Communication is often the foundation for business success. While many organizations aim to ensure that information flows freely within their organization, not all companies are as diligent when it comes to their vendors. As a result, these relationships may not be as strong as they could be, increasing the odds of missteps or misunderstandings that can have serious consequences.
Fortunately, improving communication with your vendors doesn’t have to be challenging. If you want to strengthen these relationships through better communication, here are some tips that can help.
Improving Communication with Your Vendors
Focus on Transparency
When you’re speaking with a vendor, transparency is essential. Ultimately, your vendors can only meet your needs if they genuinely understand your expectations and requirements. If you hold back critical details, the results will inherently be lackluster.
Ensure your vendors have all the pertinent details regarding their service area. Additionally, if any aspect of the situation changes, inform them immediately. That ensures they can continue to support your evolving needs, leading to a better ongoing relationship.
Embrace Active Listening
When company leaders speak with vendors, they tend to focus on their organization’s perspective. While expressing needs and requirements is a must, it’s also critical to recognize that many vendors have subject-matter expertise that can benefit your company.
As you speak with a vendor, use active listening techniques to focus on what’s being shared, ensuring you don’t get mentally caught up in preparing a response. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand their position as they speak. After that, feel free to introduce your perspective, then use active listening when they respond. This pattern creates a more effective dialog, reducing the odds of misunderstanding or details being missed.
Schedule Regular Check-Ins
In many cases, companies limit conversations with their vendors to times of immediate need. However, regularly touching base creates an opportunity to update strategies, discuss results, and refine processes leading to better results.
Precisely how often you should schedule check-ins may depend on the nature of the arrangement. Weekly or bi-monthly can work well in many situations, giving you time to engage with one another and determine if any process changes may be necessary to ensure long-term success.
Offer Constructive Criticism and Positive Feedback
With vendors, it’s common to focus on constructive criticism when something goes awry. By outlining what didn’t work well and offering guidance to help avoid similar issues in the future, you can work with your vendor to optimize results.
While constructive criticism is integral to the equation, coupled with positive feedback reinforces actions that lead to the correct result. It lets your vendor know they hit the target, increasing the odds that they’ll use similar strategies that lead to the same gains in the future.
Implement the Right Technology Solutions
While options like phone calls and emails can create avenues for meaningful conversation, they can fall short when it comes to recordkeeping and information organization. Fortunately, there are exceptional alternatives that can streamline communication with your vendors.
Looking to Further Develop Vendor Communication Efforts?
If you want to improve vendor communication, implementing a capable VMS solution could be your perfect approach, giving you the right tools to ensure you and your vendors are connected. Contact SimpleVMS today to see how our services can improve your vendor communication.