External Business Communication
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Communication is one of the key factors that determine success or failure of a business. Business communication can be either internal or external depending on the audience or the recipients of the information. Business communication is internal when dealing with staffs individually either through oral messages or written messages like memos and emails. External communication, on the other hand, is the communicative effort specifically for individuals and organizations that operate outside the business and includes; customers, vendors and suppliers, investors, financiers and the shareholders.
There are many purpose of external business communication. These include: offering information about a company’s products and services to existing and potential customers, promote the organization through the media, handle and answer all enquiries relating to the company and its products and services and recruit competent staffs who will propel the organization to greater heights in its quest to achieve its goals and objectives (Rzadkiewicz, 2009).
External communication takes different forms with the main primary forms being verbal or spoke, written and non-verbal of expressed communications. For effective communication, it is advisable that the organization makes use of different forms of communication since people process information differently. For instance, the company can send sales letters to its customers and then make a follow up with an advertisement through the media. Alternatively, the company can send mails to customers and follow it up with a telephone to ensure that the customer gets the intended message.
There are several key aspects to successful external communication and includes the ability to relate with customers effectively and the level of communication persuasiveness. One of the key aspects of effective external communications is persuasiveness; effective communication is able to persuade customers and suppliers to take a specified desired action (Joseph and Demand Media, 2013). The marketing strategy, for instance, can persuade customers to visit the place of business or buy the products. In addition, an efficient public relations strategy can influence the media to assist in building a good image for the business in the community.
The second key aspect of external communication is customer focus; businesses make use of different communication channels like telephone, emails, in-person customer service department through which they can resolve customer issues (Guffey and Loewy, 2012). If the communication is not customer focused, then the organization is bound to fail since customers are the main reasons why companies are in business. As communication improves, less resources and time needed to find new ones.
The third key aspect of external business communication is a partner friendly since at some point in an organization’s life; there will be a need to form partnerships and alliances with other businesses with focus in marketing, expansion and developing relationships with suppliers. How well a business communicates with such entities determines the success of the business and the chances of building mutually beneficial business connections.
Lastly, emphasis on listening is another critical aspect of external business communications, whose importance cannot be overlooked. External communication is not just about sending and spreading information or reaching out to others: it is also about taking the time to listen and appreciate feedback given by the recipients of the information. Such feedback is key in understanding what is good or bad about the entity and the reputation of the company. These are crucial in improving the operations and profitability of any business.
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As the company endeavors to improve on its external communication, it should take into account the following suggestions. First, it should gather feedback from all the external stakeholders like customers’ complains or through surveys directed to the customers, the media and the shareholders. Such feedback will assist the organization in identifying the gap in its communication strategies and thus provide a basis to improve on the process (Guffey and Loewy, 2010). Secondly, the customers need to address all the external communication issues found during the gathering of feedback. Such issues could be the company’s email labeling customer’s queries as spam, and thus they end up not being responded or even company representative taking the customers around without solving their problems. Third, the company should create solutions to the problems identified above. This could entail repairing the telephones lines, improving the emails servers or implementing the solutions given by the customers. Lastly, the gather information on the solutions implemented to check if they solved the problems experienced in the first place. The company should get the feelings of all the people affected by the solutions. This helps in understanding if the concerns are well considered.
The impact on communication in any organization can never be ignored. It is only through communication that a company can know how people feel and perceive it and offer solutions on the improvements needed. Good communication is said to be successful when the intended recipient without any distortions to the initial intended meaning (Kaul, 2004) receives the intended message. This principle also applies to external business communication where all messages from the company should reach the intended recipients for it to serve the intended purpose.
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