How Communications Technology Hurt Your Business Relationships

By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing Curmudgeon

A Different Perspective

No this is not an anti technology diatribe, rather it is an effort to have you think about how you use it and whether what you do truly benefits you and your company.

Relationships are based on mutual respect and mutual interest that can provide over a period of time mutual benefits. Do you have that in mind or do you simply use technology as a way to “drown” your client in your communications to the point they turn a “deaf” ear and “blind” eye to your message(s)? If you have no interest in building relationships, do
your employer a favor and go to work for the competition.

A key aspect of building relationships is showing respect you have for your customer or prospect’s time. Technology has given us the capability to do more, but “more” is neither always better nor effective or cost efficient.

Five technologies whose use has either been quickly adapted or taken on an expanded role are Social Media. E-mail, Voice Mail, Websites and Faxes. A growing problem in this digital age is the speed that the latest “tool” is considered a necessity without clear thinking on how it is best utilized. This lack of clear direction often leads to unnecessary use that often is considered annoying, irritating, bothersome and in general a pain in the butt.

Social Media – Is a wonderful avenue to communicate about many areas, but does what you have to say, state or place really matter? Does it deliver meaningful benefits for those you target? Is it going to make them smarter, wealthier, or more successful in life? If not do you feel you are building an audience who looks forward to hearing from you? The social media list seems limitless — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc. and that creates an environment where the floodgates have opened without a lot of concern for the recipient’s time.

E-mail – A tremendous tool to reach out and respond to, but does not fully replace the effectiveness of a phone call, especially on individual communication that allows for an interaction e-mail can never hope to duplicate. . E-blasts are like using a shotgun and hoping you hit something, when history has shown a rifle focused mentality hits the bull’s-eye far more often. E-newsletters that truly deliver helpful information are welcomed once their value is known and that is more apt to happen when PR is part of your strategy.

Websites – A definite need for any business, but again what are you trying to achieve? Is your site user friendly? We see many beautiful sites including those of major corporations that are so difficult to navigate. Often because there is no clear direction of what is to be achieved. Putting the “Encyclopedia Britannica” of details up and have visitors try to find
their way around is not good business. Always remember the K.I.S.S. theory of business marketing and management – “Keep it simple, stupid!”

Voice mail -The original concept behind the development of this technology was to improve customer service while decreasing operational costs. Some have done it well, but many create an endless frustration of listening to a computer giving you 8-12-20 choices with absolutely no hope of being able to talk to a human. Several business have recently
discovered a technique that is getting a rave reviews from customers, it’s called human interaction, yes, operators which shows what was old will become new again.

Fax Blasts – Just what is needed more garbage to handle. The only thing that should be blasted here is the idiot who sends them.

Basically the point I am trying to make, there is little wrong with technology if it follows these points —
o Provides me value in whatever format you use
o Increases my knowledge
o Communicates with clarity so I can easily understand
o Understands my needs and show me opportunity
o Is succinct and makes your point in a straightforward manner
o Talk to me from my perspective, not yours

Do that and you will reach, serve and influence your targeted audience in a positive manner.

“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation. “ – Mark Twain


Leslie R. Wolff is an experienced professional, obviously an outspoken curmudgeon with more than a half century in the marketing arena His mission in his business, speeches and writings is to reestablish a lost factor in business …  commonsense! It is the foundation on which Smart Thinking is built. Les is CEO of The Smart Marketing Group, who simply help clients work smarter. He can be reached at 215-334- 3432,, Skype: Smart Marketing or

You can also visit and participate in his Blog
and his LinkedIn Group – Smart Marketing for Small Business
His E-Book” Smart Thinking- Vol.-I” is available @



Filed under Free Marketing Tips, Management and Leaders, small business

2 responses to “How Communications Technology Hurt Your Business Relationships

  1. Can I simply say what a relief to search out someone who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know find out how to convey a problem to light and make it important. More people need to read this and perceive this side of the story. I cant imagine youre no more in style because you undoubtedly have the gift.

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