As technology is advancing, so is the world of business communication. In days of old, business people wrote “letters” to their clients. Face-to-face meetings were held, often ending with a handshake. Today’s world of business communication has a much different face.
One such new innovation in the world of business communication is electronic tools. “New software programs and devices continually enter the market to help businesses. However, acquiring new technology and helping workers master it entails an enormous capital investment.” Locker & Kienzler (2008). Devices such as wikis, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and teleconferences are meant to increase productivity and means of communicating with customers. However, some business professionals find that they are “overwhelmed” by such electronic communication tools and the time it takes to learn the effective use of these communication tools requires time, training and capital.
Email has become a preferred means of communication to fellow workers and clients. However, the overuse of email can lead to what is known as information overload. “Perhaps the biggest problem for many employees is the amount of e-mail. IDC, a research consulting firm, estimates 84 billion e-mails are sent daily.” Locker & Kienzler (2008).
Business communications play a major role in a corporation’s day-to-day activities such as checking emails and corresponding to any important messages. Research may be required for customer inquiries that need additional information. Companies are assimilating information to their customers increasingly by referring them to company websites, where all pertinent company data can be found in one location.
Telecommunication also plays a very important role in business communication, especially in a corporation’s sales department. The majority of the workday is spent on the telephone talking to clients. Many times, people in sales departments are multi-tasking, sending the clients information they requested via email while still having a telephone conversation with them.
Some recent trends in business communications is the use of “communication management systems.” An example of this is underwriting management systems developed by insurance carriers. Agents are able to access their work station and automatically upload applications. They also have the ability to chat “online” with the underwriters about underwriting their risk. Executive management teams can see the benefits gained in enhanced communication with the agents and deem them to be well worth the cost.
The message from these new communication trends is that companies are always seeking more effective ways to communicate and get their message across to customers. Enhanced communication means increased sales and productivity. All of this in the long run is meant to increase the company’s profits. This is the real test in how effective a communication system is within a company. The bottom line that executive management looks at is how the system is helping to increase the company’s profits. Good communication systems are also important in maintaining customer satisfaction. No company can survive without a satisfied client base. Customer satisfaction means repeat customers. Repeat customers also mean for a company, increased sales and increased profitability.
Communication is the “life blood” of a business. An effective communication system will play an important role in management/employee relationship; employee/client relationships; and the overall role of the company in their own community when seeking to grow their business and diversify into new product lines. None of this is possible without an effective business communication system.
Locker, K. O., & Kienzler, D. S. (2008). Business and administrative communication (8th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.