Effective communication is one of the most crucial aspects of customer relationships. Knowing when and how to reach out can be the difference between a thriving partnership or a dropped sale. With so many communication tools out there, how can you know the best strategy? Well, a great starting point is deciding when to use synchronous or asynchronous communication.
What is synchronous communication?
Synchronous, often referred to as “real-time,” communication occurs between two or more individuals exchanging at the same time. Examples of this are in-person conversations, Zoom calls, and telephone conversations.
When to use synchronous communication.
There are a number of circumstances where synchronous communication is the wisest choice. In-depth interactions, which require extensive collaboration, are best-suited for synchronous communication. Arc also points out that brainstorming can often times benefit from occurring in “real time,” as well.
What is asynchronous communication?
Asynchronous communication occurs when there is a lag between when a message is sent and it is received/acted upon. Examples of this include email, Covideo messages, and text messages.
When to use asynchronous communication.
The skilled use of asynchronous communication can be a top tool in your arsenal. Asynchronous communication allows for increased flexibility—in response time and response quality. Using the right medium, asynchronous communication ensures your customer receives your message conveniently for their schedule. Issues such as time zone differences, or work/family time conflicts don’t have to inhibit receipt of your message. Plus, as Status notes, a record of communication is created and can be re-referenced when necessary.
Disadvantages of synchronous or asynchronous communication.
Both of these communicative methods have limitations. Synchronous communication requires all parties’ immediate availability. That sales call or Zoom webinar only works if the right people are able to be present at the exact same time. The commitment requirement is high. Asynchronous communication allows for heightened flexibility, but the message may come with a lack-of-urgency or allow for a drop-off in response.
Tips for synchronous or asynchronous communication.
In order to minimize the issues caused by each of these communicative methods, be intentional with your choice. If you believe real-time communication is essential to conveying your message, ensure the time works well for all parties involved in advance. If you want to provide your customer with the freedom to receive your message when it’s convenient for them, specifically articulate a timetable or create a relevant sense of urgency in your message to ensure the communication lag isn’t longer than desired.
Top technological tools for synchronous or asynchronous communication.
With a phone number or email address, you can communicate with your customers in a traditional synchronous or asynchronous manner. But, since everyone knows that, you’re at risk of blending in with your competition via those routes. For synchronous communication, consider a Zoom call or making it a point to see relevant customers at a conference or professional training seminar. For asynchronous communication, consider a video messaging tool like Covideo or, if all parties have access, creating a Slack channel.
As with any communication strategy, the tool is only as helpful as the individual wielding it. By making yourself aware of the pros and cons of synchronous or asynchronous communication, you can use each intentionally to properly interact with your customers to lead them through the buyer’s journey, as well as repeat business opportunities. Consider how a multi-tactical approach can enhance your ability to get the right message to the right customer at the right time.