Establish a Communication Protocol

by | Jul 6, 2012 | Blog | 2 comments

Communication is arguably the most important skill you can have in life and in business. If you can communicate with different people, on different levels, and in different languages, you are what helps build bridges and tie people together. This is true in your personal life, your business and in the world. And in today’s online society, communication skills are even more important. I intend to address the basics here.

I find it interesting when I ask an interviewee, “Do you have good communication skills?” and they simply reply, “Yeah.” “Very good then, and do you consider yourself to be detail oriented?” (This is asked as I stare down at the application they recently completed with the accuracy and penmanship of a 3rd grader.) “Oh yes, very detail oriented sir.” So you hire this person and bring them into the fold of your company and they are aspiring as expected. But have you established what would be considered a standard of communication for your company that helps this valuable new resource represent your company and your service as you would like?

Everyone has a call script and response process and a few email templates. At least I hope they do. What I’m referring to here is a communication protocol that establishes how you communicate with everyone in your company and everyone your company deals with, from clients to vendors. A communication protocol is a set of best practices for your communication that covers phone, in person, meetings, email, and if need be, texting and other social media.

I guarantee that if you have a good sales and/or marketing department or team, they have a set protocol for their processes. A call comes in, they respond ASAP, they follow up, they check back, and they cc engineering or third-party vendors when communicating about product. They are excellent at communication related to their system and processes. Unfortunately, some companies have a problem where that kind of close communication dies off and never returns once the sale is made, but that’s fodder for another blog.

Your company needs an overall communication protocol to establish a minimum standard of dialogue and interaction which is directly proportional to the scenario at hand. To put it more simply, the more important the issue, the higher the level of effective communication required. Notice I said “effective”? You may be cc’ing everyone on every email, but at some point you have to recognize that the issue has subsided back down to a priority three, so you can stop cc’ing the President of the client company now.

A complete communication protocol would cover nothing less than the following:

o Who is included in the communications?

o What will be communicated?

- What detail level?

- What levels will we require closed-loop communication?

o When to communicate?

- Establishing communication

- Expanding audience

- Sending communication even though there is nothing to report

- Contracting audience

- Ending communication

o Where will the tracking of the communications be maintained?

o Why is this level or depth of communication required for a given issue?

o How will we communicate?

- Phone

- Email

- Posting on Website

- Sneaker Net

- Snail Mail

A robust communication protocol would also have several examples of use. A few email chains or phone conversations documented from real service tickets are excellent examples. And sometimes the failed service ticket is a good way to establish the “how not to effectively communicate” as well as the “how to effectively communicate” standards. What counts is that you clearly establish some set methods for how to effectively communicate based on the scenario, and that everyone follows that protocol.

I have to point out two of the most misunderstood and overlooked components of communication. First is the need for closed-loop communication. Closed-loop communication means there is a reply expected and required on some levels of communication. It has to be there for high-priority issues; in its absence, you have no way of knowing that what you have conveyed has been understood or executed. Tell me you haven’t had an engineer say, “Well I sent them an email telling them what to do.” Okay, but did they receive it, and did they do it? Second, communication must take place even when there is nothing to report. By itself, this is useful and important information that top-level executives will use to make critical decisions. As a client, even if I already know that I am in wait status, it is still important to know that I will continue to be in wait status. Knowing this, I may plan a parallel path, choose to wait, or not. Saying to your client, “If you don’t hear from us, it means we’re working on it,” isn’t good enough.

With an effective communication protocol in place, what your clients will see is excellence in service and that they know where things are at all times. I cannot count the number of times I have heard a client state that if they are just informed and kept in the loop, they can continue to make progress where possible and adjust accordingly. They may not be happy, they may be losing money, they may be thinking of other options, but they are always up-to-date on the status of this one issue.

Left to their own devices, many companies completely overlook this very critical skill set. Its absence is often lamented by everyone but recognized by few. But the few, the ones who recognize the lack of a communication protocol that can be relied on, are often your clients. Don’t be the service provider everyone else is talking about who has poor communications. There’s no reason for it.

If you do not have a set communication protocol, you can start one right now by copying my words into a document and claiming them as your own best practice. And remember, as with anything you grow yourself, think Kaizen: Incremental, continuous improvement. Your communication protocol doesn’t have to be completed right now or before you start using it. Just get something established, endear your team and company to it, and build it up over time. Your clients will appreciate it.

Final takeaway: Establish a communication protocol for your company and learn to over-communicate!

Side note: Look for further in-depth coverage of this subject in my upcoming book, Getting to the Next Level: A Blueprint for Taking Your Managed Service Business to the Top

Can you find this on Google?

About Manuel Palachuk

I am the coach that will take you to the gym! Not just send you there.

I provide coaching and consulting to individuals, teams, or organizations with only one goal in mind: to take you and your business to the next level. And I have the blueprint to do it!


  1. Thomas McGlew

    Thank you for this concise overview for establishing a corporate communication protocol. I am developing a problem solving process for my company and in this process during the implementation of a solution I am requesting each Field Service Engineer to use a standard communication protocol to maintain focus of all parties on the problemand the elected solution to comunicate with our customers till they have agreement on the solution. I am going to use the protocol you mention here and elaborate on how it pertains to the provlem solving solution implementation process steps. Thank you again for this information.
    Kind regards,

    Tom McGlew
    ASM America

  2. boy atienza jr

    I find your communication protocol friendly in style and can help much in establishing construction company protocol in our quest for ISO certification Very very useful. I thank you for your knowledge and advocacy of sharing. GOD BLESS YOU and your family. Best Regards. . . boy A. Jr


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To My Newsletter & Blog Update


What my clients are saying…

Alan Helbush, President, Where To Start Inc.

Alan Helbush

“Manuel truly understands the business of being an MSP, how to deliver service efficiently, and what the impacts are on an organization when doing so. This comes from seeing the big picture as he does and then being able to focus it down to the… Read more “Alan Helbush, President, Where To Start Inc.”

Alan Helbush, President
Where To Start Inc.

Steve Bootes, Owner, Computing Dynamics Ltd.

Steve Bootes

“The most important benefit to Manuel’s coaching has been his encouragement and being told that we’re making improvements. When you’re in the thick of it every day, it can sometimes seem that you’re not making any progress and things are just the same that they’ve… Read more “Steve Bootes, Owner, Computing Dynamics Ltd.”

Steve Bootes, Owner
Computing Dynamics Ltd.

Jim Hunton, President, Onsite Technical Services LLC

Jim Hunton

“I find working with Manuel to be efficient and productive. He is very task orientated and holds everyone accountable. Manuel brings real knowledge and experience. He knows how to make you more profitable. Manuel is not there to lay out a plan and not see… Read more “Jim Hunton, President, Onsite Technical Services LLC”

Jim Hunton, President
Onsite Technical Services LLC

David Moadab, CEO, Solutions Squad Inc.

David Moadab

“I had joined a Microsoft networking event and after the first few meetings, I began to notice a pattern: The most successful members seemed to have a common denominator – Manuel. This is what made me choose Manuel for coaching. Before working with Manuel, we… Read more “David Moadab, CEO, Solutions Squad Inc.”

David Moadab, CEO
Solutions Squad Inc.

Josh Weiss, President & Founder, L.A. Creative Technologies

Josh Weiss

“I chose to coach with Manuel because I appreciate how he does business. Manuel is rigorous, process focused, and genuinely cares about his clients and individuals and their businesses as a whole. Manuel helped me think through the process of creating a rigorous process manual,… Read more “Josh Weiss, President & Founder, L.A. Creative Technologies”

Josh Weiss, President & Founder
L.A. Creative Technologies

Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager, Complete Care IT

Patrick Eloi

“The CCIT staff has responded well to Manuel’s coaching because they can see the improvement in our day-to-day process. The training emphasizes the need for our technical staff to document and function as a team as opposed to each tech working as an individual. Manuel’s… Read more “Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager, Complete Care IT”

Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager
Complete Care IT

William Lanier, CEO, Christian Computers, LLC

William Lanier

“What difference has Manuel’s coaching made? How do you say ‘EVERYTHING’? He understands the trials of an IT company owner. Not just the IT side, but the family side, the team side. He has all the areas covered. The reason his training is different is… Read more “William Lanier, CEO, Christian Computers, LLC”

William Lanier, CEO
Christian Computers, LLC

Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services, United Data Technologies

Jon Sastre

“Manuel is a black belt at building and sustaining a true proactive service delivery model. He works to build and change cultures within organizations. Other business coaches are generic; Manuel understands the MSP model and how to achieve excellence in service delivery. He understands our… Read more “Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services, United Data Technologies”

Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services
United Data Technologies

Jason R. Etheridge, President, Logic Speak

Jason Etheridge

“Working with Manuel has been business-changing and far exceeded my expectations. He isn’t lying when he says he takes you to the gym. My head muscle hurts (in a good way)! The MPI Getting to the Next Level program has completely changed our service delivery… Read more “Jason R. Etheridge, President, Logic Speak”

Jason R. Etheridge, President
Logic Speak

Philipp Baumann, President, BoomTech, Inc.

Philipp Baumann

“When I engaged with Manuel, my business was at a very bad point. We were not providing good service to our customers. Every tech did things differently, and we had a cowboy lead technician that was causing more harm than good and a system that… Read more “Philipp Baumann, President, BoomTech, Inc.”

Philipp Baumann, President
BoomTech, Inc.

Rayanne Buchianico, Owner, ABC Solutions, LLC

Rayanne Buchianico

“Manuel is so much more than a coach. If you own or manage an MSP, you need to talk with him. His extensive experience and unique system takes your business and draws a picture. The picture starts with what your business looks like today, and… Read more “Rayanne Buchianico, Owner, ABC Solutions, LLC”

Rayanne Buchianico, Owner
ABC Solutions, LLC

Ken Dwight, President, The Virus Doctor

Ken Dwight

“I find value in working with Manuel in many ways – financially, organizationally, and new and enhanced professional relationships. He has been a breath of fresh air, helping me recognize areas of my business that are ripe for improvement, giving me ideas for growing my… Read more “Ken Dwight, President, The Virus Doctor”

Ken Dwight, President
The Virus Doctor

Robert Paradise, President, Attain Technology Inc.

Robert Paradise Attain

“Manuel Palachuk will take your MSP to a whole new level! Manuel was recommended to me by a friend, and my experience with him has been awesome. He is one coach that is determined to make progress no matter what. Many other coaches would have… Read more “Robert Paradise, President, Attain Technology Inc.”

Robert Paradise, President
Attain Technology Inc.

John Verbrugge, President, Nonlinear Tech Inc.


“Manuel is direct and clear. He stands by his advice and recommendations. There’s never any guessing as to what he means or what I should do. Manuel provided solid business advice in the IT service provider field. He had not only the business coaching, but… Read more “John Verbrugge, President, Nonlinear Tech Inc.”

John Verbrugge, President
Nonlinear Tech Inc.

Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President, Golden Pacific Bank


“Manuel’s coaching has made a tremendous difference in my life as a whole. Before I met Manuel, I did not see myself as someone who was in control of my career. His coaching has not only allowed me to see how I am in control,… Read more “Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President, Golden Pacific Bank”

Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President
Golden Pacific Bank

Schyler Jones, Owner, MiradorIT LLC

Schyler Jones

“I’ve been working with Manuel going on 4 years and I can say my experience has been nothing shy of phenomenal. Manuel has years of real-world experience both as an engineer and in IT, developing and following formalized processes that have enabled him to build… Read more “Schyler Jones, Owner, MiradorIT LLC”

Schyler Jones, Owner
MiradorIT LLC

Eddie Joffe, Owner, NetZone Technologies

Eddie Joffe

“I love working with Manuel. He constantly gets me past my sticking points. When I feel stuck, I know Manuel will get me going again to reach my goals. Before working with Manuel, I actually wasn’t even using PSA. Manuel made sure I implemented a… Read more “Eddie Joffe, Owner, NetZone Technologies”

Eddie Joffe, Owner
NetZone Technologies

Ben Ahlquist, President, ByteSmart Services LLC

Ben Ahlquist

“Manuel comes from a true foundation of success in our industry in his own right, combines it with top-notch operations consulting and business strategy, and has a coaching style that gives it to you straight while simultaneously being encouraging with no judgment or criticism. I… Read more “Ben Ahlquist, President, ByteSmart Services LLC”

Ben Ahlquist, President
ByteSmart Services LLC

Felipe Vidal, President, Vital Systems Support

Felipe Vidal

“I like a no B.S. way of communicating. Manuel communicates clearly and with a conviction that gets my attention even when I don’t agree with him. There’s no sales pitch in Manuel’s delivery. He really keeps it real. Manuel is focused on success in our… Read more “Felipe Vidal, President, Vital Systems Support”

Felipe Vidal, President
Vital Systems Support

Ahsun Saleem, President, Simplegrid Technology Inc.

Ahsun Saleem

“I wanted a coach who wouldn’t just tell me what I needed to do, but how I needed to do it. As a business owner, I understood the various areas I needed to work on, but wasn’t sure how I could go about improving those… Read more “Ahsun Saleem, President, Simplegrid Technology Inc.”

Ahsun Saleem, President
Simplegrid Technology Inc.

Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner, S.H. Watkins and Associates


“It is most important to note that Manuel truly understands every aspect of our business and our product. There is no doubt that his experience in the service industry has helped us put together many of our best processes in much less time than if… Read more “Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner, S.H. Watkins and Associates”

Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner
S.H. Watkins and Associates

Brian Glover, CEO, Technology Solutions Consulting

Brian Glover

“My business process was held together with duct tape when I met Manuel, which created a lot of chaos in my business. He told me I needed to automate my business so I did not have to work in my business and showed me a… Read more “Brian Glover, CEO, Technology Solutions Consulting”

Brian Glover, CEO
Technology Solutions Consulting

Mike Ita, CEO & Founder, IT Corps

Mike Ita

“The difference Manuel has made to my personal life, team, and organization in the short time working with him has been immeasurable. I knew who he was before we started working together, but didn’t realize he was on a mission to help other people succeed… Read more “Mike Ita, CEO & Founder, IT Corps”

Mike Ita, CEO & Founder
IT Corps

Sign Up for the
FREE MSP 90X Workout

Sign up for the FREE 6 week business workout guaranteed to lean out your business and build up your bottom line!

Sign Up for theFREE MSP 90X Workout

We've got you signed up! And hey, don't forget to check your clutter and spam folders for registration confirmation and updates. It happens. :)