If you run a business, you know how important effective communication skills are. Here we round up our business communication essentials.
What Is Effective Communication?
We have racked our brains long and hard about this one. Communication is such an integral part of our everyday life that most of us take it for granted and participate in it without even given it a second thought!
Here at Bandicoot, we see communication as a process, a way of two or more people exchanging messages and imparting information, whether it be verbal, non-verbal, written, or, crucially in business, electronic, i.e. emails, Skype and in this case, blogs!
We also believe communication is fundamental to human interaction.
During day to day life, in business and in pleasure, trillions of exchanges of messages are taking place every minute of every day, somewhere around the globe, (and maybe even beyond). Indeed, we would go as far as to say that communication is an essential part of evolution, including, business evolution, and effective communication skills are an essential tool for Business IT Support, something we believe we do rather well, naturally.
Why Is Business Communication So Important?
Okay so let’s not get carried away with Evolution theories, (although it always makes a good topic over a few pints), lets stick to business communication, otherwise we wouldn’t be communicating the message we want to get across, would we?
To say the art of being an effective communicator in business can make or break how successful a business can be is not an understatement.
Imagine having the best business idea in the world EVER, but not being able to get the message across. That ‘business’ is doomed to stay as an idea, forever in somebody’s imagination or failing miserably along the way if it ever does get off the ground.
Firstly, you need to be able to get your brilliant business idea out of your imagination and communicate what it is you want to achieve. Crucially, you want to be understood.
Understanding one another is probably the biggest area where communication can sometimes go wrong, and this is why communication, especially in business, is best when kept simple and effective.
This is a principle we try to use every single day at Bandicoot, as we find the first steps in offering the best kind of service to our customers is understanding their needs.
How Can Business Communication Be Made Effective?
We all like to think we are great communicators, and most of us always have plenty to say, especially on our specialist field, the thing we are passionate about, the essence of what we base our business ideas on.
And speaking for ages on our chosen subject, admit it, makes us feel comfortable.
But how many of us actually try to find out about our customer’s business? How many of us actually spend more time listening, rather than speaking, when in a meeting where we are trying to promote our product?
It doesn’t feel natural does it? It feels like we have to get out absolutely everything we possibly can about our business in the fifteen to twenty minutes you might have, because everybody is busy, (including you), and everybody is already thinking about the next meeting, or their own sales figures, or possibly who’s picking the kids up and what’s for tea that evening…
Now try turning this approach on it’s head, imagine going in to a meeting where you actively listen to your customer, acknowledging their existence, putting yourself in their shoes and seeing things from their perspective.
It’s easier than you think, might mean you speak a bit less, but leads to a much deeper understanding, because the meeting you had arranged to sell your products becomes about the customer’s needs. And when you do eventually agree on a sale, (which you will), you are not just getting a sale, you are building a relationship on a whole new level.
What Are Business Communication Techniques?
If we are communicating effectively, you may have realised we’ve already spoken about some essential communication methods we should all use a little more, and some we should use a lot less!
So, let’s be clear, speaking, non-stop for twenty minutes about your own company is not an effective communication technique!
Listening, acknowledging, listening some more, and demonstrating understanding are some of the best communication skills you can ever have.
And gaining an agreement from your customer that they understand that you have understood is seriously cracking the communication nut!
Basically, by showing you are more interested in your customer than yourself, you are more likely to build a deeper, more meaningful business relationship, with rewards that last a lot longer and will ultimately help your business succeed.
Oh, and just one more thing, (bit of Columbo there, did you spot that?), when we are talking about customers, don’t forget your ‘internal customer’, people in your business from different departments, ‘Claire’ from customer services, ‘Pete’ from purchasing, ‘Andy’ from accounts, in business these people are ALL your customers too.
Ask about their day, find out about any challenges they are having in their day to day work. Listening effectively to their perspectives may just have a profound result on improving your business as a whole.
What Are The Best Tools For Effective Business Communication?
The first port of call for most prospective clients is the website. Having an effective website really does help you communicate your businesses’ aims, culture, and benefit to the visitor.
If you haven’t already got a website that is working for you, have a look at our services here. We collaborate with a great SEO agency, GrowTraffic, who can help you craft perfect content, whilst we do the design, build and hosting.
A great website will inevitably lead to an enquiry. And having an email system that is reliable and professional will go a long way in portraying the right image and making sure your message is understood. Or, if you are still working with faxes (and we know a lot of you are) we can integrate them with your emails to take the hassle out.
Telephones are often overlooked in today’s world of emails-but most people have been in a situation where an email has been misunderstood or taken the wrong way, and a simple phone call has solved it. Phone calls allow us to build a rapport and a relationship with colleagues and prospective clients. And when the phones go down your business, and communication, suffers.
At Bandicoot, we have a range of services we offer for managed telephone systems. Have a look to find out more.
Bandicoot, Ready To Listen To You…
If what we have said has in any way resonated with you, and you have a business IT issue that needs resolving, tell us about it.
We can’t guarantee a talk about evolution theories, (unless you want to?), but we can guarantee that we will listen and understand. We love listening! We also love IT, which is good, because somewhere along the line we will have a solution and deliver this effectively for you.