Three Signs Your Communication is Ineffective


You’re not alone. Everyone struggles with communication challenges. In an age where everyone is connected and every friend, relative and brand is competing for attention, it can be nearly impossible to cut through the noise unless what you’re saying is sensational or controversial.

In fact, most people think they’re doing a great job of communicating, when in fact their message isn’t really getting across effectively. If you’re uncertain about whether your communication is effective, there are certain indicators we look for to diagnose a communication problem:

Sign #1: It’s Hard to Attract 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.

When people make brand decisions, they often make them with brands they’re already familiar with. Breaking through the noise and bringing your customer to the point of choosing you requires adept marketing and deep understanding of your customer’s needs and pain points… and then it requires that your message is placed and delivered in a way they’re available and interested in engaging with.

Sign #2: It’s Hard to Make 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.

If you’ve held staff meetings and sent memos about process changes and you’re still not seeing a shift, the problem is likely not your employees’ willingness to change (though, as we all know, change can be hard for some!), it’s the frequency of reminders about the change. Businesses that communicate exceptionally are finding ways to place passive reminders in the line of sight of their employees as they’re completing the tasks involved in the new process.

Sign #3: It’s Hard to Educate Your Customers

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.

Your customers actually have a similar challenge to your employees, but they have far fewer points of contact with you. One thing we often forget about with our customers is the curse of knowledge: they don’t know what we know. We assume they’ve made a buying decision, when in fact they are unaware. Get creative with touchpoints with your customer on social media, in your storefront, on the phone, and on your website.

Whatever your communication problem, 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.

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook works full-time as the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing in Ashland, Ohio, where she resides with her husband Mike and three young daughters. She's an insatiable extrovert who enjoys finding reasons to gather people.