Corporate communications are very important for your brand and business growth. However, many people overlook this issue because they don’t want to make the effort to learn effective communication.
When you do business with other people, whether it’s your customers, partners, employees, or public relations it’s important to show them the best of your business communication so that your business partnership can grow.
The Importance of Goodwill in Communication
Goodwill in business communication will certainly help you take your business to a certain level.
When it comes to building a positive relationship, trust, positive impression, and authority in the market, a positive attitude is an essential element that can make or break any kind of business negotiation and partnership.
These elements are essential and very important for developing a positive relationship with audiences and customers, as well as strengthening your organization’s brand.
The Challenge of Goodwill Communication
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why am I reading this article?” because the answer is obvious: effective communication is a given in business and we all know about customer satisfaction.
However when times get tough – and they’ll for many businesses as inflation increases – you’ll need your customers more than ever.
Good internal communication and public relations as well as good customer relations will be your net assets for many years.
When a company is successful, it’s easy to show goodwill, but when you experience challenges and stress, it becomes more difficult to maintain a positive attitude.
Examples of difficult situations:
When you’re discussing policy issues with policymakers, it can be a challenge to demonstrate goodwill. The resulting debates can get heated, and as the conversation becomes more controversial, it’s easy to lose sight of your own goals. Even when you’re arguing your point, you need to encourage an open exchange of ideas between all sides.
Use these strategies to show goodwill during debates:
- Be respectful. Even if you disagree with another person’s opinion, don’t denigrate them. If necessary, use a technique like paraphrasing to ease tensions around the issue. “So you’re saying that…” is a useful phrase for this purpose because it acknowledges another point of view while allowing you to summarize and restate the issue in a way that shows you’re listening and empathizing.
- Avoid personal attacks. If you have a disagreement with someone, focus on the actual issue rather than making personal attacks against the speaker. If you’ve reservations about another person’s qualifications or professionalism, address them after the meeting; don’t let them become fodder for public debate.
- Seek common ground. There may be areas of agreement in the discussion that are worth highlighting because they could allow participants to save face if they feel that their views are different to yours.
When Responding to Challenging Questions or Requests From Your Staff
It can be easy to take out your frustrations on someone who’s trying to help you solve it. Remember that your employees are just doing their jobs and trying to help you, and show them your appreciation for their efforts.
Try not to take questions personally or react emotionally because of a negative word that’s bothering you. Instead, try to respond with kindness and understanding.
If a staff member crosses the line, it’s a good idea to continue to show politeness, don’t fall into the trap of passing along a negative message in front of the team that you may later regret. You can always think about it and, in the worst case, send a warning letter. A letter can be more effective communication than a verbal one.
When Giving Feedback as Part of a Performance Review or Appraisal Process
You may have serious concerns about the employee’s performance, but you need to find a way to share them constructively so you can both work together to improve.
In these situations, it’s a good idea to use a feedback sandwich.
A feedback sandwich is a strategy for providing feedback on a person’s performance. The sandwich technique works by giving the employee two positive statements, followed by a negative message, and concluding with two more positive statements. This encourages the employee to focus on the positives while acknowledging that improvements are needed.
Communication With Partners
As your business grows, you’ll inevitably run into situations where communication with partners is difficult. This may be the case during negotiations.
When emotions are running high, it’s easy to lose your cool and say things that are counterproductive. You may think that being tough will get you what you want, but that’s not necessarily true. Being too assertive can cause you to miss out on good opportunities.
In any negotiation, both parties want the best possible outcome. If either party thinks they can achieve favorable terms by playing hardball, it could damage the relationship forever.
When working with business partners or investors, be sure to update them with financial statements on profit and earnings, intellectual property, etc. as needed. Transparency is important to maintain a positive relationship with stakeholders. There is nothing worse for a stakeholder than being kept in the dark when it comes to trust in a business relationship.
External Communication and Customer Loyalty
When customers are satisfied with the service they receive, they’ll share that information with others.
Studies show that consumers share positive experiences with six or more other people. These same studies show that consumers share negative experiences with twice as many people.
When you provide excellent customer service, you give your customers a reason to come back. That means more profit for you.
The following general guidelines will help you resolve customer complaints and keep them coming back:
- Show empathy. Look at the situation from the customer’s point of view. Listen to their perspective and acknowledge their frustration.
- Be prompt. Handle complaints quickly and respectfully. Apologize when appropriate, and make sure your apology is sincere.
- Don’t apologize or blame others, even if there were extenuating circumstances or another person was at fault. Instead, focus on how you can best resolve the issue so that the customer is satisfied with their interaction with you and your company.
- Inquire if the problem has been satisfactorily resolved or if further action is needed on your part.
- Show appreciation for their feedback. If it’s a letter, obviously ensure you avoid grammatical errors.
Dealing With Online Complaints
It can be difficult to show goodwill in external company communications, especially when they take place online. Let’s say your company has a particularly dissatisfied customer who gives a bad review on social media for your product or service. You don’t want to reveal too much about your company’s internal policies and procedures, but you also don’t want to appear indifferent or apathetic.
You can strike this balance with a well-worded apology. Make sure you don’t just say “I’m sorry” – instead, show empathy and offer concrete ways you’ll make things right.
For example, “We’re so sorry you had an unpleasant experience with our support team! We’ll investigate the incident and get back to you with a resolution. In the meantime, is there anything else we can do to help you?
This response shows that you care about the customer’s experience and are willing to do more to resolve the issue. It also doesn’t reveal any details about your team’s internal workings, so it’s a good answer for any situation where there may be negotiations about compensation or other solutions.
When dealing with dissatisfied customers, it’s always important that you communicate respectfully – even if the customer doesn’t respond respectfully. Your goodwill messages will be noticed by other potential customers.
You Cannot Control Everything
You can’t always control how your employees represent your company, especially when they interact with customers and clients. But there are some steps you can take to improve this.
- Offer employee training. Employee training is one of the most important steps to learning the goodwill messages skill in effective communication. You can offer your employees the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops on customer service and communication skills.
- Give your employees the tools they need to succeed to build good customer relationships and customer loyalty. If your employees don’t have access to the resources they need to answer customer questions, they’re bound to become frustrated. Make sure all departments have adequate budgets for employee training and technology upgrades so that every employee is able to do their job well.
- Deliver on your promises. When you make a promise, no matter how small, keep it completely and immediately. When your employees know you’ll keep your promises, they’re more likely to do the same for their customers.
- Establish a policy for handling complaints. If an unhappy customer calls or writes a letter to complain about your product or service, instruct your employees to respond as quickly as possible with an apology and, if necessary, a solution – whatever it takes to make things right.
- Give annual awards. Provide constructive criticism when necessary, but you should also take every opportunity to provide positive feedback and recognize good employees. Giving your best employees or team an annual award can be inspirational to other employees and encourage those who do a good job to keep going.
Your Attitude Is Everything
The best way to introduce a culture of goodwill communications into your organization is to lead by example.
If you want your employees to demonstrate goodwill, you need to be the first to lead by example. Here are some ways to do that:
- Offer constructive feedback and criticism on how something can be improved. Don’t just criticize without offering suggestions for improvement.
If you must deliver bad news, do so in a considerate way, not a hostile way.
- Choose your words carefully when composing goodwill messages so that they aren’t unintentionally insulting or dismissive. Be careful with jokes, as they may not translate well in written form, especially in other cultures – this is especially true of humor based on sarcasm or irony.
- Admit your mistakes. As a human being, you’ve probably made a mistake at work at some point. It happens to all of us, so it’s only natural that your coworkers will occasionally make mistakes, too. But if the employee is your subordinate, the situation can be awkward and difficult to resolve. However, there’s nothing worse for an employee than witnessing their manager not owning up to their own mistake. If you don’t admit you were wrong, your employees will pick up on it and do the same. In this case, goodwill in business communication can help defuse a tense situation.
If someone makes a mistake, don’t react with an angry tone or make the situation worse by sending an accusatory message. Instead, be understanding and compassionate.