business communication

Main Trends in Business Communication

Business communication can mean many things, but in this article, it refers to the communication between a business and its customers, whether the business is selling to the general public or business-to-business. There are various passive platforms that a business can use to communicate with their customers, such a TV adverts and leaflets, but this article considers direct contact, such as person-to-person and over the phone etc. Technology is having a large impact on business communication in the same way that it always has. Technology has always been the driving force behind change in business communication.

business communication
Image by Baltic Development Forum

The olden days

Technology was the reason why people stopped communicating via telegram and went onto the telephone. It was the reason why person-to-person communication became more prevalent as people bought vehicles. The trends will always be dictated by technology.

Person-to-person

There is no denying that traditional person-to-person communication has taken a nosedive in the west. Businesses seem to be using passive communication (advertising) more. This is partly due to the fact that there are now more places to advertise than ever. There were four TV channels and now there are four hundred. People no longer need to visit stores when they can order things to their house. This also means that complaints and other forms of communication are going to be done less via person-to-person communication.

Written literacy

For some reason we live in a time when the written word is as popular as ever, and yet so few people are any good at using it. Never has the written word been so popular, to the point where all sophisticated technology revolves around it, and yet literacy is still very low. The trend in the business world seems to have followed suit, where businesses are demonstrating lower literacy standards. Emails and text messages seem to be showing an all time poor written standard. This is probably due to the fact that these electronic messages are very cheap or free. This seemed to have made businesses less careful about what they do. For example, could you imaging a batch of leaflets being printed without being proofread? Yet email communication is rife with poor spelling, poor grammar and txt talk.

Multilingual Communication

This seems to have taken a sharp rise in prevalence. It now appears that businesses are prepared to translate their messages into another language. Ironically, this is not in order to communicate with people from other countries, but to communicate with people in their own country. For example in America a lot of communications are done in Spanish to accommodate the massive influx of Hispanic immigrants that have taken residence there.

Mobile communication

Many people will tell you that mobile communication is higher in prevalence where business communication is concerned. This is not true, because even though a lot of advertising happens online, and is aimed at mobile users, it is not actually a bigger means of communication. For example, if a company were going to call someone’s mobile phone ten years ago, that is still the way they would contact them today. Companies who give results via SMS, still do! Nothing has changed. But because mobile Internet is used more, and mobile apps are used more, people assume that this means businesses are communicating with peoples mobile devices more–but this is not the case.

Social media

This actually is one of the newer trends that has affected business communication. More businesses are using social media to communicate with clients. Some use social media that are aimed at business-to-business traders (LinkedIn) and others are using social media as an FAQ and helpline forum.

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