3 Symptoms of a Communication Problem Retriever Digital Signage

3 Symptoms of a Communication Problem

Excellent communication is critical for success in every business, industry, and job function. When businesses have a communication problem, however, they often focus on treating the symptoms of that problem rather than addressing the core issue.

Whether your communication breakdown is internal or external, ineffective communication is likely at the heart of many of the other issues you see in your business each day. Here are three symptoms that you might be seeing in your business that are indicative of a communication breakdown:

Symptom #1: Difficulty Implementing Changes

One of the simplest way to tell if you have a problem with communication is by evaluating your business’s ability to implement change. When you roll out a new procedure or initiative, how nimble is your team? Teams that communicate well are able to have productive meetings that result in actionable steps towards change. However, when a team doesn’t communicate well, change can be doubly hard.

What this looks like:

Your team has a meeting about a new procedure for time tracking. Following the meeting, one or two employees begin to abide by the new procedure, a couple of employees are partially in compliance, and a majority of employees disregard the change. You grow frustrated and send an email reminding everyone about the change. At the next staff meeting, you bring it up again. Compliance happens slowly, which is frustrating, and you spend a lot of time repeating yourself.

Symptom #2: Difficulty Attracting New Business

One of the most frustrating symptoms of communication breakdowns for a small business is when potential customers settle for your competition simply because they didn’t know you offered the solution they needed.

What this looks like:

You own a small, established retail business in a mid-size community with a loyal customer base. While at a social gathering, you’re introduced to someone who asks what you do and you tell them about your store. They say, “Oh my goodness! I had no idea you were there! I just purchased something from [your competitor], but if I’d known I would have come to you! I guess I’ll have to stop in some time.”

Symptom #3: Your Customers Don’t Know Your Full Offerings

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketing professional, you are constantly in the business of educating your customer. The reality is, every customer is on a journey with your business, and you’re responsible for meeting them where they are. When your customers don’t know about your full line of products and services, that’s a symptom that you’re not communicating effectively.

What this looks like:

You own a fine jewelry store in your community and have an expert jeweler on staff for repairs and custom pieces. Your customers primarily take advantage of your repair services and retail business, but you rarely get any custom orders. A long-time loyal customer comes into the store with a new custom piece that they ordered from an online artisan, and they’d like you to appraise it for insurance purposes. You’re grateful that they came to you for the appraisal, but disappointed that you missed the opportunity to do custom work for this customer, who may have come to you if they had known you offered the service.


If any of these symptoms sound familiar, we’d love to help. We wrote a book filled with strategies to dramatically improve your communication, and we’d love to give it to you, free. Just click here to download the communication guide.

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