“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
A good communicator not only speaks effectively but listens patiently as well.
(Speaking+Listening) = Communication Skill
The above-mentioned is the ultimate formula for understanding and mastering this skill set.
Let this skill be in written or verbal form; it works wonders for a person in both personal and professional life.
Communication skills are the skills that one should be excelling at, whether you are a working professional or a business owner, but in the case of businesses, they may point to an entire entity.
These inter-personal skills may vary from person to person, but when it comes to a company or a business, these skills represent the entire business as one entity in front of the eyes of the public. If the communication doesn’t happen effectively, it can lower the brand value, which may eventually decrease the company’s revenue.
Communication for businesses takes place in the form of
- Directly dealing with the company’s employees, the management, or, in some cases, with the founders as well
- Written Communication: Newsletters, official social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.)
- Video Communication: Advertisements and promotional videos etc.
Why communication skills are important?
Let us understand the importance of communication with a few case studies:
The infamous Adidas email marketing campaign:
In 2013, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring several others.
Fast forward to 4 years later, immediately after the 2017 Boston Marathon, the company Adidas sent emails to marathon runners with the subject line “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon“.
This was one of the worst copywriting mistakes to ever happen.
This caused a backlash against Adidas all over the world.
Adidas was quick to point out the mistake and instantly apologized in front of the public. Not only did the social handle of the business apologize, but the CEO of Adidas and other key people from Adidas also apologized.
Next year, they treated Boston Marathon runners with care and did a promotional campaign, partnering with a digital agency.
Case Study 2: The Maggi Controversy in 2015
Harmful substances were found in Maggi in the middle of 2015 when it was banned in India.
Later that year, the company Nestle-Maggi made a comeback after several months of educating the nation in the form of story-telling, after spending millions on their reputation-only to sell like hell again! This is a true communication skill definition.
Case Study 3: The infamous “United Airlines Case”
In 2017, flight number 3411 was overbooked. It wasn’t set up right for the employees to be accommodated on the flight. This led the airline to ask four of the passengers to give up their seats for $400, a free hotel stay, and the next day’s free airfare. They randomly chose four people. Two of them agreed, and the other two refused to leave.
One of them was a doctor who had to fly to treat his patients. The doctor was polite enough to explain, but he was dragged out of the aircraft forcefully. This led him to suffer several injuries and fall unconscious in the process too. The video recording of the incident went viral. Immediately after the incident, the CEO released a statement just apologizing for the “re-accommodation” instead of the harm that was caused to the doctor. This led to an immense backlash against the airlines, which even American President Donald Trump called “horrible”. This led United Airlines to lose $800 billion in revenue!
By understanding the above case studies, we can make out the differences between case studies 1, 2, and case study 3.
Effective communication in the time of crisis and apologetic behavior rebuilt the brand’s image and value, but the insensitive communication not only tarnished the brand’s reputation but marked a loss in revenue as well.
So, we can say that communication for businesses holds its entire employees, ranging from a worker cleaning its premises to the CEO of the company and even its founder. A small wrong message from any employee working at any level can hurt the company’s reputation. Now, we can wonder why the share prices of companies fluctuate according to the latest news about the company.
For businesses, communication means not only being able to listen and deliver verbally or in writing but also being able to effectively solve problems for their customers and manage crises, if any exist. All of this, with the fulfillment of the ultimate goal of the business, is to earn profits by fulfilling the needs of their customers for whichever service or product they choose to connect with the business. In the same process there is a huge communication skills importance.
So, for businesses, the ultimate formula is
(Speaking+Listening+ProblemSolving+CrisisManagement) = Business Communication Skill