Businesses can now communicate in ways which were once unthinkable. Technology is used everywhere from the way in which customers purchase products and services through to the way businesses communicate with each other.
Furthermore, all businesses can benefit from this new technology with even small businesses being able to adopt ways of communicating which were once reserved for only the large, multinational organizations.
Just a few years ago, mobile phones were used primarily for making and receiving telephone calls, but as they have been gradually replaced by Smartphone’s, they now have multiple capabilities including instant messaging and email all from a single device. It is new technologies like this that can help businesses grow in a number of ways because there are so much more avenues through which organizations can connect with their target customers.
How Business Communicate Has Changed
External business communication relates to the way in which businesses communicate with people outside of their organization. The main group of people in this category is generally customers, suppliers, and partners.
Technology has completely transformed the way in which businesses communicate with these groups of people, particularly if each segment is clearly defined so that communication methods can be tailored and targeted carefully. One of the ways in which businesses can achieve this is through social media.
Social media has grown at an extraordinary rate in recent years with many businesses using it as a method of communication with their customers. Businesses can run product promotions, announce news, share customer stories and gather feedback, all of which can drive business growth and development.
Email is also another method of communication with clients that has been long established with instant messaging also now being used as an effective platform to communicate with others outside of your business.
However, advances in technology mean that forward thinking organizations have not only had to transform the way in which they communicate externally but also ensure they set up the correct structures to allow internal teams to collaborate effectively as well.
Internal communications can be used as a way of reaching out to employees to distribute information about the business and allocate work.
The various technologies available today including VoIP phone systems, email and web-based tools such as Slack are great ways in which businesses communicate with their workforce.
Furthermore, modern technology can improve productivity by allowing tasks such as responding to correspondence, answering queries or processing customer requests to be carried out easily and without ever being near the office.
Innovations in technology have also improved efficiency because they allow tasks to be completed quickly with even the smallest of the device being able to handle multiple tasks and processes.
Employees located at an office in London can quickly connect with a colleague based at another office in Australia for example and discuss ideas or share documents.
Internal communications can be based on tools such as Basecamp and aforementioned Slack which are collaborative tools allowing managers to assign tasks, monitor progress and oversee project completion.
How These Tools are Nurturing Remote Working
The collaborative resources covered already allow colleagues to communicate internally and most importantly collaborate effectively.
The channel system within Slack allows businesses to send messages, discussions, and notifications using topic, purpose or department. It also offers a secure file sharing solution and integration with existing business systems so all notifications can be streamlined and received from a central hub meaning that it can be accessed by sales, technical support or customer service.
Using tools such as Slack, many businesses are realizing the benefits of remote working. Businesses can recruit top talent to work on projects and overheads can be significantly reduced particularly if you don’t have an office. Successful remote working relies on good technology and the required systems in place to facilitate efficient communication.
How businesses are adapting to changing technologies
With an increasing number of opportunities for remote working, businesses are looking toward technology to facilitate this process. Businesses, therefore, have to adapt ways of working to accommodate changing technologies and streamlined methods of completing routine tasks. It is really important that all organizations understand the key reasons for adopting new technologies.
For a business to be able to adapt to changing technologies they must firstly understand what technologies are available and how they can be used to benefit their organization. If an IT team cannot understand the goals of the company and build an infrastructure to support them, they won’t be able to provide what a business needs.
Departmental managers should work collaboratively with IT staff to ensure that the technology that they need works successfully before deploying it company wide.
However, some workers won’t take kindly to having to work differently. Therefore they require sufficient training and support to be able to confidently use new solutions. Make sure that employees have access to the right tools and resources required to learn and use the systems effectively.
Ultimately, businesses should be looking to make learning new technologies fun and interactive. Staff should be supported throughout the process such as the transition to a paper-based system to an electronic version or changing from a normal landline system to a VoIP network.
Getting the Balance of Technology Right
With the various devices that keep us connected to work, it is questionable whether technology actually helps or in fact hinders our work life balance. While remote working can certainly help with family commitments, always being connected means that we find ourselves taking calls or answering emails long after we leave the office or switch off the computer.
We can use technology in many ways from maintaining our knowledge through to working on documents at home or on the move in order to meet that last minute deadline. The use of technology often results in long hours, skipped meals, canceled leisure or family time and finding ourselves responding to emails or text messages late into the evening and although this isn’t a problem if it is managed correctly it is important that it is monitored.
Being connected to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week means that we are increasingly responsive and although we can communicate more effectively, it can sometimes affect work life balance as we find it increasingly difficult to switch off from a job that once ended as soon as we left the office. Burnout is something that should be guarded against and all a highly engaged and passionate workforce is important, just as vital is downtime that can refresh and revitalize employees.
Business communications have evolved considerably in recent years and it has significantly improved business development opportunities. Using the various technologies now available businesses can reach far more customers, and companies are no longer restricted to a certain geographical location.
Customers can be found on a global scale and businesses can still communicate and provide products and services anywhere in the world, a shift that is evening the playing field between small business and huge corporations.
About the Author: