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Employee (Internal) Communication Tips

Use a project management or social collaboration tool.  This gives employees access to a one-stop shop for internal communications.  Using such a tool brings together the people, information and processes needed to enable problem-solving and decision making wherever employees are and their ‘go to’ source for information on a daily basis. Asana offers an ideal platform for this at www.asana.com and ideal for the small business, you can start using it for up to 15 team members for free

Create an online forum where employees can easily communicate.  If a full project management and collaboration tool seems overkill for your organisation, then a simple Social Network group could be the answer.  The important thing is having an easy to access platform that enables them to engage and interact on various levels.  If you don’t fancy using Facebook or LinkedIn for example, Yammer – yammer.com is a great enterprise social network used by many very big businesses for their internal Social Networks but it can work just as well for smaller businesses too.

Give employees feedback.  Research has shown that younger employees especially enjoy receiving frequent feedback.  Weekly status reports on the priorities and projects they are working on, along with short and simple feedback can help younger members of the workforce feel as empowered and well connected as the rest of the team.

Make the most of Email subject lines.  Help employees find important company emails in their inbox.  Using action-oriented words such as URGENT, HELP or ACT consistently will help those important messages stand out and help employees to prioritise which require immediate action, and which they can return to at a later time.

Use video conferencing.  These days video conferencing is available to all and is a great business tool.  Bringing employees together to discuss issues in one place physically can be an overhead in time and money.  Video conferencing, however, makes meeting up without even having to leave their desks.  Go to meeting Gotomeeting.com and Zoom offer a very reliable and cost-effective solution starting at 10 participants per meeting and they have a free trial so you can check it out before subscribing.

Pick up the phone.  Whilst email and other electronic communications work in many situations, sometimes it is simply more effective to pick up the phone and talk. This stands true for customers too!

Customer (External) Communication Tips

Get to the point.  If you need customers to take action, quickly make your point.  Grand introductions and creative narratives have their place, but email isn’t it.  Your customers are busy folk who will respond best to short and easy to read content.  Be precise and very clear about ‘what’s in it for them’.  Provide options to learn more and focus on your subject line.  Unless your customer is compelled to open your email, your wonderful, actionable content is worth nothing!

Make it easy for customers to communicate with you. Ensure customers can find at least an email address and phone number. Live chat and social media links make it even easier.  Listen to what customers have to say, they will feel more respected and more likely to do business with you, it is also a valuable source of feedback.

Don’t forget text messages.  SMS text messages are an excellent way of providing services updates to customers, information they need to know immediately.  Services outages, delays, delivery times, appointment reminders are all appropriate reasons to use SMS.

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