There is little more crucial to business than effective communication. The right information needs to be able to flow to and from your customers — and at the right time — to keep everything moving smoothly.

This has been presented to us all in a hundred different ways from a thousand different sources. The need for effective communication is not new.

The communication channels available to us; however, increase rapidly and open doors to better ways of keeping in touch with your customers. Effective inbound communication is vital too, but we’ll focus on that another day.


For today, we’re going to focus on getting information out. Businesses can often reduce the amount of time dealing with inbound questions by effectively communicating with their customers and suppliers with the information they provide. The right channel for you will depend entirely on the nuances of the information and your particular target audience.


Your website is instrumental in making sure your customers and suppliers have access to the information they need. You can control the content of your site and the way that it is set out to lead your visitors to what they’re looking for.

  • It costs far less to design your website to present your visitors the information they need than to send out or talk through queries made by your customers.

  • Customer self-help queries can be handled out of your work hours to alleviate their concerns earlier.

  • To be honest, we couldn’t think of any here. Even if only a few people use the information, or they ask additional questions, you’re still presenting a good face to the public, giving Google information they can use to help you be found online, and showing that you’re a professional outfit.

To be aware of:
  • When you put content on the site, remember to mark it for review. Each time you update your policies or processes within your business, the website should be updated to reflect those changes.

  • To be considered effective communication, you need to make sure it actually conveys the information you need it to. Have someone outside of your business read through it to make sure that the content is clear and easy to understand.


Social media gives us lots of different options for appearing on the newsfeeds of our customers and potential customers.

  • A handy way to grab attention and direct people to the source of the information they need.

  • Exposure to a broader range of people than just your existing customers and suppliers.

  • Social media is a very impersonal way to convey information to your customers, they need to hear from you directly on important matters.

To be aware of:
  • The message that you’re sharing is crucial to the appropriateness of this platform for communication. Don’t allow your customers and suppliers to find out important information that should come to them directly via a public channel.


Directly calling a customer if a situation is changing or needs to be addressed can be a really effective way of communicating.

  • Phone calls take individualised time, so they’re very personal.

  • Phone calls can provide an option to convey timely information.

  • Some times, such as out of regular work hours or when the recipient is in a different timezone can be inappropriate to call.

  • Where the information is not critical, you will create an annoyance.

To be aware of:
  • Having your phone number set to private may dissuade people from picking up the call. We’ve all had enough of scam artists and bad telemarketers. Many won’t pick up the call unless they know who is on the other end of the line.


Email is a fantastic method of business communication when you’re dealing with customers and suppliers who know you.

  • Can send at any time of the day or night.

  • Allows you to convey a small or large amount of information, and to link to relevant additional information.

  • Easy to refer back to later.

  • Can use images to support the message.

  • Email can be sent 1:1, making it more personal than a newsletter.

  • Not all emails are guaranteed to get through and can be sent straight to SPAM.

To be aware of:
  • You can request read-receipt confirmation.

  • If you require a response to the email, it’s best to keep it brief and to the point.

We have Monty Python’s Flying Circus to thank for the name SPAM. It’s derived from this incredibly annoying (although quite entertaining) skit from the 70s.


A newsletter offers all the benefits of an email, but with additional features to improve the user experience, and give you analytics on the way it is being interacted with.

  • Can be personalised with merge data such as first names where available.

  • All the benefits of an email.

  • Can be styled and branded very effectively.

  • The chances of being flagged as SPAM are higher than regular email if your newsletter is not set up properly.

To be aware of:
  • There are rules in place about how newsletters can and can’t be used. Take the time to read through the SPAM Act regulations and recommendations, they’re essential reading.


A little something in the mail can have a really positive effect on your customer. It’s an unexpected method of communication in our modern digital world, so when used strategically can stand out.

  • It’s often a pleasant surprise.

  • People are more aware of the environmental cost of printed materials so it can come across as unnecessary, nuisance-marketing.

To be aware of:
  • It’s all in the message. A personal note or card of appreciation or welcome may be quite well received, whereas a promotional post-card may come across as tacky or environmental terrorism.

There are new options for outbound communications popping up all the time. Tell us about what works for your business and come back next week to look at creating channels for effective inbound communication.