Breakdowns in communications can quickly derail your business and prevent it from reaching its goals. Employees lose focus of what's important and tasks are sometimes poorly defined, slowing progress to a minimum.
Connections Online can help.Connections Online is an enterprise-wide intranet application that outlines priorities and tracks tasks.
"It really keeps everyone in the organization on the same page," says John Osborne, principal with the Cardwell Group, a business consulting firm that sells the software. "It integrates all the things that need to go on in an organization to be delivering outstanding customer service. The process enables an organization to stay focused on the customer and eliminate the barriers that people get tied up in."
The software tracks three key imperative areas: organization, team and individual. In each area, goals are assigned and tracked, so a complete view of the organization is provided at all times. Everyone can see who is working on what task, why it's important and when it's completed.
"In small business, people tend to be activity oriented instead of results oriented," says Osborne. "Connections Online keeps everyone focused on outcomes or results. It shows who is responsible for a piece of work that has to be done, and everybody clearly understands what is required."
Ever have a meeting where people talk about what needs to be done, but weeks later, nothing seems to have been accomplished because of a lack of focus?
"What users like most about it is before the meeting breaks up, if forces you to determine what the scope of the project is and how you are going to evaluate whether it is successful," says Osborne. "What Connections Online does is asks you the questions you need to have answered for you to effectively have an outstanding customer service experience."
Before anyone leaves the room, they'll know what their individual responsibilities will be and when the work needs to be done by and can access the information at any time.
The business owner or top executives can call up the information and get a company-wide view of what's happening and what everyone is focused on.
A business needs a minimum of about $4 million in sales and about 30 employees to see the full benefits of the program, according to Osborne, but in some cases a smaller firm may still benefit. Connections Online costs $12,500 for a three-year license.
"Everybody is interested in retaining customers," says Osborne. "This keeps everybody focused and integrates everything that goes on so that the customer is the focus."