Being in business in the digital age requires you to master all aspects of communications. Communication is critical to success and vital for developing relationships.
Without effective communication, you will misinterpret client instructions, and mismanage internal staff relationships.
Effective communications include verbal and written interactions. You need to learn how to manage these elements for maximum effect in your business. Here are a few tips you can implement to enhance your internal and external communications.
Check Your Work Before You Hit Send
You’re an active person on the job, every minute of the day requires you to be alert and attentive to the people around you. Being busy means that you may not have your focus completely dialledin at all times. Therefore, your exposure to making a mistake is high if you’re not paying attention to your actions.
Written communications are contracts. If you make a mistake in your writing, you could be liable for the results that follow. For example; can you imagine the terror of sending a client a quote or invoice for 50 Euros, when you intended to ask for 500 Euros?
While this may seem like an innocent mistake, your client is entitled to hold you to your written obligation. Always proofread any email before you send it out.
Update Your Tools
Smartphones are an essential part of doing business. Communication apps like WhatsApp and WeChat allow you to keep in contact with your clients. Productivity apps such as pdf readers and creators will enable you to view invoices and documents on the go.
Smart devices have changed the landscape of communications forever. If you’re still living in the stone age, holding on to your blackberry or iPhone 1 could cost. Update your communications tools to the latest technology available.
Sell your outdated phone at a device recycler like Sell Compare. Use the proceeds to purchase a new device that enables you to stay connected wherever you are in the world.
Pay Attention to Your Clients
If you’re in a meeting, or on the phone, pay attention to your clients. Clear your mind of any distractions and listen to what they are saying. Failure to pay attention may result in missing critical details. Consistently asking your client to repeat themselves will irritate them and could cost you their business.
If you’re talking, you want everyone in the room or the conference call to pay attention to you. Therefore, please make sure you do the same for other people when they are delivering their message.
Ask Questions if You’re Not Clear
If you do miss something, or you are unclear about instructions from management or clients, don’t be afraid to ask questions. As long as your client understands you were paying attention, they will be happy to add clarity to what they are saying.
If you fail to comprehend the communication, it may send you off in the wrong direction. If you deliver a project or work to your client or boss that’s not what they asked for, they will want to know the reason for your mistake. Admitting that you did not understand the communication will lower their confidence in you. No client or manager wants to work with a staff that is incompetent.
Make sure you understand every communication. Run it back past your client or manager for confirmation if you are unclear about anything to do with their discussion.
Email is the universal standard of business communication. Emails are a written record, and they can act as a legal witness, or proof to back up your actions or statements. All too often employees forget to back up their email discussions, especially critical conversations and interactions with clients and management.
If your server goes down, or you accidentally erase a critical email, it’s gone into the ether, never to return. Back up all of your emails on a regular basis and avoid this communications pitfall.
Keep your communication professional at all times. If you write an email to a client, ensure that your grammar is flawless. Avoid using slang and other colloquialisms. This prose will irritate your clients and managers. Using shorthand or broken language in your writing gives the appearance that you don’t respect your peers or your clients. The tone of your emails and phone calls say a lot about your thinking, ensure that everything you write is entirely professional.
When you’re on the phone with management or clients, act professionally. Keep your tone and your use of language clear and concise. Always answer your business phone with a professional greeting. He greeting is the opener to the conversation, and it sets the tone and direction of the call.
Update Your Skillset
When you clock out for the day and head home, take the time to improve your skillset. Don’t arrive home and sit in front of the TV all evening, work on improving yourself instead. Read books on literature and business and work on your vocabulary.