by Paula on June 12, 2011

The way we communicate is evolving.

To some they know how they like to communicate and they’re sticking with it. To others, they move with ease onto newer methods of communication and barely realise that they are now checking Twitter before email, or Facebook before their phone text messages.

I fall into the latter group. My methods of communication ebb and flow as newer ways present themselves, and gradually some peter out and others take strength.

This came to light with me specifically this week when a friend commented on my not so quick turn-around of personal emails compared to previously. I realise that demands on our time and the ease of modern communication means it’s the lengthier methods of communicating that fall by the way side a little.

Ever-quicker communications

It was a breath of fresh air when you could send an email rather than a letter and it seemed so quick and easy to do so. Now, I feel that tweeting and instant messaging is so easy and responsive that it’s email that has taken the place of the old letter, and is something I feel I need to set aside a bit more quality time for, hence the lack of immediate turnaround I may have once offered!

How do your clients communicate?

It got me thinking about some of the clients I’ve worked with recently and the importance of evaluating the preferred communication methods of their clients rather than what they themselves prefer to do. It’s no use standing firm and choosing to communicate with your clients only by email because that’s your favourite, when all of your desired clients are chattering away on Twitter (perhaps with your competitors….) – you’ll very soon be left behind. In the same way that there’s really no point spending lots of time and effort on a Facebook page if your clients wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole and would much prefer a printed leaflet.

Think about yourself. How do you communicate with your friends and family? Is it all by one method or do you change the media to suit the recipient? I know that my parents respond to Text Messages, my brother is best caught on Email, one good friend can only be reached by a phone call, and another can always be found lurking on Twitter. This recognition of their favourite and my opting to reach them where suits them best is exactly what businesses need to do too.

Assess who your clients are, where they are likely to be, and even if it takes you into new forms of communication that are not your personal favourites, the chances of you grabbing their attention and winning them over are going to be far higher than standing firm with your favoured method of communication.

After all, we wouldn’t want you talking to yourself, would we…..!


Lisa van den Berg June 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Hi Paula
Your post raises a fundamental communication issue. Everyone likes to give and receive information in different ways. The more we adapt our ‘giving’ to another person’s ‘receiving’, the more effective our communication will be.
Thanks for raising the point.

paula June 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for your comment Lisa. The more options become available, the more confusing it can be, but you are right that kindness and understanding towards what’s easiest and best for the receiver, offers far better opportunity for good communication and better quality business / personal relationships. Something that we all value and strive for.

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