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The Communication Channels Every Local Business Need to Know

What is a Communication Channel Anyway?

Communication channels are the way information is transferred from one person to another.

Technology has enabled the growth of many communication channels, including on and offline.

Businesses have the freedom to select which communication channels they wish to utilize. According to your business model, you should choose the ones that appeal most to your customers and can grow engagement. 

In this article, we will review the importance of business communication channels and which ones you should integrate into your communication strategy. 

Let’s get started!

All the Best Communication Channels Local Businesses Should Know

A local business can succeed if it establishes effective communication channels. Front line team members need to be in touch with both customers and employees.

The best way to do this is by giving them a variety of ways to get in touch with the company.

Here are some of the best channels to consider.

1. Face-to-face 

What is it?

Face to face communication can be defined as communication that takes place between two or more people in the presence of each other. It involves direct interaction by using body language, facial expressions, gestures, and eye contact.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • When resolving customer conflicts

  • When you need to apologize to a customer

  • When you are trying to express strong feelings to an employee or customer

  • When you are trying to sell your service and its unique points

Face-to-face communication can take place both internally and externally, depending on the need. Also, depending on who you’re engaging with, you can use it formally and informally. 

What does this look like? 


Imagine that you own a plumbing business and your team repaired a leaking pipe. If the customer calls back to say that the issue has not been resolved, it would be meaningful for your team to return to the site in order to discuss and ensure that the issue is being resolved.


This method adds a more personal touch and makes sure your client won’t soon forget you. 

2. Social media

What is it?

As the name suggests, social media communication is a means of communicating with others through social media. Social media platforms are websites and mobile apps that allow users to share content (text, images, videos), comment on it, and like content.

The most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • If you want to engage in real-time dialogue with your customers.

  • If you want to interact in innovative and fun ways with customers, rather than just sending out one-way messages.

  • If you want to demonstrate your commitment to the customer by responding promptly and effectively to comments, queries or reviews.

  • If you want to promote products or services that your company offers.

Social media communication is informal communication and should be used mainly to engage with your customers.

You can also use social networks like LinkedIn to connect with industry partners and employees.

What does this look like? 

Imagine that you run a business as an electrician. You have no website, your potential clients find you through word of mouth, and you are booked solid every day.

You can set up a Facebook Business Page and follow the local newspaper, along with all of the other electrical companies in your community. On Facebook, you will be able to see when people ask for recommendations for an electrician in your area.

You can also add Messenger to your business page and enable prospects and customers to contact you there.

3. Video conferencing or FaceTime

What is it?

Video conferencing software allows you to hold meetings and conferences with people in different locations. It is conducted via video and audio links, using tools like Google Meet or Zoom. FaceTime can also be used for virtual inspections and consultations.

With the help of video calls, you can reduce the need for travel and increase the productivity of your business by holding meetings with anyone, anywhere in the world.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • If you have branches in different parts of the country.

  • If you have employees who travel frequently and must be able to communicate effectively from remote locales.

  • For remote work or DIY consultations with clients.

Video conferencing can be both formal and informal, depending on the situation. It may be best used internally to communicate with employees. However, depending on your business model, you can also use video technology with certain clients, especially during this pandemic time.

What does this look like? 

Imagine that you decide to open a new branch of your roofing business in another city.

You need to communicate with your team every day—provide feedback, ask questions, or just say hello and make sure everything is okay.

With video conferencing, you can always be with your team and see how they are doing.

Video conferencing is also very useful when you need to train new staff in some scenarios – they can learn from their colleagues remotely without having to travel to your head office.

4. Phone calls 

What is it?

A phone call conversation can be one-to-one or a conference.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has added to the complexity of phone conversations, as both physical and virtual channels are used for VoIP calls. This makes VoIP accessible for anyone with an internet connection.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • To respond to client queries, complaints and feedback

  • To follow up on customer orders or deliveries

  • To inform suppliers about orders and deliveries

  • To communicate with employees on urgent matters

There’s really no limit to the uses for phone calls. They can be used for both internal and external purposes, and in both formal and informal environments.

What does this look like? 

If you’re a home service business that is relatively new, you may find that your first customers are more likely to be people who know you and are willing to talk on the phone.

Phone calls are a personal form of communication and shouldn’t be done without prior consent. Make sure your customers are comfortable if you choose to engage with them through direct phone calls.

5. Emails 

What is it?

Email communication is the use of email to communicate with colleagues, customers, and other organizations.

Emailing a person allows the recipient to read it at their convenience and respond when they have time.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • When sharing information with multiple customers/client lists at once

  • When you require a formal communication channel that also acts as a record of communication between two parties

  • When you want to send digital resources via attachments, such as proposals or receipts

  • For seasonal promotions, gift cards, and coupon codes

Email communication is very widely used among businesses both internally (for employee communication) and externally (for client updates). It’s mostly formal.

What does this look like? 

Let’s take the example of an electrician. Electricians might have a range of clients – from other businesses to home-based clients. Splitting up email lists on the basis of customer type can help personalize marketing campaigns and refine customer communication. 

6. SMS Text messages

What is it?

SMS text messages are one of the most common forms of written communication for businesses. Not only are they direct and simple, but they also have a high open rate (up to 98%).

The best time for this type of communication?

  • When you want to reach out to a large audience in one effort

  • To send alerts, reminders, confirmations or promotions

  • When you want to keep customers updated with your latest services on a regular basis

  • When you’re on your way to a job and want to keep the homeowner updated on your arrival

SMS is mostly an informal means of communication due to its short-form; it is often used for status updates, but texting can also be used for marketing campaigns with customers.

What does this look like? 

Sometimes, sending a reminder via SMS is more appropriate than making a phone call, as it does not intrude into people’s privacy like the latter does and does not demand their time.

For instance, you may send an SMS reminder to your customers informing them that their annual plumbing check appointment is due soon or that their orders are ready for collection.

7. Online messaging platforms & project management tools (Slack, Messenger, etc.)

What is it?

These are online communication platforms used to organize and communicate about client projects internally. Popular apps include Slack, Messenger, Asana and more!

The best time for this type of communication?

  • When you’re looking for ways to collaborate remotely with co-workers 

  • When you’re looking to communicate business messages with a large group of workers

  • When you want to boost teamwork and more effectively monitor your chain of command 

  • When you have employee engagement as a goal during the pandemic, when  face-to-face meetings may not be possible 

This is a form of formal internal communication, often used exclusively by businesses, to keep employees updated, especially while doing remote work.

What does this look like? 

Did you know that 95% of people believe businesses could improve when it comes to communication and project management? 

Messaging platforms have become an answer for many business needs; for example, they can be used for project management purposes (tracking the status of a job) or for making simple internal announcements and public interactions.

This can be used by home service businesses that have multiple branches to communicate company-wide updates, for example.

8. Online review platforms

What is it?

Online review platforms provide a means of communication between businesses and customers. Consumers want to know what they’re getting into before they commit to anything, and online review platforms enable them to do their homework.

They also provide a medium for businesses to respond to the feedback provided by their customers.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • To respond to positive and negative customer reviews and grow feedback

  • To show other customers that you’re listening to what they have to say

  • To answer potential questions from customers

  • To boost your online reputation and grow your word-of-mouth

Online review platforms can be both formal and informal, depending on the customer’s tone when they post. Your business responses should always remain professional.

There are also employee review platforms to check out, such as Glassdoor, so it can be used for internal purposes too.

What does this look like? 

Yelp and Nextdoor are examples of popular review sites frequented by customers engaging with home service businesses. Growing your platform on such niche sites can boost the online visibility of your business. 

9. Live chat

What is it?

Live chat is a method of nonverbal communication between two people over the internet. It can either be real-time or delayed, depending on the situation (using chatbots vs. customer service personnel).

Acting as a parallel to instant messaging, live chat allows you to communicate with your customers and clients instantly, providing better customer service and improving customer satisfaction.

The best time for this type of communication?

  • When you want to offer instant solutions or communicate with customers live

  • When you want to engage with website visitors

  • When your business has growing inbound queries and prefer digital forms of communication

  • When you want to share answers to frequently asked questions

  • When you want to serve multiple customers at once

As such, live chat is a form of professional communication with customers.

What does this look like? 

As a home service business, you can integrate live chat into your website and connect with potential customers visiting your site.

For example, a plumber can have a chatbot installed on their site to provide answers to FAQs from customers. 

Signpost Helps Businesses Engage With All Customers

Whether it’s for internal communication among team members or answering customer queries on different communication channels, there is no doubt you’ll need to stay on top of all the different digital communication channels. 

Signpost can help your business tap into the right communication channels and answer all inbound customer inquiries through our mobile app and instant response features

Request a demo today and never miss a lead again!

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