Having a good communication strategy is one of the biggest factors affecting the success of your business. The ability to communicate, and communicate well, can make the difference between success and failure. You may be at the forefront of your field and blow doors off your competition, but struggling to effectively promote your business or communicate with clients can shortchange your company’s potential.
When communicating with business partners and clients, the What, When, Where and How are powerful forces. Knowing what communication method and style to use and or when to use them is essential to effectively growing your business. Knowing your company’s voice and communicating it are two very different things. To keep your communication dynamic and effective, here are a few points to consider:
What: Consistency and Clarity Never Hurt Anybody
Keeping your communication consistent in manor, timing, and method is an effective way to build a positive reputation for your company. Everyone is busy with millions of matters calling their attention. When responding to a question or contacting a client, be clear, and concise. Clearly and simply defining the information you need reduces confusion on both ends of the conversation. Being clearly defining the information you need also lets your clients and business partners know that you respect and value their time.
When: Timing Is Everything
Set a time that you send out response emails everyday and inform your clients when to expect answers. With the amount of email communication that your business receives, it is easy to fall behind or miss messages all together. When entering business with a new client or working with a new partner, make it clear that you respond to emails, phone calls, texts, etc. within certain timeframes. Even if you are not able to fully answer a question or gather requested information, make sure to respond to your client with a message that lets them know when they can expect it. Staying within a routine like this can help you maintain consistency and stay on top of your work agenda.
Where: Know the Right Method
With all of the different channels of communication available, designating the right method of communication is key. Clients and business partners will prefer to communicate in different ways. Emails and phone calls are still widely considered the most professional methods. However, with the advent of smartphones and social media platforms, the boundaries of communication have become blurred. As a rule of thumb, always discuss the preferred method of communication with your client. Email could be the best for some and text messages for others. Consistently using the same form of communication method with a particular business partner is important. Respecting the communication style of your clients and colleagues can ensure that they walk away with a good impression of you and your business.
How: Be True to Your Brand
The style of your communication is a direct reflection on your business. Timing and method aside, you still need to make sure that the style of your communication is true to your company. Make sure that you are sincere with your clients and business partners about business dealings. Whether working B2B or B2C, make sure that the culture of your company is reflected in the best possible way. Maintain professional communication language and never forget the importance of following-up. Following-up with your clients after a project is completed helps maintain a relationship and encourage them to use your services again.
These practices can help you maintain your brand equity and foster a positive image for you company. Word of mouth is still very important and plays a role in helping your business grow. Making sure that your communication strategies reflect your business in the best way can help drive new business and maintain clients. For more information on effective business communication skills and strategies, check out the following links: