Business communication has vastly improved since the earlier, slower days of simply selling door-to-door or sending snail mail to your business counterparts in another region. This continuous improvement of business processes and practices – from door-to-door sales to talking to foreign clients on a screen – can be largely attributed to developments in communication technologies, and aren’t we glad that there seems to be no way but up.
The evolution of communication in the workplace is of course closely linked to innovations in communication – over time, business practices developed as communication ways fostered and people found easier and quicker ways to conduct meetings, talk to vendors, sell to clients, and obtain feedback for improvement and corporate growth.
Thanks to the advent of the written mode, craftspeople, vendors, and consumers alike in the early days were provided opportunities to find, create, and use what they needed to conduct business better on print, through letters, postcards, or newspapers, among others. Business was considerably made quicker through communication in print instead of having to travel far away. The potentials of print was also maximized for business in terms of brand exposure through flyers, newspapers, or posters. Businesses could now travel miles even without people on wheels.
But there was still some delay. Those days, correspondence would still take time to arrive and deals would still take days to get finalized. Until came the radio and the telephone, and people could now communicate real-time with wherever the phone lines and air waves took them. Brands were broadcasted in counties, states, or country-wide, and businesses could reach more than just the local neighborhood. Businesses also found ways to advertise using telephones through telemarketing.
Not long after, the television took off, and families were glued to their couches at home. Streams of brand imagery and marketing flickered screen by screen as businesses sponsored their way into talk shows and sporting highlights.
The evolution of technology then brought us computers and the world wide web, that soon led to the development of mobile phones, eventually evolving into powerful pocket-sized computers called smart phones. Computers, smart phones, and the internet gave way to endless business communication opportunities. The computing power of mobile devices made everything more efficient, empowering businesses and increasing profit opportunities more than ever. The internet also introduced a free market where anyone could start a business and be able to succeed in a short period of time, or where the voice of the consumer has become emphasized in dictating where the money would or should go.
People can now see each other wherever they are in the world with the use of webcams and online conferencing technologies. Multinational corporations are able to hold meetings inclusive of various regions and involving thousands of employees at once in real time.
Technology has revolutionized business communications and continues to do so, but not without expense. While phones and the internet undoubtedly bridge gaps, they have also in some ways built some walls – walls of scripted, impersonal correspondence from corporations or businesses, distancing away and becoming more out of touch with what the consumers and end users really need. Consumers of today prefer flexible and personalized customer service where they know they can talk to real people who truly care. We are at this stage where business communications is evolving to bring down barriers in serving their true purpose. Internally and externally, businesses must learn that after all, real and effective communication is what brings the business together and drives it to success.