Response – can it be over the top?


Its hard to go over the top when you simplify communication

Younger people respond faster and with more brevity.
However, you may get 3 letter acronyms that take a few seconds to process. Once learned, they are fun.

This form of communication is usually short but maybe sometimes obscure!

Simplifying a business can be started with simpler communication. Lets start with email and break a few rules to get to “simple”:

  • Unless it’s a policy, don’t “CC” the crew. This loads up their inbox and takes more time.
  • If it is policy, keep the CC list as brief as possible.
  • Unless you are handling sensitive legal documents, abandon the footer disclaimer.
  • Keep your footer short with no images and best contact phone number.

App Messaging is simple and fast

An instant message:

  • Generally done on the phone in a dedicated app.
  • Fast and it is generally secure if the app is bound within your organisation.
  • There are hundreds of these. It is best to lock down to one within your organisation.
  • I prefer one that is linked to the HR elements of leave approval, and “in the office”

Text Messaging is also fast and links to wearable devices

  • Use simple canned responses which are at your fingertips.
  • You have the number in your phone contact list for screening.
  • The messages will pop up on your smartwatch is you are so inclined.
  • Setting the response time to the sense of urgency is easier to do than email.

Response time


Taken for “360leads” this is their study of response time to a customer enquiry:

The actual time is less important than the realisation that “sooner” is far better than later.

How do you respond faster?

Having access to the right information is helpful but not always possible. Messaging the right people for information and retrieving information – all from your smartphone will go a long way. You may be anywhere.

“Ill get back you you when I’m back in the office”

This speaks volumes of your process time. It spells death to me. Even if it is true that you need to meet with someone back in the office, it is better to give a response of “Good question. It may take me a little more time to get the exact answer, appreciate your patience on this”.

Simplifying your “time waster” processes

There are hundreds of apps that can simplify many of your processes that take a lot of time for a small piece of essential information. You may be bound by specific computer applications that just don’t have smartphone apps. There may be others that are clunky “add ons”. However there will always be several that will save you precious time.

I have a great one for tracking deliveries from nearly all shipping companies. Simple and free.

With less time wasters, spend more time thinking about your customers.

Thinking time can creates the most value.

Especially when combined with customer discussions.

You can be innovative and explore new ideas.

You can spend more time doing the impossible!


Published by

Bruce Loxton

Bruce Loxton is often described as an “engineers, engineer”. His career has included mechanical, mining, electrical and chemical engineering. Combine his passion for data and automation with business sales and delivery teams for a great-digitized process. However, Bruce is a thinker on design, strategy and working in teams. He has achieved “impossible” projects over his career by targeting the big and the bold. Innovation seems to come naturally to the very structured thought process on problem solving and value. Bruce was Non-Executive Chairman of Qinetiq Australia for 6 years till 2017. Qinetiq is Global Defence Technology provider with a market cap of $1Bn & listed (QQ.L). He is an Alumnus of: Harvard Business School, USC in LA, and IMD in Lausanne. He is a former Council Member, Chem. Eng Foundation, Uni of Sydney.

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