When To Use These 10 Modes Of Communication In Business

three-black-handset-toys modes of communication

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Finding the right modes of communication in business is important for getting your message across to your customers and employees properly. Nowadays, there are so many different modes of communication that it can become difficult to know when to use each one. This guide lists 10 different modes of communication and when (and when not) to use them.

Phone calls

When you need to speak to someone long-distance immediately, a phone call is always the best option. Phone conversations also allow you to ask and answer lots of questions quickly and they can be preferable to text conversations when discussing personal matters long-distance. Just bear in mind that some people may find phone calls disruptive – unless it’s an emergency, a scheduled call is usually better.

Portable radios

Portable radios are ideal for private communication between employees in a large workplace. The likes of these Motorola portable radios could work out cheaper and more robust than giving every employee a smartphone or headset. Of course, if you’re communicating between desks in an office, it might make more sense to stick to internal landline phone calls.

Voice messages

Voice messages are typically left when someone can’t answer the phone and you need them to ring you back – however, there are other uses. If you need to quickly explain lots of information to a colleague that you can’t be bothered to type out and the recipient doesn’t have to receive the information immediately, sending them a voice message could be a way to do it.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging is less disruptive than a phone call when you need a quick response. It also allows you to put information in writing (so that it can be referenced later more easily), plus you can attach files and send links. Group chat apps can also be a great replacement for physical meetings, saving time for many businesses.

Text messages

More companies are using texts to communicate with employees and customers. Texts are an easy way to confirm appointments without ringing people. You can also get customers to subscribe to regular promotions updates via text (SMS). Bear in mind that some customers may find text messages too informal.


Emails are ideal for when you want to send large amounts of written information and don’t necessarily need a response. You can also attach files and send links. Emails should never be used when you need an immediate response – not everyone checks their inbox frequently.


Email has largely replaced fax as a means of quickly sending documents. However, there are some companies that still use fax as a more secure option – a fax machine doesn’t have to be connected to the internet making any message harder to intercept. Of course, not everyone has a fax machine nowadays, so you should check with the recipient first.


Many companies are going paperless nowadays and abandoning printed documents. Mailing a printed document in the post is also incredibly slow and relatively expensive compared to an email. However, there are still instances when physical mail can be the best way to communicate with someone. You may have a greater chance of your message being noticed compared to an email, plus it may be better suited to sensitive information or legal documents.

Video calls

Video calls have become a lot more popular in recent years, allowing face-to-face interaction without having to physically meet up. They can be more personal than phone calls and you can offer presentations, demonstrations or even guided tours. Of course, video calls should always be scheduled, more so than a phone call – an impromptu video call could be seen as invasive.


When you need to have a sensitive conversation with an employee or need to come across as personable to a customer, an in-person conversation is always the best option. It’s not always possible when talking to someone long-distance. That said, there may still be instances where it’s worth traveling to talk to a potential customer in order to come across more trustworthy.

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