Effective business communication starts in-house. If employees cannot communicate successfully with each other, there is a high probability this will follow through to communicating with customers.
If the organisation’s message is not clear, if it is being misunderstood or even a mismatch with the message on the website, existing and more importantly, potential customers will be also be confused.
Getting the message right is important, getting the right message communicated throughout the organisation is critical and it starts from the top down. It starts with the C-Suite.
The top tip for communicating effectively – keep it simple. For a start no-one has the time to try and decipher what is being communicated and if the message isn’t simple it can easily be misunderstood. Simple doesn’t mean dumb, simple can actually be really clever such as this from B.C. Forbes, the founder of Forbes Magazine – “If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business”.
Then there is “organizations should implement a social collaboration solution that gives employees access to a single platform for communication”. OK, let’s get a tool which allows us all to communicate. A great idea and a good use of technology to bring heads together and not keep them in isolation. An easy way to do this is Skype. Other options built specifically for “social collaboration” are Podio, Lync, Chatter and Jive. All provide communication options over and above email.
Forums are a very popular way to share ideas, opinions, fact and fiction. As a business tool it can be used to keep everyone informed all at the same time and regardless of their location. It is an opportunity to share ideas and can generate feedback from unexpected, yet relevant, sources.
For organisations with multiple offices video conferencing is a great tool to use for meetings whether it is two people or twenty. There is something about seeing a person and not just hearing them, something said in jest over the phone can be misunderstood but when you see a smile at the same time, you know it shouldn’t be taken seriously. It is also immediate and saves having to travel.
Of course, there is the phone. It is also immediate when you can’t take the time to send an email and wait for a response. A phone conversation is also more personal, when that is a critical aspect of the communication. Being able to talk something through can be far quicker than a series of emails.
In all communications though, don’t waffle, be concise and be prepared, even for a phone call.
Keeping all levels informed builds loyalty, confidence and respect. We all like to be valued and regular, open communication is not just informative it is inclusive.