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6 Essential Communication Channels for Your Business
Communication channels are efficient in improving the customer’s experience while optimizing your business’ productivity. There are different types of communication channels available for such reasons and they all have their peculiarities.
This article discusses all the available communication channels examples that you could try out and how to make the right choice.
What are Communication Channels?
Communication channels constitute the ways through which you interact or converse with one or more people. When it concerns a business, the communication channels could be in person or through media tools. Thus, it necessitates the use of the appropriate channel suited for the situation. It determines how the message is received and thus the feedback process.
What are the Types of Communication Channels?
There are different channels of communication and their features. Here are the types of communication channels that can be used:
These are considered the most formal means of communicating while also being considered the ones with the least urgency. The written form is technically more convenient for notices, contracts, and other company-wide documents that may need a formal signature or presentation.
Some of the ways to communicate through this type of channel involve the use of memos, contracts, manuals, guides, reports, letters, direct written mail, and faxes. There is also face-to-face communication which is less formal and involves written forms such as performance reviews and board meetings.
Digital communication can be used for both the formal and informal types of communication channels. They can differ from extremely urgent communication needs to not at all which is based on the situation and the method. As a channel, it is more effective for back and forth correspondence, internal queries, advertising, task management, and public messaging.
Digital communication involves the use of verbal and non-verbal channels of communication. They could include messaging apps, video conferencing software, email, blogs, social media, project management apps, chatbots, press releases, live chats, etc.
Mobile communication channels are another type of digital communication but they are limited to only mobile devices. It includes phone calls, messaging apps, SMS text messaging, video calls on mobile apps, and much more. However, these types are less informal than formal but they provide instant response options.
How to Choose the Right Communication Channels for Your Business Needs?
Picking out the right communication channels for your business needs can help optimize your internal and external communication. Thus, to make the right choice, three things should be considered and they are detailed below:
Match the Channel to Your Audience
Check if there is a need to work on the external, internal channel, or both channels of communication to understand where there are inadequacies. Confirm if the operational channels allow team collaborations or if your customers are having issues with the service they expect.
Also consider if you are engaging communication channels that allow for marketing, customer service, or collaboration to guide how the message is being delivered. Marketing through email would still produce results, yet applying more static and public means like social media or your website could ensure future success.
Finally, consider the type of business that you operate as it drives your choice of channel. For an entirely in-person operation, video conferencing may not be effective. On the other hand, hybrid or remote teams would often require a combination of video and text-based channels to communicate and collaborate.
Investigate the Drawbacks
Different communication channels have their downsides and they are crucial when choosing the best channel for your business communication. The use of messaging apps and chats may prove to be the fastest way to send a message or engage a proposed task. However, it would not be tracked and certain information can be buried in the conversation. Thus, it is important to know when best to use each channel based on their downsides to handle issues that may occur in the future.
Set KPIs and Goals
Once you have selected the appropriate communication channel for your business, there are things to do next. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals to track how they perform and the differences they each offer.
In any case, where there are more negative reviews using certain channels, track how the reviews change with new or improved customer service correspondence. Consistently track how they perform, the task completion levels, and other performance metrics. Just ensure that they are directly connected to how you communicate with your team.
6 Essential Communication Channels for Your Business Needs
Your business needs are critical when choosing a communication channel and so they are a range of options that you could pick from. Below are examples of communication channels that you could try out:
Instead of having to be physically in the same room, video conferencing can allow you to have a face-to-face conversation with customers and members of your team. Noting this is a virtual means of communication, unlike other options, they still require the readiness needed for physical contact. Video conferencing provides an easily accessible and instant option for face-to-face communication.
It has become an effective communication channel when dealing with full-time remote working conditions as it removes the obstruction of distance. There are various video conferencing software and options that are available for this reason. They can be connected to both mobile and desktop devices.
Video conferencing is more suitable for certain industries like finance, legal, health care, and other industries that require face-to-face interactions. On the internal side, it is efficient when developing business strategies, or holding meetings without physical meet-ups.
Phone calls are efficient for both internal and external communication for your business. Just as emails, phone calls are important and are not expected to become obsolete anytime soon. It offers one of the fastest ways to get a response as it is quick, direct, and still an effective channel that only a few can match.
Note, there are also internet phone calling apps that can be used alongside the traditional means. There are cloud phone solutions that can serve as a way to communicate without your business while also considering communicating with your customers. The cloud calling solution allows for several features that may not be accessible with the traditional calling phone system.
For your business, the phone calling solution can allow customizable phone numbers, call recording, and other features that can help in improving customer experience. As a go-to communication channel, they are convenient for urgent formal communications.
If you want to make use of phone calling as a channel, then you might need to invest in a contact center solution. The cloud solutions can serve as a cheaper and more accessible option for such centers while allowing take advantage of these improved functions.
Text messages are quite essential in daily living and businesses can take advantage of the features of sending an SMS. Depending on the industry and your role, the text message can offer a reliable way to keep your customers looped in.
You can use them as a follow-up tool or serve as a way to send reminders for future appointments. They are less obtrusive and provide a milder way for businesses to communicate both externally and internally.
Just like text messages, instant messaging provides an opportunity to send quick and direct notes to your clients and team in real-time. This channel allows for a free flow of information most of the time.
The pandemic caused a change in working conditions, the instant messaging lets every member of your team stay connected. It reduces the pressure for immediate answers while still considering the peculiarities of those working from home.
Emails remain one of the most popular forms of written communication between people and they can be used in your business. One of the disadvantages of email is the possibility of overload, yet it can barely be replaced. However, they allow you to keep records of all the communication internally and externally and can be categorized for future reference.
It also requires that you can write properly thus, engaging your written skills more than other channels. Note, don’t make use of this for messages that can be sent as a text or even as your default channel.
Social media is much more convenient for external communication and dealing with customer inquiries. For several small businesses, it could be a way to announce your upcoming projects, while keeping your customers updated.
Research has shown that 73% of marketers believe that social media has been crucial and effective for their business. Social media platforms are also a way for you to get new customers by engaging those you already have while placing adverts to attract new ones. You can set up a social media team that handles all of the social platforms.
Channels of communication chosen for your business should match the peculiarities of your business. This would guide how successful the channels are as well as ensure that there is a smooth running of the business through improved customer experience.
Do you need a reliable communication channel? You can try engaging a phone calling system as they are instant. ULTATEL has a cloud phone system that is designed just for businesses that would take advantage of the phone calling features.
Greg is the product marketer for ULTATEL. He develops and markets products that help people do their best work, and enables the businesses they work for grow their revenue.