Good Communication Tips to Position Companies for Success
Communication is part of everyone’s jobs everyday. Yet sometimes it is often taken for granted that people possess effective communication skills. Being competent in the majority of their job skills, yet lacking key communication skills is a workforce barrier to small business growth.
Today’s work environment with text messages, email, social media, chat-based customer service, etc. demonstrates how important communication has become.
Recent studies indicate though, that employees are deficient in these standard communication practices. An employer survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) conducted by Hart Research Associates found that 80 percent of employers believed colleges should focus more on written and oral communication.
In another study released by AACU in 2015, findings also indicated a large gap between students’ perceptions of workforce readiness and employers’ findings of preparedness. Employers ranked critical thinking skills, written, and oral communication skills as the types of skills and knowledge that are most important to workplace success. However, 70 percent of employers do not feel that recent college graduates are well prepared to apply these skills in real-world settings, whereas 65 percent of students believed they were ready.
This ties into a Payscale and Future Workplace 2016 survey that found 60 percent of hiring managers believed recent graduates lacked critical thinking skills and 44 percent lacked writing proficiency.
Can this affect your business? Yes. Every company runs by being able to sell a product or service. The ability to sell requires that you persuade people that your company is the right choice for their money and time. You have to be able to clearly communicate to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
So in addition to the technical aspects of communication like grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, employees need to possess critical thinking skills too. This provides them with the ability to interpret and understand information and ideas about their industry and their customers. Therefore, they would then have the capacity to add value to a business relationship that your company can benefit from.
To initially take a few steps in the direction of good communication, consider sharing these five points for written communication from the business experts to reflect your and your employees’ professionalism, values, and attention to detail:
Provide a Prompt Response: Businesses frequently use email and text to connect with new and existing customers, so be ready to respond to their emails and texts. Ask employees to look at their emails and work texts every two hours. Due to the very nature of this communication, promptness is inherent with its use. A fast response time will help position your company positively.
Develop a Good Subject Line: Just like a headline, a subject line needs to grab the attention of the reader. Use some well-chosen words to help the recipient want to open your email. A good subject line will provide information that is important to the receiver.
Create a Personalized Message: At the very least, use a personalized greeting to give a warm tone to your written communication. This can help establish a human connection with your customer or client. Also, use a closing with your message such as Regards, Sincerely or All the Best. Remember to not skip the basics either and proofread your email to catch any grammar, punctuation or spelling mistakes.
Keep Messages Brief – Don’t Overcommunicate: A long email or text may not ever get read if the recipient instantly feels overwhelmed. Your complete company history is not the best place to start using these forms of communication. Try to be direct and concisely layout all the pertinent information the customer needs to answer his or her question or to make a decision with.
Include a Call to Action: While it’s important to clearly describe your products and services, it’s not enough to just present your company information and think people will be interested. Provide customers with the next action you would like them to take to keep them on the path to purchasing.