Most businesses want to build a solid organization that provides quality products and services for their customers. They hope to increase net profit over time. One major player in achieving this goal is efficient and consistent business communication. Here’s how that works:
Efficient and consistent communication builds healthy business relationships. With healthy business relationships productivity and quality increase. As productivity and quality improve, net profit increases.
Efficient Business Communication
First, in business, we are exchanging information, ideas, news, and feelings with our coworkers, customers, partners, and vendors. Efficiency is communicating as quickly as possible without compromising meaning, quality, or value.
Consistent Business Communication
It is also important to keep communication consistent. Consistent communication is about fulfilling the expected frequency of interactions and exchanges. It is also about maintaining frequency over time. The longer we can hold isometric in this one skill, the healthier our business relationships will be. Even when conflicts arise, we strive to maintain our communication to let others know that things need to change for a time.
What Disrupts Business Communication?
Disasters, illness, changes, growth, and life in general disrupt business communication. Even so, most businesses can establish patterns in their communication processes and stick with them. Well established processes increase our communication speed. When our teams learn a company-wide process, workflow is improved.
But when technology advances, so do the tools we use to communicate. If we don’t update our older communication methods with the rest of the business world, we lose our competitive edge. Other companies who choose to update their methods will increase their communication speed while ours remain the same.
Updating our processes slows workflow down because everyone has to take time to learn a new way of doing things. This is similar to Steven Covey’s seventh habit: Sharpening the Saw. It seems counterproductive at the moment because of the time it takes to develop the higher-level processes. But over time it increases efficiency. Yet it is also true that too much change is counterproductive. Finding the progressive balance is the key to success.
An explosion of Business Communication Tools
In today’s world, technology is changing, updating, and advancing at a faster rate than we have ever known before. With this growth has come an explosion of choices. Trying to maintain that progressive balance is harder than ever.
We now have a number of options to choose how we will communicate and store communication data:
- Social Media, Instant Message
- Web Page Chat
- Company Phone System & Voicemail
- Cell Phone, Text, Chat
- Video Chat & Conferencing
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Contacts/Calendars/Appointments/Billing
- File & Data Storage
When we want to communicate, we have a plethora of choices: Should we email or call? Use basic chat or a video chat? Invest in a CRM or manage our contacts, calendars, appointments, and billing in spreadsheets or individual applications? Should we bill through the mail or go paperless? Where should we store our files — In a file cabinet, on our computer, server, or the cloud?
Business Communication Plan
If we do not slow down long enough to make these choices, the result is slower communication. If we do not consciously make a communication plan of how we will use the technology at our fingertips, we will waste time trying to make those decisions anew over and over again. This scatters our minds, files, and data, which leaves us less productive in our workflow.
If you haven’t yet designed a communication plan for you and your team, take the time to do it. Go through each of the tools and determine how and when you will use them. Of course, there can be flexibility when it comes down to your personal workflow, but for the work that involves other team members, it’s best to stick with a communication plan in order to establish good habits, tried and true procedures, and best practices. When you establish these, communication quality, speed, and agility increase. Business relationships improve. And with that improvement, productivity and quality of products and services increase. More people purchase from you, opt in, follow you, subscribe, and sign up. Subsequently, your net profit increases.
But Which Brand Is Best?
To complicate things even more, we also have to choose from several different brands of hardware and software applications that offer the same tools. Which brand should we use? Which one is best?
- Apple – Mac
- Microsoft Outlook
- Apple Mail
Internet & Phone
- Carrier SI
- Microsoft Teams
- Facebook Messenger
Video Chat & Conferencing
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Duo
- Apple FaceTime
- Microsoft Outlook
- Apple Calendar
- Google Calendar
CRM – Contacts, Appointments, Billing
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Many Industry Specific Options
- Google Drive/Cloud
- Creative Cloud
- Amazon AWS
- Microsoft Azure
Should we test each of these choices out to assess the best choice? Even if they offer a free trial, every time we make company-wide changes, it costs time and money.
Learning from Other Businesses
Most businesses make these choices by communicating with other businesses similar to their own. They read reviews and go to conferences or online workshops. Many join peer groups and talk to other mentors to find out what has worked for them. They research these sources to identify the best practices for their industry. This step saves time and money. Yet, we still need to decide who to listen to out of all the advice we receive from our trusted sources.
Many of the choices businesses have in regard to technology and communication tools depend on their specific industry and business. Making the right choices is crucial to a company’s success. There are entire fields of study on this topic, i.e., Systems development life cycle (SDLC).
Involving stakeholders in the planning phase is very important, especially if it is a transformational change like adding Microsoft Teams verses changing your Internet Circuit. At minimum, each department head should be interviewed so their point of view and needs are heard, and nothing is missed. When all are involved in making decisions, stakeholder buy-in increases and there is greater motivation to incorporate the strategies into their workflow.
Individual Preference Vs. Best Practices
Additionally, there is plenty of room for individual preference. This means that some choices are similar in quality. The differences between them are negligible. Once the choice has been made and everyone is in agreement, efficient communication is predominantly achieved by sticking with the same brand and communication procedures.
But there are also many choices that are more universal – there are best practices for all businesses. For example, using a notepad, rolodex, ledger, file cabinet, and snail mail is usually not the most efficient way to communicate in today’s business world. Storing files and data on your desktop or laptop that you need to share and collaborate on with other members of your team is less efficient (and usually less safe) than storing them on the cloud and providing your co-workers with a link.
Managed IT Services – Experienced Mentors
Because Managed IT Service companies work with hundreds of small to medium-sized businesses, they know how to get your business set up with the most up to date communication tools. Many trusted IT service companies have worked with businesses in healthcare, logistics, construction, engineering, financial services, hospitality, community organizations, and more. As a result, they have the mentor experience to guide your business to quality tools that are most relevant to your organization. They can help you navigate the profusion of choices you have to make, which saves you money and time. It also gives you peace of mind
To recap, we know you want to build a solid business that provides quality products and services for your customers. We know the way to do that is to:
- Increase the efficiency and consistency of your communication
- Which helps build healthy business relationships
- Which in turn positively influences productivity and quality.
When all of these pieces are aligned, you will achieve real satisfaction in your business, have happy customers, and increased net profit.
Finally, if you need help in navigating the plethora of choices you have to make for your business, give us a call. Schedule a free consultation with either Joe (Utah) or Fred (Idaho) – (844) 400-0616.