First of all, the term ‘communication’ is much broader than many people think. It’s more than me talking to you, or you explaining a process to a colleague or client. Going far beyond customer services and employee engagement, business communication embodies everything from your corporate branding to the ethos of your entire business. Essentially, it’s so important because it’s in everything you do and deliver at once.
Communicating who you are, via carefully detailed brand messaging, builds trust with your customers and employees alike. However, you need to back this process up with an internal communication system that allows employees to sustain this trust externally.
The bottom line is that these internal business processes ultimately become how your business expresses itself. High levels of both satisfaction and knowledge in your employees are reflected in their communication skills, whether through phone calls, emails or instant messaging platforms.
Likewise, a lack of communication within a business becomes obvious when you deal with people externally. Timely communication is a good indicator that a business has a solid, internal foundation for positive communication, with reliability a key attractor for repeat business.
Effective business communication is also apparent in efficiency; for instance, if a member of staff is repeatedly to-ing and fro-ing from a customer, to a manager, over several calls, it shows that the individual doesn’t know everything they need to at all times. This sure sign that a lack of communication exists within the business will trigger alarm bells in the minds of customers.
With good communication, managers learn to articulate knowledge and strategy to the people who work for them. Subsequently, staff become not only more adept in what they do, but also more eager to ask for clarification when required.
This helps to develop essential problem-solving skills in staff at all levels and increases the bond between manager and employee – as well as between business and customer. Again, the process might start with an individual who leads by example, but it can be fostered by anyone.
Furthermore, as we’re all natural communicators, albeit of varying strengths, it’s not going to be an alien process to anyone. If anything, it’s something that people can continue to improve on every day.
Just as communication is naturally within all of us, good communication tools are all around us, too. Once the ethos of good communication is established within a business, it might not take much change at all to channel it through the right tools.
Unified communications (UC) platforms are now readily available, putting every member of staff, as well as every phone, smartphone and mobile device, within touching distance of instant connection to every customer, colleague and piece of equipment.
Unified communications technology essentially channels all of these through one platform which any worker in the company can access. As most businesses already operate with a combination of computers, phones and mobile phones, it’s a simple case of connecting them to the one platform.
Communication plays a big part in errors, too. You don’t just have to worry about poor or non-existent communication, either. For instance, a business may be run entirely by an individual who creates, plans and implements all strategies at all times. Therefore, if these strategies are communicated incorrectly, every other member of the team will receive incorrect information.
However, with regular, reciprocal and open-minded communication amongst many people, any problems identified can be discussed. There’s the old saying that “a problem shared is a problem halved”. However, with good communication, and the right communications platform, a problem can be shared simultaneously amongst entire workforces.
Admittedly, this can also lead to blame being shared, too – but whatever is learned, even through the most difficult processes, will also filter through staff. It starts with an ethos, but it becomes much more. The importance of business communication is in paramount to everything you, your colleagues and your staff do every day.