Writecombination Communication
by Rachel Knowles
10-Oct-12

Choosing the right way to communicate your message

The way in which a message is received will depend on how it is sent. To get the best results, you need to send your message using the right communication channel. That’s easier said than done, as there is a huge number of different ways to communicate and the variety keeps on growing.

One of the problems in choosing the right channel is personal preference. Some people would rather receive an email while others respond better to a phone call. No one form of communication is ever going to suit all your customers, suppliers and staff. But there are features of each channel which make them more suitable for different types of message.

Social media

Social media includes such channels as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn.

These channels are being used effectively for both marketing and customer service. They allow a level of engagement with customers and potential customers that is becoming increasingly popular.

However, there are dangers associated with social media. Most tweets on Twitter are visible to the world and care must be taken not to create bad publicity by careless words. Firms have also learnt that it is important to respond positively and promptly to negative feedback on channels like Facebook in order to build brand image.

Social media is not a good way of communicating if you want a quick answer.

Text messages

Texts are a good way of communicating brief messages such as reminders of sales promotions or delivery times. They are more likely to be read than emails or social media posts. They can also be used effectively in customer service situations to keep customers informed about the progress being made.

But they are not usually a good way of sending marketing messages. Most people object to receiving these on their mobiles.  

Email

Email is a good way to send information to a specific person or group. It is only seen by the sender and the recipient and is therefore a private channel. It is the digital equivalent to a personal letter.

Email newsletters are becoming increasingly popular as a way of sending out marketing messages. They are the digital replacement for promotional mail that used to be sent by post.

The main drawback of email is that it is screen-based and the large quantity of emails that businesses receive meant that it can be difficult to ensure that your email will get read.

Another disadvantage is the lack of personal interaction in an email. It is not a good substitute for talking to someone face to face or on the telephone when dealing with a difficult situation.

Telephone

Making a telephone call is still the best way to communicate when an immediate answer is required or an issue needs to be resolved. The widespread use of mobile phones has meant that many people are contactable wherever they are.

The main disadvantage of telephone calls is that there is no written record of what is said. Disagreements may sometimes arise over what transpired.

Where the telephone call is of import, it should always be followed up by a written communication, either by email or post.

Post

There are still times when the best channel for communicating your message is by post. The advent of digital communication channels has led to a huge reduction in ‘junk’ mail and a paper mailing is more likely to be looked at than it used to be.

It has to be remembered that internet access and mobile phone usage is not universal. For these people particularly, postal messages are still important.




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