According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 89% of enterprises stated they used the Internet. The use of Internet-enabled mobile devices rose 13% to a total of 60% as more people acquired smart phones and tablets. With statistics like these, there is little doubt that technology is exploding and professions need to learn better communication strategies for the digital age or risk falling behind the competition.
How Businesses Communicate
The way that people communicate has changed in the last 10-20 years and so has the way businesses communicate. There are few businesses these days without a strong Internet presence. Also important is a social media presence to reach out to current and new customers.
Since businesses are doing a majority of their communications, both internally and externally in a digital environment, there are several communication strategies you’ll want to embrace.
- Keep it Personal
Even though you are communicating via SMS or an email, try to maintain that personal connection. Don’t just send out a form email to all of your customers, but take the time to build a database and plus in merge fields so that the letter is addressed to that specific customer.
When responding to web forms or emails where the other person is expressing concern, read through the correspondence several times to be sure you understand the scope of the problem. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a reply that seems as though the other person didn’t even read your email. Take the time to understand the request and respond appropriately.
- Remember Good Manners
Digital communications tend to be less formal than old-fashioned letters. However, good manners are still important. A simple thank you can go a long way. Remember to address the person by name and to sign your own name and title.
You should also include a second way for the person to contact you, such as an office phone number or a mailing address. In this digital age, there are times when email simply doesn’t cut it.
- Ask for the Person’s Communication Preference
Take the time to ask the other person if continuing the discourse in a digital format is okay. Some older people prefer telephone calls, for example, while the younger generation may prefer an SMS message or a message sent via social media. Be open to the line of communication the other person prefers.
Your goal is to make other person feel comfortable, so sticking to these simple, but better communication strategies will help you navigate through the digital age like a pro.