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Talking Shop: Why Effective Business Communication Matters

It's a reasonable goal to make it easy for the people you serve to reach you, but it's imperative to appraise how this works correctly.

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Communication is a crucial ingredient to the success of any enterprise. Yet, many businesses do an incredibly poor job when properly leveraging it. It's one of the great ironies of the small business world that one of the least costly items in the entrepreneurial toolbox is also the most often underutilized. Theoretically, technology has reached such a degree of sophistication that it's now possible to enjoy a level of engagement with colleagues, clients, and customers that would have been the stuff of science fiction just a decade or so ago.

The ease with which businesses can communicate should translate into an exciting new era of fantastic innovation, collaboration, and development. However, there's still a high degree of frustration and confusion. The integration of cutting-edge technologies allegedly permits clients or customers instant access to the companies they patronize. Still, the implied improvement in customer service that this should bring is often painfully absent. This phenomenon falls under the definition of an inverse proportion, where an increase in one area carries an equal decrease in another.

The transformation of office communication from 1985 to the present represents an astonishing illustration of how tools have radically altered the perception of how business is conducted. It may be possible to statistically defend the opinion that the influx of communication technology has streamlined the efficiency of how companies go about their daily operations. Still, there is an inherent complication in the fabric of this communication renaissance. The number of choices is ever-increasing, but what exactly are we choosing? Is there a solid correlation between the quantity of communication options and the level of quality they provide?

In the pre-email days of the early 1980's, interoffice memos were the medium of choice for management to convey information. Writing memos may seem downright old-fashioned in the 2020s, but there was a particular benefit to that methodology. A memo requires a much greater degree of effort to create than composing an email, with the result being that it intrinsically carries an easily identifiable level of importance. Receiving a memo meant that the recipient would automatically understand that this was a communique worthy of attention and focus.


Contrast this to what most businesses encounter on any given workday in the modern era of office communication. The endless barrage of emails that most of us receive indicates a scenario wherein the effortless appeal of electronic communication has caused it to be overused. High amounts of emails are further complicated by the fact that spamming, phishing, and junk trickle their way into our unsuspecting inboxes with alarming regularity. Filters weed out some of this debris, but even a tiny influx creates additional clutter that further bumps us down. And the overall mix of email communication – internal, external, and junk – makes us feel snow blind. There are things of value somewhere, but there's also a lot we have to rummage through to find what's worthwhile.


Email etiquette is a critical skill for businesses to embrace, but this often falls by the wayside. There are so many facets of email usage that, if done correctly, can tremendously benefit our business's efficacy. Conversely, overlooking the importance of these items can completely degrade the benefit emails are supposed to bring in the first place. The first aspect of emails that is often problematic involves overusing the "cc" function. This term is a throwback to the era of manual typewriters when a sheet of carbon paper was inserted beneath the primary sheet so that a carbon copy – a "cc" – could be created. How often have you seen a business email in which twenty-five other people have been copied, creating an ongoing chain of unnecessary communication when someone says, "Thank you!" and a seemingly endless array of others chime in with, "You're welcome!"?


Another breakdown in the use of emails involves how many people choose to read them. A properly composed business email should wholly and concisely convey information pertinent to the discussed subject. Complete understanding puts the onus on the recipient to take the time to read the message's entire contents and reach out to the composer of the email should anything need to be clarified. And yet, many people will only read the first paragraph of a business email before responding to the sender with a question that would have been answered by simply reading the original email. Doing this may be an unfortunate by-product of the mere quantity of emails we're all faced with, but engaging in this practice is yet another way in which the benefit of electronic communication seems to fly out the window.


Surveys have revealed that a relatively small percentage of people prefer to communicate via telephone, yet that medium is still a key component for businesses. A sole proprietorship or an enterprise with minimal staff may still pick up the receiver when the phone rings, but larger companies will likely utilize a Voice Recognition Unit (VRU). Although Bell Laboratories first developed this technology in 1952, the past decade has seen it become much more sophisticated and multi-layered. Using this automated gatekeeper to direct a call properly is standard operating procedure these days, and even small businesses might find it an attractive option so that people aren't wasting time transferring calls.

But what of the client or customer actually placing the call? An easy joke in dozens of movies and TV shows has been to depict someone shouting into their phone, "Representative!" The idea of plowing through a menu of options in a desperate attempt to ask a simple question can be a real turnoff, especially for older callers. The inability of businesses to have a menu option for every possible contingency inevitably means that many callers will end up being dumped into a holding queue where they'll languish until someone is available to pick up the phone.

The advent of business websites has enabled even the most humble of companies to provide clients and customers with a wealth of information at a glance. However, this may not be enough to answer someone's question, as so many businesses utilize chatbots as a stop-gap measure until the person with the inquiry can speak with someone in the company. Chatbots make it easy for the business, as they can be programmed to access assorted information that can be provided in response to inquiries. Still, the result can further frustrate the person asking the question if a reasonable and relevant answer isn't provided.

All the technologies mentioned above can potentially serve businesses significantly, but the question remains, "Are these improving customer service?" It's a reasonable goal to make it easy for the people you serve to reach you, but it's imperative to appraise how this works correctly. It's unfortunate that the more streams of communication your business utilizes, the more difficult it will be for you to keep an eye on all of them. The net takeaway from all of this is that the quality of communication your business engages in is vastly more important than the quantity of tools you use.

Recent statistics concerning the nature of communication in the workplace indicate that more than 80% of employees and management attribute business failure to the lack of effective communication. This drives the point home that careful, intentional effort needs to guide every aspect of how we speak with our colleagues and the people we serve. It really comes down to three basic concepts – timeliness, clarity, and relevance. We need to be able to tell our teammates what they need to do to carry out their daily job functions, and we need to provide the best possible answers to the purchasing public that we're hoping to establish as our clients or customers.

In an era when small businesses struggle to stand out in the marketplace, first-rate communication practices are paramount. Irrespective of the technology you use, the core components of communicating well will do wonders for your business's efficacy and success.


Ready to revolutionize your business communication and drive your company toward unparalleled success? At ValorExcel, we specialize in creating tailored communication strategies that elevate your team's effectiveness and enhance customer experiences. Visit our website at, to book your power hour session where you’ll meet with ValorExcel staff to get started. Or, call 240-329-9387 or email us at, ✨ Don't let poor communication hold you back—partner with us to unlock your full potential and transform your business! Also, don't forget to check our recent videos on YouTube by clicking HERE. #BusinessCommunication #CustomerSuccess #TeamEfficiency #ValorExcel

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