Communication is a core business process. It’s something organizations practice every day. We communicate with our customers, clients, and our teams. Without it, we accomplish nothing. Thus, if there’s one thing we need to keep improving on – it’s how we communicate. Effective communication is the key to improving business performance and exceeding both customers’ and employees’ expectations.
Defining Business Communication
Businesses understand how important customer communication is. We invest heavily in tools and technology to connect with our customers and understand their needs. But what about our internal customers? Business communication is often unheard of, with 60% of companies lacking long-term strategies for their internal communications. Business communication is the sharing of information between employees within and outside the organization. It does not only foster good working relationships between the management and staff but also plays a critical role in negotiations, goal setting, and action plans. Needless to say, an effective communication strategy is essential for the growth and success of an organization.
Research has shown that business communication can:
- improve employee engagement
- reduce the need for unnecessary emails
- eliminate communication silos
- enhance collaboration between departments
- improve employee performance and productivity
- reduce employee turnover
- improve a company’s knowledge-sharing efforts
7 Cs of Business Communication
How effective is your business communication strategy? A good way to measure it is through the 7Cs:
- Credibility – also defined as “trustworthiness”, the sender of the message needs to demonstrate integrity so employees will be more than willing to accept his statement.
- Courtesy – The message should be delivered with tact and diplomacy.
- Clarity – The message has to be clear and concise (using simple language and easy sentences) so the recipient can easily capture its meaning.
- Correctness – The one delivering the message should consider the knowledge, educational background, and experience of the receiver to ensure the latter fully understand the message.
- Consistency – A standardized approach to business communication eliminates confusion among the receivers.
- Concreteness – On-point messages should be favored over abstract ones. Or else, it will confuse everyone and prevent people from getting the real intention and meaning of the message.
- Conciseness – Brief and concise messages lead to better understanding than lengthy, cloudy messages. It’s better to be direct when communicating, especially when it involves critical topics/matters.
Focus on Mobile-first Communication
Mobile devices are among the most powerful tools in the present time. Statistics show that 80% of users used their smartphones to browse the web in 2019. Meanwhile, 85% of B2B marketers consider mobile apps important with regards to content marketing. Mobile-first describes the way businesses should think about their marketing and customer relationship strategies. These include everything from designing websites to communicating with customers. Mobile-first communication is all about ensuring that your customers can easily access and understand your message, whether you’re promoting a new product, sharing news, or giving an update. This includes optimizing your communication channels, from emails to social media platforms.
Adopt Clear Messaging
Needless to say, the way you present your content is important. But equally important is how you create that message.
StoryBrand’s impact on business growth
Creating a clear and impactful message can be a challenge for most businesses. StoryBrand has developed a 5-part marketing plan designed to help companies and organizations get their messaging right. It is based on the concept of “storytelling” which people have been using for thousands of years. Getting started is easy. You can find a StoryBrand guide who will walk you through the process and help you communicate with your customers effectively. Being able to provide clarity to your marketing message makes it powerful enough to engage customers – driving your sales, boosting your brand, and speeding up your business growth.
Clarify your messaging and connect with your audience
The right messaging is valuable and even foundational to brand development. To create a clear message, take a deep dive into your target customers to understand who they are, what they like and don’t like, and why they buy products and services from you. More importantly, a marketing message should clearly and concisely address customer problems. Make sure your message shows the perfect solution to them.
Maintain a Positive Team Culture
Your employees are your internal customers. Just as you need them, they also have needs and expectations from you. In a traditional work setting, it’s easier to check in with your team to know how they are doing and how you can help make their tasks easier. But because of the pandemic, nearly everyone has shifted to remote working, which poses challenges to business communication.
Deliver a consistent digital experience to your employees.
Luckily, we can utilize the technology to break the geographical boundaries between us and our employees. Since it might take a few more years before life completely reverts to normal, it can be worth investing in collaboration/project management tools that will be used not just for task-related communication but also for coaching, feedback, and learning.
Establish trustworthy relationships with your staff.
Just as we talked about in the 7Cs of business communication, you have to be someone your employees trust so they will acknowledge your message.
- Be a role model. Practice accountability.
- Here are steps that leaders and managers can take to establish trust in the workplace:
- Recognize that building trust requires hard work.
- Be transparent and supportive.
- Listen to your employees.
- Be consistent with your words and actions.
Learn about your employees’ work-life balance and issues.
41% of employees who often worked from home vs. onsite considered themselves highly stressed, as opposed to 25% of employees who only worked on-site. It can be difficult for remote employees to find a work-life balance when they are bringing their work home. However, leaders and managers can take conscious efforts to help their employees. Here are some ways:
- Check on them frequently.
- Encourage them to take frequent breaks and spend time with family.
- Set boundaries.
- Set aside time for team bonding.
Communication is critical to the success of any business. Every company or organization should implement an effective communications strategy when dealing with their internal and external customers. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to improve the way you communicate with your employees and customers. From adhering to the 7Cs of business communication to creating clear messages and maintaining your team culture, you can significantly enhance many aspects of your business.
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