By Sonya Callan

In many industries building relationships with your customers is key and the strength of the bond relies primarily on good communication.  Meaningful communication can mean different things to different people but the main requirements remain the same for all.  Customers want to be listened to, the service they require provided and feel valued for their custom.

Communication methods are constantly changing and so is the style of writing used by business owners.  With the introduction of email in the 1970’s the requirement for paper-based communication was greatly reduced.  With the advent of scanners and photography apps on our smartphones the need for large equipment in the office of today is greatly reducing every year.

So, with all of the changes in how we communicate, what of the changes to our writing styles?  Gone is the formality of previous generations with their formal and impersonal ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ letters with long winded sentences and cold official language.  In its place we now have much more informal, concise communication with businesses using email, text, and chatrooms to keep in touch. Marketing and advertising teams are now trying to keep their messages short and appealing, inviting you to try their brand by making it personal.

Is conversational writing suitable for all businesses?  This is something that each individual business will need to decide.  Getting to know your customers and what their expectations are will greatly influence the future of your communications.  Whilst one customer may appreciate a personalised letter in the post informing them of upcoming promotions, another customer may only want to receive the same data by email or text.

“The challenge is to find the right level of interaction with your individual customers, know what works for them and build on that.”

The tone of your communications also needs to be monitored, too casual and customers may feel that your organisation isn’t professional, too formal and customers may feel that you are not approachable.  The challenge is to find the right level of interaction with your individual customers, know what works for them and build on that.

There will always be organisations that will have to remain formal in their communications such as solicitors but some other areas of business such as banking, which would have always been viewed as bureaucratic and paper-heavy, are now finding ways to keep in touch with the customers through more informal channels such as email and text.

To wrap up, is conversational writing suitable for your business?  Why not ask some of your customers which type of communication they prefer, you might be surprised by their responses but in the end your customers will be delighted you took the time to ask.