Building relationships rely on effective communication in both personal and business settings. If effective communication fails or is never established, conflicts, problems, and misunderstandings may arise. Poor communication results in reduced productivity, failing delegation, and the ability to work virtually impossible.

Don’t worry, there’s good news. Business owners and managers can fine-tune their communication skills using the tips and information here.

1. Combine Communication Methods

There is a wide array of communication options available today. From video chatting via services like Gabbit, to traditional face-to-face meetings, it’s a good idea for businesses to combine various types of communication methods. Even if the majority of a business’s communication occurs on the phone or through networking events, it’s possible to create emails that highlight the discussion.

2. Eliminate or Limit Distractions

A key element of effective communication is listening. Unfortunately, it’s not always simple. Becoming an active listener requires a person to limit the distractions present during conversations that may make it challenging to hear and really understand what other people are saying.

To achieve this, it may mean turning off email notifications, turning off the ringer on the phone, and closing the door to the office or room where the discussion is happening. By taking these small steps, a person can give their full attention to the individual who’s talking. It’s also important to eliminate internal distractions. This includes any and everything going on in the brain.

3. Always Respond!

The worst thing a person can do when a conflict occurs or if someone has a complaint about the product, service, or business as a whole, ignores it. In most situations, some type of response is needed right away, even if it’s just a short statement that says the issue is going to be further investigated. If business representatives wait to have all the information before reaching out to the dissatisfied party, they may not only be unhappy but also angry.

Make sure to keep the lines of communication open in all situations by remaining responsive.

4. Make the Most of Meetings

Most people associate meetings with a huge waste of time, especially if they aren’t properly organized and well-planned. The organizer needs to respect everyone’s time and ensure the meeting is as efficient as possible. Also, take time to create an agenda that highlights all the important focus points and that creates a structure for the meeting.

During the meeting, encourage everyone to participate, ask questions, and give their opinion. Also, take notes so that the important details are remembered.

5. Keep a Focus on Customer Service

Two-way communication leads to great customer service. If a conflict arises with a customer, the key to resolving it effectively is to uncover the issue and then continue to communicate until an agreeable solution is achieved. A great way to maintain long-term relationships with clients is by keeping the lines of communication open.

Make sure to ask for input on how things are going and how customers feel about the services and products provided. This can be achieved through day to day conversations, social media, or even a focus group.

Last: Communication is Key

For a small business to continue to grow and succeed, communication is key. Use the tips here to improve communication in any small business setting.