication (oral or written) trail off. This is ineffective and unclear communication.
The point I am getting to is the importance of clear, positive and consistent communication in business, at every level of the organisation – and most importantly on the front line.
None of us can afford to lose precious customers, be they clients or business partners. I know how much more difficult it is to find new customers that can make the same immediate financial contribution as a well-established and loyal customer.
I don’t believe that perception is the new reality, but we must work much harder to change perceptions if we want our reality to withstand the test of time. Reality must be built on getting the basics right, first time, on time, every time. I genuinely believe now, more than ever, that there simply is no room for error.