An organization is only successful if it understands how to communicate with its employees, customers, and vendors. Useful information helps people do their work better. Sharing thoughts and ideas help companies innovate. Providing value to customers is what keeps them coming back.
This article examines the importance of effective communication in business and what it looks like for your company. We also highlight tips on establishing better communication with your employees, customers, and vendor network.
What Does Effective Communication Really Mean?
The role of communication in business is to share information between internal team members and external stakeholders. When your business effectively communicates, everyone interacts in meaningful ways that support the mission and goals of the company. It means that each message will bring your company closer to a specific objective.
Yes, everyone has different methods of communicating. However, the best companies can convey critical information to all personality types. The main goal of effective communication is to keep team members knowledgeable, eliminate errors, and enhance company best practices.
Effective communication involves understanding the different flows of information too. There are four critical areas of communication that a strong organization can master:
- Communication from the bottom toward the top
- Communication from the top toward the bottom
- Lateral communication between employees who are on the same organizational level
- Communication to external parties like customers and vendors
When effective communication happens, people will feel inspired to do better work, live a happier life, and be motivated to execute the company mission.
Why is Effective Communication Important in Your Business?
The importance of communication in business organizations touches all internal and external stakeholders. There are several reasons why your company needs to improve its communication flows.
Boosts Employee Engagement
A company is only as good as its people. The importance of employee communication goes hand in hand with innovation. When team members share ideas and valuable information, it keeps them curious and engaged. Internal leaders have a responsibility to instill the need for communicating among the employees.
Employees have different levels of experience and knowledge about specific subjects. If a team member does not know something, there is a good chance that another person in the organization has the answer. Instead of wasting time researching the answer online, internal communication allows team members to pass on knowledge to one another.
Increases Customer Retention and Satisfaction
When businesses communicate better, it means more happy customers. Customer-facing employees need to convey useful information to clients. If an organization lacks communication, these internal stakeholders will not have the required resources to boost satisfaction. Elevating the customer experience involves cross-departmental communication and synergy.
Stronger Company Culture
Effective communication in the workplace will play a key role in improving the culture. More communication means more transparency with employees. Team members will feel more inclined to speak up, which makes for a healthier atmosphere. When there is no communication, employee engagement will suffer, more employees will quit, and productivity will drop.
Tips to Communicate With Your Employees
Successful employee communication comes in many forms. Below are some tips and business communication examples that leadership can use to transform company culture.
Be Clear, Concise, and Sincere
Whether written or verbal communication, team members should avoid using fluff, technical jargon, and complex phrases. Everyone has different levels of knowledge within the organization, so this could cause confusion. It is best to communicate in simple terms and convey clear expectations.
Understand How Employees Communicate
Each organization has different audiences. Some people may learn through visual means, while others need to understand specific examples. Maybe some team members like bulleted lists in emails. Regardless of the personality type, effective communication starts with discovering how different team members digest information.
Follow Through With What You Say
Words mean nothing without the actions to back them up. When employees do what they say they will do, it builds trust among team members. The root of effective communication is trusting that the other person will follow through on what they say. If a leader promises to send feedback to the other employee by Friday, it needs to happen.
Prioritize Face-to-Face Interactions
Although more companies are transitioning to the remote working style, it is essential to emphasize face-to-face interactions.
When employees interface in this way, it allows for nonverbal cues to come into play. Without body language, over half of a message’s meaning is lost. If you sit in the same building, try to meet face-to-face. If you are remote, try your best to build in teleconferencing methods.
Opening the Line of Communication With Your Customers
Without customers, how is your company supposed to make money? Communication with your customers is vital in building trust, delivering value, and increasing retention. Below are some ways to strengthen relationships with customers via effective communication:
- Accuracy – Delivering accurate information to customers is vital, which is why you must utilize internal resources and cross-functional departments to find the information you need.
- Patience – Keep your composure if someone calls in for a complaint, but also recognize that the quality of your response is more critical than the quickness of it.
- Be proactive – As you learn from past mistakes and customer inquiries, always have answers and services ready, such as an FAQ page on your website.
- Seek to understand – Avoid interjecting when your customers are talking, take the time to listen with all your patience, and put yourself in the customer’s shoes
Don’t Forget About Your Vendor Relationships
Any healthy relationship starts with effective communication, and that includes your vendors. When you interact with your vendors in a meaningful way, it will improve your overall business operations. As you communicate with your vendors, remember these critical behaviors:
- Be direct – Avoid technical jargon, stay honest, and communicate consistently.
- Ask meaningful questions – Your vendors have information about areas you do not, so be curious and inquire about the necessary information.
- Establish clear expectations – You will get the most out of your vendor network by being upfront with what you expect.
- Be timely in your response to emails and calls – Much like you would expect a timely response from someone else.
As you can see, strong communication is the root of any successful venture. Effective communication keeps employees motivated and engaged. Sharing ideas with customers builds trust. Consistently interfacing with your vendors means better business relationships. If your company establishes a culture of healthy communication, great things will happen.
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About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and Executive Chairman of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.