Business communication is vital to any organization and a key ingredient to the success of any business. Without a compelling business communication strategy, it will be extremely challenging—to the point that it’s almost impossible—to boost and improve employee engagement and customer retention.
Consequently, your success may be compromised due to poor business communication. This is because it’s a crucial element in building brand communities and boosting engagement inside and outside the organization.
Of course, excellent business communication doesn’t mean sharing sensitive information about your business with your employees and customers. It means improving conversations, giving inspiration, and building relationships with the brand.
In this article, you’ll understand the true meaning of business communication, including some strategies and techniques to improve it.
What Is Business Communication?
Business communication is the practice of sharing and disclosing information between team members within and outside the organization.
Effective business communication is how the management and employees collaborate to achieve their goals. Its main purpose is to develop and refine organizational practices, keep employees engaged, reduce silos, and minimize errors. Besides, it lies in the following:
- Organization meetings and conferences
- Presenting business ideas and options
- Business writing
- Product selling and marketing
- Fulfilling orders
- Implementing strategies
- Making decisions
As you can see, most organizational activities heavily depend on business communication. It ranges from top-level to bottom-level communication, including customers and vendors.
In addition, effective business communication can be enhanced with the help of automated software solutions, such as those offered by companies like Drop Cowboy. These applications improve calling and texting operations within and outside the business.
With these tools, communicating with employees and customers will be more effective and efficient by helping you reduce errors and repetitive manual operations. So, call your local provider and see how you can integrate them with your system.
What Are The Types Of Business Communications?
There are two types of business communications: external and internal. Here’s an in-depth comparison between the two:
- External Business Communication
External business communication is any communication that transpires with other parties outside the organization. It involves communicating and making transactions with suppliers, vendors, customers, and others that may affect your brand.
You can improve your external communication with the help of automated dialers, such as those offered by companies like Power Dialer. With this tool, you’ll be able to connect with multiple customers and prospects at lightning speed.
It automates manual dialing processes so you can avoid invalid numbers, wrong dials, disconnected lines, and unattended phone numbers. To receive all these benefits, you may start by contacting any local provider near you. They’ll help you integrate the solution into your system so you may use it as soon as possible.
- Internal Business Communication
Internal business communication is the exact opposite of external business communication. It’s any communication that circulates within the four corners of the organization. It’s divided into three types:
- Upward Communication: This type of internal communication begins with low-ranking employees to their managers and supervisors. It usually involves conducting surveys, feedback, and reports that most employees provide to their team leaders.
- Downward Communication: This type flows from high-ranking officials to their subordinates. It could be in the form of verbal directives, memos, or a letter that can be passed ‘down’ to other employees under their command.
- Lateral Communication: This type of internal communication happens between employees of the same level. The process can be done through messaging applications, software solutions, emails, and other software solutions.
How To Improve Business Communications?
Some of the most effective practices for great business communication are as follows. The best thing about these strategies is that they can be used in different situations, such as launching new products and services, acquiring new assets and businesses, or recovering from a crisis.
- Avoid Sugarcoating Your Messages And Be Honest
If you want to establish lifelong relationships with your employees and your audiences, the first thing you’ll need to do is to earn their trust.
Unfortunately, that won’t be as easy as you think. These days, most people don’t trust the ads they see until they try them out. Additionally, around 80% of employees don’t trust their HR (human resources) department.
So, what do these statements mean to your business and its operations?
Generally, these statements mean you’ll have to establish transparency and fully disclose business communications. Let your employees and audiences know everything about your company and steer discussions with them, no matter what.
In times of depression, avoid making things look better just because you don’t want others to get emotional. After all, information is bound to leak, so you must tell them the truth even if it means hurting them. By doing so, you’ll prevent assumptions from becoming rumors.
Likewise, customers are not only concerned about the crisis your business may face. They also want to know your company values, brand vision, and the community your business supports.
The same goes for the people around your company. They want to know where the company is heading, your master plans, and how they can contribute to its success.
Moreover, don’t forget that business communication is a continuous process. It doesn’t work only in times of disasters. You have to keep the communication ongoing to create a solid brand.
- Communicate In A Simple Way
Being transparent means disclosing company information, but it doesn’t mean sharing long presentations, boring activity reports, and financial documents. Who reads those these days? Neither your employees nor customers would love to read or hear technical business jargon.
Think about this statement: most employees spend one-fourth of their time (or more than) looking for the things they need to work effectively and productively. That’s why you have to keep communication brief and straightforward.
So, how should you do this?
You may consider converting your presentations and reports into short videos, posters, interactive graphs, or infographics. With this, your audiences will easily understand and digest the information you present.
In addition, keep in mind that visual representations, particularly images, can be processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than words.
- Improve Your Dialogues
Customer and employee expectations have changed over the years. The days of one-way communication are over. They no longer want to be on the sidelines. Instead, they want their opinions and voices to be heard.
This doesn’t mean sharing your private messages with them, though. Instead, they want to be a part of your community that would allow them to share their thoughts and opinions with other group members.
Nowadays, many businesses are turning their conversations into fruitful and healthy dialogues. They establish support groups, one-on-one sessions, polls, and surveys to collect employee feedback. They’ll use the data they gather to enhance their business communication appropriately.
On the other hand, many businesses ask their customers to rate their products, participate in online and physical events, and provide comments on their services so they can do better in the future.
After all, improving dialogues and sharing information is what communication is all about.
- Know Your Audience
Segmentation is a crucial element of business communication. That’s because it’s impossible to create a profitable brand without tailoring your interaction to your customers’ needs.
Business communication isn’t the process of sharing standardized messages. It’s the process of sharing personalized information and dialogue relevant to your customers. For that to succeed, you’ll need to know and understand your audience well.
You have to get to know their needs, habits, and how they use the information they gather so you can provide them with the correct information, which they would probably expect from you.
Nowadays, most businesses are focused on understanding the needs of their external audience, to the point that they fail to segment their internal audience. This is how chaos in internal communication starts to erupt. Emails are often left unread, employees are overloaded with tons of information they can’t handle, and silos begin to form, hindering business operations.
To prevent such catastrophes, you may consider customizing your messages based on the needs of your employees. For example, you may send them messages fit for their roles.
You may also personalize your messages based on the language your employees speak, especially when you’re operating globally, where English may not be the first language of many countries. This way, you’ll be sure to provide your audience with the proper information.
- Inspire Your Audience
In business communication, it’s not enough to inform your employees and customers about your company’s events and products. You have to go beyond that and exceed their expectations.
So, instead of disclosing information, why don’t you try sharing ideas that may inspire your audience? For that to succeed, you’ll need to turn to your company values, vision, and culture.
Most businesses nowadays have a strategy to inspire their external audience. They build a community that revolves around their brand, fueled by emotions. This allows their customers to reach out when they need help.
However, they often forget that they also need to create a strategy that will inspire their internal audience. This is why most employees struggle at work, and most managers and top-level executives find it challenging to engage with them.
Frankly, only 13% of employees across the world are inspired and motivated to work. If that’s the case, you might need to communicate your company’s vision and core values to your employees. You want them to believe in your brand and company. In short, don’t take them for granted; treat them more like your customers.
- Answer The Questions Of Your Audience Immediately
These days, many customers turn to social media for customer service. About 70% of consumers use them to communicate and reach out to different brands and ask for support.
When customers ask for support, make sure not to make them wait for too long. They don’t want that, and neither do you. There are about 60% of consumers complaining on social media platforms who expect an immediate response within an hour or less. This is why more businesses are developing their social media platforms to provide excellent customer service.
As you know, your customers need you to provide them with the information they need when they need it. The same goes for your employees. Did you know that most of them spend an average of 2.5 hours getting the information they want? Imagine their frustration while doing this.
Remember that poor business communication frustrates employees, lowers their productivity, and makes them unengaged in their workplace. Thus, if you want to help your employees, you can establish a communication system that enables them to locate the information they need as fast as possible.
You may also use an employee communication platform so your employees may find what they need using their selected devices and channels. Don’t forget to personalize their news feed and comment on the documents you share to keep them engaged.
- Measure The Success Of Your Business Communication
One of the most essential rules when improving business communications is never to trust your gut feelings.
To determine the success of your business communication, you’ll need to measure the results you obtain. This way, you’ll identify the bottlenecks and pitfalls hindering your communications.
Without measuring your progress, you can’t improve and scale your strategy, let alone address potential concerns. Yet, around 60% of businesses still don’t measure their communication.
However, note that measuring your success is not easy. You also need to allocate some resources to make it happen. That’s why choosing the right key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to any business. Furthermore, ensure they’re aligned with your organizational goals.
Here are some KPIs you may consider:
- Open, click, and read rates
- Employee feedback
- Page visits
- Corporate video views
- Employee advocacy
- Employee turnover
Business communication is highly crucial to the success of the business. After all, every process and operation rely heavily on proper communication. That said, you might want to consider the strategies discussed here to improve your business communications within and outside the organization. Once you do, you’ll start reaping the benefits of having engaged customers and employees.