The Importance of Delegation in Contract Management
Effective client management is a critical element of any contract lifecycle. One of the top reasons why clients defect is that they feel that they are just one of several dozens of clients. And they may be right about that. To win a client we put on our best suits and prepare our best Power Points, but once the client is in, our commitment to quality seems to go downhill.
While it is true that you need several clients to maintain your operation sustainable and create opportunities for growth, it is also true that you cannot let the quality of client service slip. This is when delegation comes. A survey found that about half of companies are concerned with the delegation skills of their employees. Because you need to lead by example, here are 3 tips to use delegation effectively to improve your level of client service.
1. Delegate Email to an Assistant
You spend too much time on email. Studies have determined that you are spending about 13 hours per week on email.
To lower the amount of time that you are spending reading and replying emails, you need to outsource the task. For example, Brian Scudamore, CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, a $100 million business, stopped answering his own email back in 2008 and never went back. “It’s given me time to walk around and talk to people,” Scudamore says. If every minute counts in your industry, then winning back 13 hours is a no-brainer.
If you don’t have an assistant or the budget to hire one on a full-time basis, then you still have two options. First, lower the number of times that you check email to just two per day. Using this method, a Fast Company writer was able to lower her number of weekly hours spent on email from 14 to just 5. Second, you could hire a virtual assistant per hour through online services, such as Fancy Hands or Zirtual.
2. Delegate Tasks on the Go
You love your smartphone. The average person uses her smartphone about 150 times per day. Like many other business professionals, you may be addicted to your phone. Instead of trying to multitask too many things at the same time, you need to delegate more.
Take a cue from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezzos, who has a simple, yet effective way to handle delegation. Anybody can write to Bezzos because he makes his direct email very public. His point is that he wants to handle every single customer complaint. However, he doesn’t answer to every single email. Instead he forwards that email to the appropriate person with just a “?”. Those brief question-mark emails indicate to the recipient that this is an important priority and that Bezzos expect a response with how the issue was resolved.
By trusting your employees that are closer to the issue to handle the situation, you are empowering them to take the best course of action. This type of delegation addresses the top of employee complaints: feeling like they are not making a difference.
3. Delegate in Advance
The previous technique could be taken a step further by pre-programming into your contract lifecycle. You could create automated email alerts in your contract management system. At each stage of the contract lifecycle, you could customize emails that alert the right team member that he or she needs to follow-up on a specific task.
There are several reasons why your enterprise would benefit from this type and other types of automation. When selecting an enterprise contract management system, make sure to check that it enables you to customize workflow processes. Here is a list of features to look for:
- Customizable workflow steps to track compliance with your unique business requirements
- Ability to route documents and action items to appropriate parties
- Dynamic workflow to-do list
- Automatization of notifications to responsible party or parties by email, task reminders, and escalation procedures
- Ability to assign contract management steps sequentially or simultaneously
- Flexibility to initiate workflows manually or automatically be triggered from data values in the system
Improve the level of quality of your customer service by delegating email to an assistant, delegating tasks on the go, and programming delegation in advance.