- Amanda Wolfe
Communication Skills: Putting Your Best Voice Forward
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating a top-notch business. You’ve done your research and developed a perfect business plan, and you know your product or service outshines the competition. So, why are you still struggling?
The answer may lie in your communication.
From marketing to one-on-one customer or employee interactions, "using your words" effectively can mean the difference between a good brand and a great brand. Communication in today's business environment is more complicated than ever, reaching across multiple areas like social media, an online presence, and mobile or smart platforms, along with traditional in-person interaction. However, improving and adjusting your skills is easier than you think! Read on for fundamentals and communication tips to help you rise above the crowd, keeping both your customer base and your workforce happy.
Here are some simple and useful things to remember in your online and offline communication:
Practice active listening. It’s important to really hear what your customer or employee is saying. Active listening is the single most important communication skill to master; have you ever felt like someone was talking at you instead of with you? Becoming a great listener will help you solve problems, and can provide valuable input for the future. Active listening is meant to establish connection, understanding, and trust, so if anything seems unclear, ask questions. This not only helps you clarify, but also shows your genuine interest in the person you’re talking with – always a positive!
Keep an open mind. You’ll likely run across someone with a differing viewpoint, but by listening actively and putting yourself in their shoes, you will probably find a good resolution to any issue you’re addressing. Ask how you can help, and welcome constructive criticism… but don’t take criticism too personally, either.
Be concise and confident. You believe in your work, and your customer can too – there’s no need to drown them in words to make your point. Keep your communication short, confident, and focused. When offering guidance to an employee, try to convey what is expected of them as clearly and respectfully as possible.
Choose the right platform. We’ve all heard horror stories of employees laid off via instant messaging, or an important apology condensed to a tweet; choose your means of communication wisely! For example, if a social media exchange gets heated, try to take the conversation offline in an effective way. Respond quickly, express your willingness to help, and offer the customer a means to contact you directly via phone or email. Never delete or ignore the post! Negative feedback in a public forum can be a make-or-break moment. Potential customers are watching – choosing to ignore the issue can be devastating to your reputation, but if you respond with respect and sincerity, it will inspire trust in your brand and demonstrate reliable customer service.
An Effective Voice in the Digital Realm
You may have already mastered the communication tips above, but is your online “voice” consistent and distinctive? The internet is a crowded place, so you want to not only be found, but also engage potential customers when they arrive. If your business were a person, what type of personality would they have, and how would they speak? Whether you’re drafting an email, composing a tweet, or writing a blog, your words should reflect that image.
Take a look at some successful companies and brands that you appreciate, and note the consistency in their messaging. More than likely, all of them – whether they choose to be casual, humorous, or polished and professional – convey confidence, friendliness, and approachability. This almost-conversational quality is especially important to customers who use smart devices (Alexa, Siri, Echo, etc). Who wants to hear a string of dry words when they can hear content that makes them feel genuinely inspired to do business with you?
Galveston Business Owners: Need a Little More Help?
Even with communication tips in your business toolkit, it can be tough to find the right words. If you own a business in Galveston County, and need a boost (especially if time is of the essence), we’re here for you.
Communication skills can take time to master, and JanMar Agency has a team of pros ready to help you put your best message out there. If terms like “SEO” and “branding” leave you confused, contact your Galveston experts and let us find your voice!