How to Streamline Your Business Communications

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article |Business Communications|How to Streamline Your Business CommunicationsCommunication is one of the key tenets of any business. Without clear communication, things just don’t get done, and start to fall apart. Whether your business’s communication is good or bad though, there’s always room to streamline, and doing so can have huge benefits for your company.

There are many ways you can look to improve your communication, both internally and externally, and find the systems that are going to allow your business to offer a better service.

Here, we take a look at five ways in which you can streamline your business communications.

Clearly Define Roles

When you’re working on an important project, it’s important that everyone clearly understands their roles. If everyone’s roles aren’t clear, that’s when communication can break down, as nobody knows who they need to communicate with.

You may think you have defined someone’s role within the project, but it really needs to be made sure that they understand exactly what that role is and what they’re responsible for.

Have a Point Person

You need to have a person at the top who is in charge of the project. Otherwise, different pieces of information can get passed around certain pockets of the project without ever making it to the person who’s actually in charge.

Communication needs to flow through the point person, who decides what to do with the information and how to proceed. Otherwise, people begin to communicate as individuals rather than as a team.

Bring Your Communication Together in One Place

We have so many different ways of communicating these days, which in many ways is great, but it also brings its own problems. Every minute someone spends trying to remember if they received that important piece of information through email or an instant messenger is time wasted, and this time can really add up.

Bringing your different communication channels together through unified communications (UC) with a company like Code Software can help streamline your team’s communication, making it more efficient and effective.

Make Use of the Data

When you use a UC system, you have access to so much data that allows people to learn about the way they communicate and improve their performance.

When it comes to communication with the customer, there are so many variables that happen in every call, so it can be difficult to judge how you’re performing. It’s only when you have access to all the data that you can see which areas you can improve on.

Make Rules for Different Communication Channels

Another way to overcome the problem of having too many communication channels is by having different rules for each communication channel. For example, if you’re seeking someone’s opinion, it can be quite tricky to do it through written word because it’s hard to understand tone in writing.

So, you can make the rule that if you’re seeking an opinion it has to be through a voice call rather than instant message. There are many different rules you can put in place to suit your business needs and further improve upon communication.

Key considerations when building your unified communications strategy

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article |Unified Communications|Key considerations when building your unified communications strategyUnified communications are a hot topic at the moment among businesses, with a unified communications strategy having the potential to offer huge savings and impressive increases in efficiency if it is done right. To be sure that you choose the right unified communications strategy for your business, read on for our list of key considerations.

How many platforms are currently used in your office?

In your office it is likely that work messages are currently sent between staff on several different communication platforms in the mix of different chats, group messages, and inboxes. In this environment it is easy for important information to be missed or lost, and it can take a long time for messages asking for clarification from upper management to reach the top for a decision. Using a system such as Unified Communications by Gamma you can ensure that all internal communications go through one easy to trace system. This will allow for a vast simplification of the flow of information.

Consider the potential for telecommuting and better video conferencing

A large advantage of a unified communications system which should be considered to the fullest is the ability to revolutionise telecommuting. Telecommuting is another way of saying work done from home and can apply to a huge range of work done in Britain today, especially on the administrative side of the job. In the 2015 PGI Global Telework Survey, an incredible 79% of knowledge workers globally reported being able to work from home at least one day a week. The result of this was a massive saving in money and time for the relevant workers, as well as a reduction in health issues caused by travelling through highly polluted air.

However, in Britain the number of telecommuters is far lower than the global average, even though, with a powerful services-led economy, Britain is one of the countries that could most benefit from a radical rethink of the role of telecommuters. It would also offer massive environmental benefits. Investing in a powerful unified communications network can make a big difference in allowing workers the freedom to produce their best work with a lower level of stress.

If you are able to get an effective level of telecommuting going, you may be able to consider rethinking your whole approach to office space, allowing you to reduce the amount of office space you pay to use and heat without getting any use for. If you have a high level of telecommuting with a pool of employees who are not all in at the same time there is the potential to have a suite of office spaces for hotdesking them in rotations when they are in the office. This can represent a massive saving on office space.

Find the right product set for your unique needs

Each company has different requirements, but different bundles are available. Whether you only need phone communications and data in the office, or want them for any company issued device, or want a single integrated system which transfers documents and sends messages and memos, there will be a unified communications solution for you.

Earning Trust Through Communication Skills

Grace Under PressureEver notice that some executives you interact with are instantly likeable, trustworthy and respected? Chances are they apply the following communication strategies in every conversation – eye contact, listening, enjoyment and benevolence.

It’s widely accepted that great communication skills are a key ingredient for business owners, executives and managers. How you communicate can make or break relationships, increase your team’s loyalty, set standards for your team and, strengthen your professional reputation. However, these fundamental skills are all too often overlooked.

Here are four strategies I suggest you use to earn trust in all your interactions.

Eye Contact

Essential for building rapport in meetings, interviews and panel discussions, sincere eye contact sends a message of trust. I do not advocate using eye contact to intimidate – which can happen. Narcissistic or intimidating eye contact sends a completely different message. A narcissistic gaze can be threatening and unnerving. If you want to build real rapport, I suggest a warm, sincere approach.

Listening

A crucial part of being a great communicator. Many clients of mine have realized they’ve gone about listening in a way that made them less effective communicators. Essentially in meetings if you are listening for your chance to interrupt or to add to the conversation or to impress you are exhibiting the opposite of leadership. Effective leaders listen to understand, not to interrupt.

Enjoy Your Conversations

I often advise clients to find joy in delivering their speeches. If you are enjoying yourself, chances are your audience will enjoy listening to you. The same is true for small meetings and 1:1 conversation. Take a moment to check in with your team member or colleague before jumping into work-related matters. This will make your colleague feel valued and appreciated.

Benevolence

Communicating with kindness is a valuable tool in almost any situation. If I have a client seeking a job or job promotion, I remind them that one of the most important goals for the interview is to have a pleasant conversation. The same is true for tense discussions, quarterly reviews and reprimands. In most conversations you cannot control how others will respond to your viewpoint. In an interview, you have no control as to whether or not they hire you, but you can control whether or not you are kind. This can make just as much of an impression as your accomplishments.

For more successful interactions, try these tools starting today and notice the shift in how others responded to you. Not only will you begin to earn more trust and respect, you will also help to create a more kind and effective work atmosphere.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Lisa WentzLisa Wentz, author of Grace Under Pressure: A Masterclass in Public Speaking, is a public speaking expert who coaches executives and managers from Fortune 500 companies and the non-profit sector.

For more information please visit www.lidpublishing.com or www.lisawentz.com

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Reasons to Have a Newsletter

Although social media marketing is having its moment in the spotlight right now, email marketing is still very much a relevant and a powerful tool for your business to utilise. One way you can really take advantage of email marketing is via a newsletter, something which appears to be a dying trend.

When you consider just how many of us use email and have access to it around-the-clock through our smartphones, you start to see the raw potential of properly using email marketing to reach your customers and subscribers. Although you may be sitting on the fence, unsure whether or not to create a newsletter, we recommend that you just go ahead and do it – you have nothing to lose and it is really something that can pay off.

If you are unsure how to create a newsletter, there are plenty of guides available online which can help you from beginning to end, regardless of your skill level or experience. Creating a newsletter is very simple and you can have one ready to go in virtually no time. If you are still unsure, read on to learn just how beneficial a newsletter can be for your business or brand.

#1: Newsletters Drive Conversions & Sales

It’s very easy to understand just how email marketing and newsletters are effective when it comes to driving up sales. When a subscriber opens one of your emails, you have a golden opportunity to make the sale right there and then — you already have the recipient’s attention and you need to take advantage of this moment to describe the product or service, explain its benefits, and entice them to make a purchase.

As we all know too well, human beings are impulsive creatures and by including incentives such as a coupon, promotion or special offer in a newsletter, you can easily convince somebody to make a purchase. If statistics are anything to go by – where 7 in 10 adults make use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email or where over 40% of email recipients make at least one purchase per year based on an email – there is no doubt that newsletters can have a dramatic impact on your sales.

#2: Newsletters Create Connections

Although you may not believe so, consumers actually want to receive promotional emails from their favourite brands; many consumers go out of their way to sign up for promotional emails. By creating a newsletter which is interesting and engaging, you enable your subscribers to connect with your brand or business on a personal level.

Email marketing and newsletters are about more than just making sales, they are about providing value and utility beyond sales and profits by sending customers interesting, well-thought-out email newsletters with which they can resonate. By building bridges and connections with your customers, you establish brand loyalty, something which, in the long-term, can spur growth.

At the end of the day, your customers buy from you because they are loyal to your brand and can trust you, a trust which is established through building connections with customers.

#3: Newsletters Boost Website Traffic & Social Media Followings

In your email newsletter, you can add social sharing buttons for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. As you are likely aware, these social media channels are vital to your overall marketing strategy yet growing them can be something of a challenge. Email newsletters are very effective at helping you build up your social media following. For the most part, merely having these social buttons there can be enticing enough to encourage people to follow your social media pages, however, drawing your newsletter to a close with a discussion involving your social media channels can be another way to entice your subscribers to like and follow your pages.

Not only this, but your email newsletter can play a major role in boosting overall traffic to your website or online store. If you want people to come and visit your website, peruse through your catalogue and, ultimately, make a purchase, you need to invite and encourage people to do just that. There are multiple ways you can go about this, including promotional incentives, calls to action and targeted emails.

Although email newsletters have become something of a dying trend with the onset of social media marketing, it is important to recognise the important role they still play for online businesses, especially small-to-medium sized ones which do not yet have much of a substantive following.

Newsletters are a simple way to engage the customers and subscribers you currently have and encourage them to share your business or brand and, ultimately, come back for more. It’s very easy to create an emotive and engaging newsletter which encourages a response from its recipient, and every business should be sending email newsletters often.