Communication is the key factor in meaningful teamwork within your staff and a satisfying conversation with your clients. It helps your business thrive. As time goes by, technology has offered different Types of Business Communication Channels that we can use daily at home, work, or business. Most businesses use a combination of these communication channels to provide a maximum customer experience.
Although there are several communication channels you can use for your business, what’s essential is whichever channel you use, the information has to be conveyed effectively. Before we specify the business communication channels, let’s briefly discuss their categories.
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Types of Business Communication Channels
Formal communication channels are used for official communication. Businesses use this to relay messages with the goals, policies, and procedures. These messages follow a chain of command; it flows from the manager to the subordinates. Some examples are instructions, annual reports, and business plans.
Meanwhile, businesses use formal channels when giving updates, announcements, and exclusive offers to their customers. An example of this is an email newsletter.
It is a combination of an official and relaxed way of communicating. Although the message is relayed within the official framework, a formal command is unnecessary. Some examples include team members’ conversations or with clients seeking some quick information.
Unofficial communication also exists but is more between employees. Employees communicate outside the work environment. It is usual for them to talk on topics that are not work-related. However, even when your employees talk about political, personal, or general topics, the manager has to be aware of the channel’s existence and the information exchange.
Several companies were underfired and scrutinized publicly due to baseless rumors and gossip that happen in unofficial channels. Beware.
You see, communication channels are different when used in the business context. It is where your staff and clients share and seek information. Now, whether you are planning to use these channels for external or internal communication, you have the list to choose from.
Types of Business Communications
Let’s run down the different business communication channels you can use.
Nothing beats the convenience of personal or face-to-face communication. You can easily act upon what you have talked about. Moreover, you can quickly respond or act upon their request when talking face-to-face for customer assistance.
However, with the pandemic we are in, most people prefer to communicate through other channels to ensure their safety.
Now that we are in a pandemic, video calls have become essential. You can host conferences with your team virtually. You can still see the nonverbal cues when a speaker presents and engages throughout the video conference.
Video calls or conferences are much like face-to-face communication; the only difference is virtual. It is not a problem hosting business meetings through video calls; these days, there is a screen-sharing feature available in most communication software.
Video call is ideal to use when you discuss serious matters or decision-making concerns within your team. Meanwhile, it is beneficial when you present your products and services to clients. It is convenient when your clients are from overseas.
The phone call is considered an informal communication channel. In urgent and important conversations, people prefer to use phone calls. Although face-to-face and video calls are better, phone calls are more convenient when you need a quick response. Some customers prefer to call when they have some troubleshooting concerns with the product.
However, you have to set the business hours for your contact center, so your clients know when to contact you. If you plan on accepting a heavy number of phone calls, it is best to look for reliable communication software.
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We use text messages daily in our personal lives, but messages in businesses depend on the situation. Text messages are discreet and quick when sending messages. Moreover, some respond more easily to business messages than calls.
However, we can put text messages in the informal or unofficial communication channels. Only a few businesses, most large enterprises, use text messaging but cannot respond to their text.
So, this communication channel leans more toward internal communication. It is a suitable asynchronous channel for teams with members across different time zones.
Emails are the best-written channel for both external and internal communication. It helps you keep a record of the conversations you had with your colleague or customers. However, email is a disadvantage; it quickly gets oversaturated. Thus, do not use emails if you need urgent matters with your team.
If you are sending newsletters or resources, email is a better channel. You must carefully craft your newsletter, letters, or documents to ensure it is not ambiguous to the receiver.
Are you familiar with AI chatbots? Those pop-up window chats open after a few seconds on a business website. These live chatbots ask customers what they can help find. Moreover, AI chatbots do not only extend a helping hand to your web visitors. It has a significant help in collecting data for your marketing strategy.
Social media is a crucial communication channel for businesses, especially when social media marketing is a trend. If your clients are active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, you should have the means to reply to their comments, messages or update them through posts.
You can set up a social media team to organize your project announcements and relevant posts to provide resources to your clients. Social media has a great reach for customers. Thus, ensure that your team can come up with effective social media strategies.
It is better to combine business communication channels. Remember, even when communicating face-to-face, it can be followed up with a text message or email. The many the medium, the better.
Figure out all the proper communication channels that you can use for your external and internal business communication. After that, look for communication software that offers all the possible channels you can use for your business. After all, a successful team and business communicate effectively.