Two-way communication, as its name suggests, is communication in which communication takes place in both directions. In other words, not only does the sender communicate with the receiver, but both exchange information and are actively listened to. In our field, we (the company) act as senders and the customers as receivers.
In one-way communication, information only flows in one direction, so the receiver does not have the opportunity to ask questions, raise doubts or make suggestions, which in many cases leads to a loss of trust in the company.
what are the reasons why two-way communication benefits the company?
As we have already mentioned, bidirectional communication offers many more possibilities of success than unidirectional communication, since, by relating to the user and involving him, it will make him feel part of the project and, therefore, we will generate greater trust in him. However, there are many more benefits:
- Accuracy: Thanks to two-way communication, the company can communicate with the client in a much more precise way and know what the client is looking for at all times.
- Transparency: By expressing the views of both parties and communicating clearly, there is greater transparency and credibility.
- Relevant information: Being able to receive feedback from the customer benefits the company by being able to find out relevant aspects about suggestions for products or services.
- Direct relationship: By using this type of communication with customers, a direct relationship is created between them and the brand.
- Trust: Users feel more comfortable and confident with our company because they feel that they have a place in the project and a voice to be able to give their opinion and share.
- Humanisation: When we talk to the client, listen to their point of view and allow them to ask us questions or make suggestions, we are showing our brand's face. This makes the user feel that behind our company there are people who are willing to help them.
- The employee-companybond is strengthened: This also gives rise to a feeling of belonging.
- Internalrelations are improved and consolidated: In addition, anyone can join the conversation and the sender and receiver are placed at the same level of importance.
- Improved working climate: Possible crises or unrest among employees are detected earlier.
what are the disadvantages of two-way communication?
Although two-way communication is an asset that almost always works in your favour, there are also some less positive aspects or disadvantages to be considered:
- Two-way communication requires you to be very available. Make your availability clear so that users do not think you are available 24 hours a day.
- Two-way communication implies a commitment with the audience: You must be willing to give coherent and transparent answers that fit with your corporate values.
- Two-way communication carries with it the risk of attracting negative feedback. If we expose ourselves to the audience, we do so for better and for worse. It is even possible that an inappropriate response can lead to a reputation crisis.
how do we achieve good two-way communication with our customers?
It is essential to use the right communication channels, i.e. to use social networks correctly nowadays. This leads to:
- Having good communication from the start. Sometimes employees themselves are unaware of the existence of these channels or internal communication channels, which makes it very difficult to set up two-way communication.
- Define the figure of the community managerwithin the company, who will be the main person in charge of interacting with customers, as well as having good strategic planning carried out by the social media manager.
- Personalise your account. You must give your account an image and speak in the first person with customers.
- Ask your followers and conduct surveys. Taking advantage of the many tools offered by social networks such as Twitter or Instagram, you can conduct surveys so that users can give their opinion or ask questions to show that you are closer to them.
- Reply to your followers. The key to two-way communication is that both parties can communicate, so it is important that you reply to the messages sent to you by your followers.
- Take advantage of viral topics. Echo the topics that are current or that have gone viral at that moment to show that you are closer to users and demonstrate that your brand is also fashionable and up to date with all the latest news.
- Use humour: sometimes messages or criticisms will come through social networks as it is a channel that has no filters and users can show their dissatisfaction with the brand in any way. Don't give it too much importance and use humour, with respect, to communicate with them.
Finally, remember that working on a communication strategy aligned with your objectives and covering different contingencies, for example, how to react to criticism, is fundamental for success.