How Strong Communication Paves the Way for Business Success
If you think about it, most success comes down to effective business communication skills and tools. A start-up, for example, needs to convey its benefits and business plan effectively to investors. Stores need to effectively communicate why they are better than the competition. Attorneys, doctors and service providers need to clearly explain complex ideas to clients and need to exude authority.
With effective communication, you can make your business stand out and explain to customers or clients why they should be buying your products or services. Communication also means you get to learn about customer needs and feedback, in turn making your company even better.
What Is Effective Communication?
It’s about more than just talking. In fact, communication starts with listening to others — including your clients, customers and staff. It also means understanding the issues affecting your business. For example, if you are a retailer, you need to understand what your customers expect from your store so you can anticipate their needs. You also need to offer information to customers and clients looking to work with you — whether that is instructions, medical knowledge or information relevant to customers’ interests.
How can you improve communication at your company?
Figure Out How Well You’re Doing
Many businesses have good intentions, so executives assume there are no communication problems. However, clients and customers may disagree. Seek feedback by setting up polls, offering feedback forms to customers or by asking customers to fill out surveys. Listening to customers and clients is the first step in effective business communication skills and can help you identify any areas that need work.
Understand Your Industry and Your Clients
Consider why customers really come to you. If you are a medical professional, for example, patients may come to you because they are worried about symptoms. Consider how you can provide a compassionate environment that addresses patient fears and imparts medical and preventive information.
If you sell products, your customers may be coming to you to help solve a problem. Consider what problems and related problems you may be solving. Think about ways you can help do this effectively. For example, if you are a hardware store, customers may have concerns about home maintenance. You could address this issue with free workshops or brochures to help homeowners solve common home maintenance questions.
Have a Way of Capturing Information
Have a secure way to keeping track of customer information and requests. That way, if a customer calls back or contacts you repeatedly, you can address them by name and can offer them advice and information based on your past interactions. If you keep records of customer feedback, you can track this information and act on it.
Make It Easy for Customers to Connect
Offer multiple ways for customers to reach you. Have an office, phone number, email address, social media accounts and other options. Customers and clients may have different preferences, and it can be useful if they have choices as to how to reach you.
Be Responsive and Available
When customers and clients contact you, you want them to reach you easily and without hassle. If you’re not available and responsive, it is all too easy for clients and customers to lose patience and seek out your competitors. Make it simple for customers to reach you by using departmental email, call routing, virtual receptionists and other technologies. Make sure you are responsive, returning calls and emails promptly.
One way to become more available and responsive is to use a reliable technology service. AccessDirect can set up a local or toll-free number for you that include a virtual receptionist, information boxes, voicemail boxes and call forwarding. You can select the services most appropriate for your business to ensure your customers reach the right person at your organization — every time.