There are many different digital communication tools to choose from, including SMS, LinkedIn, Twitter, video conferencing, dial-in conference calls, desk and mobile phones, instant messaging, and email. The list is practically endless and will continue to be as technology continues to rapidly change and evolve.
Choosing the best communication tools will depend on the actual communications and the tasks that you need to do. It can also depend on your location, such as whether you are working at a coffee shop, are at your desk, and also who you are wanting to speak with.
How to Choose the Best Mode of Communication for Your Business
The following tips can help you determine which is the best communications tool for your business. We are also providing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of digital communication.
Phone – Either Mobile or Desktop
It is beneficial to use phones, especially business mobiles, if you would like to discuss a subject thoroughly or talk through an idea. It is a lot more personal and allows you to express yourself clearly and clarify points that might be misunderstood when other modes of communication are used. You can have a nice social chat before you start to discuss business and learn more about the other individual, which in this fast-paced world is very refreshing.
The phone might not be appropriate for quickly resolving an issue and the person might not be available, which means you will need to leave a voicemail message and then wait for your call to be returned. Or you may need a question answered but you are unable to physically make a phone call due to not being able to get reception or because it is too noisy. Unless the call is recorded, you won’t have any proof or record of your communication.
Email is great for documenting and tracking activities and conversations and sending files to a group of people or just one person. You can manage email from a desktop computer as well as while on the go from an iPad or smartphone. It might seem overused or the most used mode of communication in business. But it can be very effective.
Everyone appears to use email for all forms of communication even at times when it is unnecessary, which just ends up clogging up email inboxes. Email is also not a form of real-time communication, although many people assume it is.
People add you to irrelevant email trails, which also contributes to your inbox being flooded. You sometimes have to wait a long time to receive a reply and it can be a huge undertaking to sort through a cluttered inbox.
Email volume has significantly increased over time. This has led to the introduction of automatic filers such as Microsoft Outlook’s Clutter. However, that has created the risk of important emails getting filtered out, so two inboxes need to be managed.
Many instant messaging solutions allow you to see your colleagues. Availability and presence settings are helpful when you need a response immediately. You can tell when your colleagues are there to help out and when they are busy. It is a great tool for quick answers and questions.
People sometimes ignore a busy notice and send pinging messages that can disrupt you during a meeting or when you are in the middle of an important project. The solution is to use the do not disturb feature so the conversation is not sent.
This works well for quick answers and messages while on the go. Most people cannot resist checking their phones when they get a message.
People have a tendency to forget to reply to texts.
This allows you to speak to a group of people or one person in a different location without doing any traveling. You can see the facial expressions of people, which makes it easier to read their reactions.
When users do not get enough training, using video conferencing systems may be complicated. Some people are uncomfortable using videos, although millennials feel completely at home with this technology. So don’t hesitate to ask for a couple of tips from your digitally skilled co-workers.