As co-founder of a rapidly growing business, I have experienced my share of communication blunders. Thankfully none were too terrible – but when your business is concerned, any error in communication can be stressful.

We live in a time that is exciting and innovative, with impressive technology readily available.

Whether we use these tools for business or our personal lives, it is important that we use the proper tools for each given circumstance. Here are my recommendations for doing it skillfully.

Tools

Social Media

This one should be a no-brainer. From Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +, your business has a lot to say and social media is the best way to communicate those messages. Furthermore, it can really up your SEO to actively post on these sites.

A new trend we’ve seen in the last few years is for companies to open multiple Twitter accounts — each for different purposes: the general account which updates and interacts with users, a help page that offers support, even an account catering to a specific geographic region. Take Buzzfeed as an example for this, as they execute it perfectly with a whopping 50 different Twitter accounts, all targeted to specific audiences.

The brilliance of social media is the ability to speak to many people at once, while also offering the chance to interact on an individual level. Take advantage of the different platforms and options your company has available to in order to maximize your company’s communication reach. However, be sure to keep in mind the fact that everything is public – just as any successes you may have will be made public, so will any failures.

Chat Away

The phone has been lacking some love lately. Sure, texting is great and simple, but when it comes to your business, calls are the lifeline of your communication. The shame about having a simple work phone is that once you leave the office, you’re cut off. You could miss an important call after hours. The opposite is also true – give out your personal phone number and you could be hounded in your personal time by clients.

A great tool I’ve recently discovered is Fone.Do, which sets you up with a business number that extends across your work phone, mobile device and even transfers calls to your web browser. This means that you can choose between taking a call or sending it to voicemail (Fone.Do also offers the caller an option to send a text in place of voicemail). With this tool, there’s a perfect balance between accessibility during your work hours and off hours. Never miss a call again…unless you want to.

Video conferencing options can also be very valuable. Boasting video conferencing, Fuze comes in handy when you have a larger group of people to coordinate with. Their virtual whiteboard feature is great for making sure that your point is successfully illustrated and helps keep the conversation clear and on track.

Customer Service Communication

Notice the difference between communication to the masses and customer support communication. When it comes to working with customers, you must individualize and streamline the process so that they leave feeling looked after.

Some great tools include offering a callback option for phone service, ensuring that your customer isn’t stuck waiting on hold for an extended period of time. Time is valuable and no matter the worth of waiting to talk to an agent, no one wants to wait around. Orange understands this customer perspective and allows their customers to make the most of their time by not getting stuck on hold. On that same note, FastCustomer has a great system that allows the customer to request a call from your company – and they even display an estimated wait time for this call.

On that same note, offering self-service support options on your website is a great way to let the customer help himself quickly and efficiently. Thanks to Zendesk, many companies utilize their useful Help widget that uses smart tech to help the customers find the answer they need fast. Pepperi also offers this widget, with the use of the LiveChat systems.

Mobile First

Communication purposes aside, if it’s applicable, having an app for your product is a necessity.

This is a mobile world we live in and using your app as a communication tool can prove to be invaluable. It just one more way to get the Internet of Things on your company’s side.

Communicate in-app to send out a mass message to make sure all users see any of your important updates. Obviously know the limits of this power, as doing this often will annoy your user base and could cause them to search elsewhere.

Sending a message to your app users ensures that any user stands a high chance of seeing your message, as opposed to social media where only those following you will see the update. It provides an ease access to you as the business, while keeping the customer in the loop.

Strategies to Perfect Your Communication

Perfect Your Inter Departmental Communication

In order to have effective communication with the customer, you must have effective communication within your own company’s infrastructure. Any updates, status changes, errors in the system, promotions, etc can influence the way that each and every employee does his job. Every employee needs to stay as up-to-date as possible on any company wide news. This could be effectively circulated to employees through a simple business messaging app or even through good ol’ email.

In fact, instant messaging is quickly becoming the fastest growing communication channel among businesses. But whatever communication form you choose to utilize, bear in mind that any department directly interacting with your client must be prioritized in terms of updates. If not, it could lead to very embarrassing confusion. In order for your client to be in the loop, you must ensure that your employees are also in the loop.

Slack offers a fun and reliable messaging platform that is geared specifically towards businesses. Create communication channels (both private and open), search between conversations, upload files and more. Slack is a great tool for productivity and is full of surprise features.

But perhaps most important thing is ensuring that the messaging platform you adopt for your business is secure. The majority of security breaches today are due to insider threats, such as lost or stolen employee devices, or inadvertent misuse of information. Thus, it’s important that all corporate communication remain in the hands of the business and away from malicious cybercriminals.

Nuro Secure Messaging, for example, is a useful solution for businesses looking to protect the sensitive business information (banking information, trade secrets…) that employees share with each other. This application boasts four security layers, including a cognitive feature that predicts potential breaches.

Don’t Forget the Personal Touch

Regardless of the innovations coming up in the future, technology can only do so much. At the end of the day, your client/customer/consumer can only be wooed so much by the technical tools at your company’s disposal. It is vital that a connection is established on a human level so that your clients feel valued and respected.

Keep Your Site Up-to-Date

When a customer has a question, it is highly likely that he will head to your site for assistance. The last thing you want is for the customer to find conflicting or incorrect information. Depending on how long your company’s been around, this might prove to be a daunting task but it is an imperative one. You are the authority on your business and your site must reflect as much.

Communication is a basic human foundation and is vital to the survival of your business. Effective communication will always be necessary, regardless of the technological advancements made. Hopefully with these tips, your business will be able to excel in its communications.