Learning Advanced Technical Skills
Needed for Business Communication
In today's world of generative artificial intelligence and automated chatbots, it's more important than ever to emphasize the human side of the communications equation. People who want to be effective communicators online still need to master a certain set of technical skills, especially if they plan to send a message out to other business owners. By investing a little time in developing technical skills now, you'll be able to dedicate far more time to authoring messages that promote your brand and connect you with other like-minded individuals.
Keep in mind that you'll never want to spend more time cultivating your technical skillset than you spend on your personal skills. Expanding your business vocabulary and meeting new people is always the most important thing. Once you have a little extra time, though, you might want to turn your eye to some of the equipment you use to communicate with other members of the business community. Perhaps the best place to start is with a device almost everyone uses to communicate in a professional setting.
Configuring Business Telephony Equipment
Small business owners who want to manage their own office may eventually have to deploy their own private branch exchange or interactive voice response circuit. Operators of a PBX system can run separate lines to each office they have while those who set up their own IVR should find it easy to automate their customer intake workflows and keep support calls moving through the system. Learning about these techniques is rather difficult, however, because they tend to be somewhat esoteric.
While it may sound like a recipe for confusion, it's best to start by reading the documentation that comes with any commercial-grade business phone system. These readouts will spell out all of the features of the platform they're written for. In some cases, you might even find that they reference various options that you otherwise would never have discovered. Search for other users who are experienced with the platform you've selected, as well. Chances are that they've taken the time to go through every function and see what each one does.
Though phone ownership might seem universal these days, you'll also want to bone up on some skills related to wireless web deployment.
Learn Simple Web Communications Skills
Few people outside of the world of professional web design are going to want to invest a substantial amount of time in learning the various types of markup languages that power the mobile web. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to practice with some content management systems in order to get a good handle on how this technology works. You may want to consider spending time with a personal virtual server so that you can get the hang of how it works. Popular content platforms, such as WordPress, aren't necessarily the only ones you will want to experiment with. There are a large number of ‘forks’, which might not receive as much attention in the computer industry press but are nevertheless very important because of the possibility that some potential employer might wish to hire people based on their experience with some alternative app.
All you need to do is download a base installation package of one of the various free and open source configurations. Inflate it locally and then start editing the code to see what sort of changes happen. As you become more comfortable with doing so, you could consider working with social media scheduling tools that give you the freedom to write content then post it whenever you'd like. You could theoretically spend a whole week doing nothing but content creation and then have a tool automatically schedule your posts at natural times. Doing so will give you far more time to focus on the human side of communication than the technical one.
Automating other communications workflows can be an excellent way to save a significant amount of time that you could then use to answer personal questions from clients or other members of your business organization.
Speeding Up the Communication Process
Blog posts and articles you share on social media aren't the only things that can be scheduled for future usage. Networks will often automatically post high-end broadcast quality videos to their syndication feeds so their followers never feel left out. Those who shoot digital films on a regular basis might want to practice with a private feed before they start scheduling material that goes out over the net. If anything goes wrong during a practice session, then the errant material won't get posted to a live environment.
Consider sending out regular updates to your clients based on certain criteria. When some predetermined condition is met, have an automated solution blast out messages so nobody feels as though they've been forgotten about. As with the acquisition of any skill, you'll want to practice before you start to deploy it in a production setting. Try using a tool that's designed to offer inventory management for eCommerce providers. This kind of software is usually quite forgiving to beginners and will usually allow you to deploy a local copy that you can practice in without fear of causing damage to any mission critical applications.
One thing you won't want to ever do is automate the actual process of speaking to people who are either your customers or coworkers. This is true regardless of whether you're talking to them through a chat room or a traditional long-distance call. You want to say more than just hello to them anyway, which means you'll have to practice communicating with people effectively. People are going to want a human touch that they just can't get from purely generative responses. Make sure that every piece of serious business communication material your organization puts out is focused on the recipient, regardless of what method is used to broadcast it.
By keeping your business partners and customers in mind, you'll help to build relationships that will in turn allow your organization to grow.
About the Author
Philip Piletic: My primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business, and marketing. I’m a writer, marketing consultant and guest author at several authority websites.