Regular meetings with colleagues are an essential part of business and will be followed up with e-mails regarding topics discussed and actions allocated, but to further improve your company’s productivity it is now seen as essential that you install and use instant messaging (IM).

We will look at the pros and cons of both forms of communications and explain exactly why both must be utilised across your organisation if you are to improve business process.

E-Mail

E-mail is the well-established route for businesses to communicate amongst employees and to reach existing as well as potential customers.

Whether you are sending a message to a colleague in your organisation or a client on the other side of the world this form of communication can be used 24/7/365.

The problem is that you do not know if the person you are sending the message to is logged on, whether they have opened the mail and read it, or when they may respond.

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There is no doubting that e-mail is a solid, effective means of communication, but there are also downsides – 3 common issues are:

  • E-mail overload is a commonly stated problem.
  • The inclusion of multiple individuals, all of whom have their own interests at heart can mean the original purpose of the e-mail is often lost.
  • Junk and spam mail is an unwanted distraction. This leads many to either delete or disregard emails received due to the amount of unsolicited information received on a daily basis.

Is e-mail becoming seen as snail-mail?

The rapid rise of e-mail was responsible for postal mail being termed as “snail mail”. With the advent of instant messaging, many businesses and the younger customer base are perhaps now ready to refer to e-mail as being their snail-mail. This is down to the instantaneous spontaneity and personalisation IM offers.

What this should tell a company is that while e-mail will retain its importance as a communication tool they must look at instant messaging apps as being absolutely vital to continued business success and an increased customer base.

Instant messaging:

When using IM software, you will know the recipient is logged on, they are available to chat and there is a much better chance that the person will not only read the message, but they will respond far more quickly.

This knowledge qualifies IM as being grouped with telephone conversations or physically meeting someone and talking face-to-face with them. It is classed as “real-time” communication.

Advantages of utilizing IM for your business:

Implementing a solid, proven IM system for your organisation helps tremendously with efficiency. You will know if the person you need information or advice from is on-line. You will know they will see your message immediately, and this immediacy will encourage them to respond more promptly.

If the discussions centre around something that involves multiple participants then you can all join an IM chat room or utilize a conferencing program. These apps offer instant collaboration. They are the here and now. Decisions can be made, actions started and responsibilities clearly stated.

This does away with having to wait for different individuals to respond via e-mail, confusing answers being given, responsibilities misunderstood and overlapping actions being carried out.

Which form of messaging is best for your company?

The answer to this must be: BOTH!

E-mail certainly has its place in communicating internally as well as externally, but it should not be the only form of messaging employed. IM must be a consideration to ensure swifter reaction and response times internally. It also has the advantage of bringing you far closer to your customer base.

Customers need to feel wanted. They often need instantaneous responses to their requests, and in the vast majority of cases these answers will be straightforward and readily available.

Timely response will ensure a healthy customer base:

By providing quick answers, by responding to customer demands on a timely basis and by showing a customer that you have their interests at heart is a sure-fire way to improve client relationships. Such actions and attention will lead to far closer ties.

Achieving customer satisfaction is a must if an organisation is to grow their business. The implementation and efficient use of an IM application from a company that majors in the messaging sector of electronic business applications will give valuable business advantage. An advantage that should not be ignored.