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Communication Channels for Business: Types, Importance & Examples

Introduction to Business Communication Channels

Effective communication is one of the key ingredients of every successful business. It not only helps to disseminate vital information across different departments but is also very crucial for establishing meaningful relationships. Almost 97% of employees worldwide have stated that communication directly influences their daily task efficacy. At the same time, another report suggests that business productivity can increase by as much as 25% with improved internal communication

Thus, the need for effective and clear communication has increased manifold over the ages.

But how do you manage a clear flow of communication in a business organisation which involves so many different departments? This is where communication channels come into play. 

The following article will give you all the necessary information on the various channels of communication, their importance, and their types. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What are Business Communication Channels?

Simply put, communication channels are mediums via which you send and receive messages or information. By implementing suitable communication channels, you can keep your employees motivated and aligned with all your business goals and objectives. The primary communication channels in a business environment may include emails, text messages, and phone calls. 

Any kind of discrepancy in these communication channels can break down the total workflow of your organisation. It can give rise to miscommunication or loss of vital information. Therefore, the maintenance of whichever channels you use for your business is extremely crucial. 

In a broader sense, there are mainly two types of communication channels – External and Internal Channels. 

External channels can be defined as the ones you use to communicate with people who are externally connected with your organisation. Such include investors, customers, and vendors.

Internal channels, on the other hand, refer to those channels used to communicate with people directly involved in your company. Such includes your team members and employees of different departments within your organisation. 

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Importance of Communication Channels for Business

Before we delve deeper into the varied types of communication channels, let’s take a look at the importance of these multiple channels. 

  • Increases productivity by ensuring that every team member receives the same information.
  • Significantly reduces employee turnover by updating each individual on the latest changes.
  • Keeps employees informed about the pressing workplace risks, thus improving overall workplace safety.
  • Gives rise to remote work opportunities and increases the efficiency of the same.
  • It prevents data silos by maintaining a balance between the various departments of an organisation. 

Types of Business Communication Channels

There are mainly four types of communication channels in a business environment.

  • Verbal Communication Channel
  • Non-verbal communication channels
  • Written communication channels and
  • Electronic communication channels. 

Each of these communication channels comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Based on the needs and requirements of an organisation, you can use one or multiple channels simultaneously.

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Verbal Communication Channels

Verbal communication channels primarily depend on spoken words. They are typically considered one of the richest modes of communication since it is often spontaneous. A few examples of verbal communication channels are telephone, mobile phone conferences, speeches, lectures, and video meetings. 

One of the significant benefits of verbal communication channels is that it facilitates instant feedback. Furthermore, the chances of sending distorted messages through these channels are also significantly low. This is because body language and voice intonation help provide extra meaning to the receiver. 

If you wish to incorporate verbal communication channels into your business processes, you must be wary of two crucial factors. 

  • Firstly, your vocabulary must be formal and professional, especially when engaging with senior managers or work colleagues. 
  • Secondly, you must be careful with your choice of words. Try to keep it as familiar or relevant as possible to avoid any kind of miscommunication in the entire process. 

Non-Verbal Communication Channels

Non-verbal communication channel refers to the media you use to express yourself alongside words. These include your body language, facial expressions, and posture. In a work environment, all these are key indicators of your emotions when you engage with someone. 

For example, maintaining eye contact when talking to someone means you are interested in what the other person is saying. It helps build trust and confidence among one another. Similarly, your body postures can also communicate messages to the other person. For example, when you are mirroring the opposite person’s posture, it reflects that you are attentive. 

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Written Communication Channels

Written communication channels refer to media such as emails, reports, documents, and newsletters. They are typically used to convey large amounts of text. The human brain can only process so much information at one time. By disseminating information through these channels, the messages can be studied over a longer duration of time while paying complete attention. 

However, when dealing with such channels, you need to formulate your message in a way that is easy to interpret. This includes giving enough context or background for the receiver to perceive the message accurately. Furthermore, you should encourage feedback or enquire as and when required to tackle any ambiguity that might arise. 

Electronic Communication Channels

Electronic communication, also known as web-based communication channels, includes Facebook, Twitter, social media, and blogs. One of the major benefits of implementing such a channel is you can send messages instantly to anyone across the globe. By leveraging the power of electronic communication channels, brands and businesses have disseminated their marketing and advertising messages more effectively. 

However, like all other things, web-based communication channels, too, have some disadvantages. One such includes the growing number of data breach cases. To prevent such instances from happening, you need to be able to manage these channels in an orderly manner by including security measures whenever required. 

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Examples of Effective Business Communication Channels

Mentioned below are some examples of effective business communication channels. 

In-Person Conversations

In-person conversations are by far regarded as one of the most effective forms of communication, especially in a work environment. Often times there can be a misinterpretation of messages or information following a lack of tone or context in digital or written communication. To tackle the same, extending sensitive and valuable information in person is always advisable. The tone of your voice and body language add social cues for the receiver to interpret the message in the desired manner. 

Emails 

Emails are yet another example of written communication channels used widely in businesses. It enables you to connect with larger groups of people quickly and effectively. While generating such emails, keeping the content short and precise yet informative is always advisable. Avoid using complex subject lines or lengthy content. You can also add any attachments to your email as and when required. Overall, when used effectively, emails can be a great way to facilitate formal communication with your team members and employees. 

Video Conference 

Ever since the world went digital post-pandemic and people were forced to work from their homes, there has been a drastic increase in the use of video-conferencing platforms. These include Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, and Slack. Similar to in-person conversations, these platforms allow a much more intimate form of personal interaction when compared to other digital communication channels like emails or phone calls. Various robust features and tools offered by these platforms help facilitate communication further, including file-sharing systems, call-recording tools, and cloud storage. 

Lastly, video conferencing platforms also help immensely in remote work opportunities. You can connect with your team members living in any corner of the world at any time with the help of these platforms. 

Apart from these three, there are also several other examples of effective informal and formal channels of communication. Some of them are phone calls, social media, documents, and instant messaging platforms, among various others. 

Conclusion

Summing up, effective communication is a vital part of every organisation. To accelerate the same, you must be able to select the proper communication channels for your business. There are a lot of vital factors that must be considered during this process. Understand your audience, determine the company culture, and finally, consider the message that you wish to convey. Combined, these will help you determine the right communication channel for your business. Additionally, you should also consider your budget while implementing your chosen medium of communication. 

An effective communication or business program can help you comprehend all the right ways to communicate with your customers and create a valuable relationship with them. 

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What is regarded as the most crucial channel of communication?

Face-to-face or in-person communication is generally regarded as the richest mode of communication. This is because it not only facilitates instant feedback but leaves almost little to no room for any discrepancy.

What are the various elements of business communication?

There are typically eight essential elements of communication. They are - sender, encoding, message, receiver, decoding, feedback, and noise.

What are some of the critical strategies for effective communication?

In order to maintain an effective flow of information across varied channels, you need to consider a few factors. Try to keep your message or information as concise and direct as possible. Be extra careful about the tone of your voice or written communication. Lastly, always ask for feedback to understand whether your message had the desired effect on the receiver.

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