Peter Murphy asked:
Effective business communication is a priority for any business that wants to develop value in its business relationships. If you find that your business relationships are faltering, you may need to learn how effective business communication works so you can apply it to your business.
Business communication can be broken down into two major types:
1) internal business communication and
2) external business communication.
Under internal business communication, we can find some examples of this type of business communication:
– communication of corporate vision
– communication of corporate strategies
– communication of corporate plans
– communication of corporate culture
– communication of shared values
– communication of guiding principles
– communication to motivate employees
– communication to generate ideas
Under external business communication, some examples exist such as:
– customer relations
– public relations
– media relations
– business negotiations
All these examples of business communication share a commonality – to produce value for the business. To become masters at business communication, it is important to understand that we communicate what we perceive. So to become a master at business communication, you should know how to manage perceptions.
Business leaders and followers alike have to figure out how their customers perceive them. There are customers who favor their sense of sight, so to reach out to such customers, the business has to promote itself through visual means. There are customers who prefer to taste and feel things, so perhaps the business could provide samples of its products to give the customer a favorable perception of what that business is about. Other customers prefer to rely on what they hear from other people and from media – such customers may be wooed through catchy music (like background music played in malls and car showrooms.)
When a negative perception exists among many people and the business does not take steps to correct this mis-perception, business will have a harder time to correct this and later reach out to the affected customers. And when a mis-perception goes uncorrected for a prolonged period of time, the mis-perception may become absorbed into the belief system of the customers. This could be disastrous for the company. This is why many businesses invest so much money into conducting surveys – they want to find out how their customers perceive them so that problems can be caught early on.
Even the very employees of the business may have a negative perception of the business – a problem exists with the company’s internal means of communication. Many business leaders are aware of this so they make an effort to reach out to their employees and find out what they are thinking.
Even surveys about management performance whose respondents are anonymous are useful because they give management a good idea of how they are perceived by their own followers. When employees are disgruntled but find it difficult to voice out their opinions for fear of reprisals, they may react in negative ways – like sabotaging the company’s product or service. Or the business may experience fast employee turnover, resulting in losses for a business which has invested heavily in employee training.
So, to improve internal and external business communication, organizations should do the following:
1) Constantly reach out to target audiences through various means (i.e. surveys, online contact forms, targeted mailings of questionnaires)
2) Review the content of feedback and figure out how the feedback can be integrated into future business activities
3) Inform target audiences of improvements and changes that have been done because of their feedback.
A business that takes these steps will find that effective business communication is not so impossible to achieve after all.