Singapore, Singapore (PRWEB) August 09, 2015 -- To Text Or Not To Text a Client?
Text messaging (or texting) has become a part of our daily lives; we seem to be glued to our mobile screens 24/7. While emails continue to dominate e-communication in the workplace, there is a growing prevalence of texting to clients.
How did this happen? Is it the right way to go? CEO of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, Nicholas Goh provides a tip sheet on how texting can help with client relations and shares tips on doing it right.
Since the dawn of mobile technology, text messaging has become as ubiquitous as the phonecall. It is no surprise, WhatsApp, the social messaging service acquired by Facebook for US$19 billion in 2014, has 800 million active users as of April 2015. (Refer Below Sources:1)
If one have started texting one's clients or are just apprehensive about being on best etiquette, here are quick tips on navigating this new mode of communication. How one chooses to communicate with one's client can improve overall business relationship.
The 24-hour Work Day
Today’s technology has made communications so seamless that it is easier than ever to work with another company across the world. Due to time-zone differences, clients, located thousands of miles away, can read the text from others sent at 6pm after they have had their breakfast. Clients might send a quick reply and if it is something urgent, one may still take action before one leave for the day.
Faster Turnaround Times
Many clients value quick, succinct responses. It makes them feel heard. In addition, most projects have a fixed lead-time and any changes might add on to your client’s budget. According to research from CTIA- The Wireless Association®, text messages are read within 90 seconds on average, whereas the response times to emails are around 90 minutes. Hence, if the nature of one's client’s product is time-sensitive, texting can be a valuable way to save time and money.
In Singapore, when first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away, the nation mourned within seconds of the public announcement. Such a sudden impactful event can de-rail pre-planned events or marketing materials, and even require immediate responsive action. Texting can set the ball rolling in the right direction, quickly.
Writing emails can be an elaborate task for some. While there are ways to write concise, effective emails, a 2012 survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute found that employees still take an average of 2.6 hours per day to read and reply emails. With texting, one is more likely to keep text messages short and sweet. (Refer Below Source:3)
According to a 2013 survey conducted by Constant Contact® Inc, 73% of small businesses conduct social media marketing, 44% advertise through social platforms, 34% have a mobile-optimised website, and 18% use mobile apps for day-to-day operations, like accounting. If client’s work is conducted on a mobile platform, they tend to work from their mobiles more easily than others. In addition, any bugs or fixes can be quickly reported via screen captures and texting. (Refer Below Source 5:)
Add a Personal Touch
As we rush to meet our clients’ demands, we may be exploring alternative solutions or experiencing a delay. What better way to respond than a personal text that we are working on it. It may be a miniscule detail, but it still matters to keep them informed.
Now that we have chosen to text our client, here are seven tips to look like a professional.
1. Always Address the Client
A text to our client should always start with a proper address like “Hi, Mr Laney” or, if we have a close working relationship, “Hey, Joe”. Avoid slangs like “yo” or “wassup”; our client is not our “bff”.
2. Think of it as a 2-liner Email
The easiest way to write a proper text message is to get to the point, with no need of a signoff. There is also no need for irrelevant details such as “I was having coffee in Orchard when I saw your text”, or long-winded openings like “Thought you might like to know that an earthquake has struck”. Instead, go straight to the cheese with “I saw your text come in”, “an earthquake has struck”.
3. Use Proper Grammar & Complete Sentences
“Lol” and “c u tmr” are what teenagers text to each other. Despite the popularity of abbreviated terms, they have no place in a professional environment. When our client reads a message like this, our attitude comes across as amateurish, not professional. Clear and concise communication does not mean typing words with the least number of characters. Make text easy for clients to remember by using simple words like “that is funny” or “see you tomorrow”.
4. Be Courteous
Since texting is an extremely short method of communication, it is possible to read them the wrong way. Always read the text twice before sending; one do not want to sound impersonal, pushy or automated. Keep it friendly and light. Be polite and say “thank you” whenever appropriate. We are offering them a value-added service; take this as an opportunity for them to see us as a helpful associate. As for emojis, feel free to express your fun side, but use them minimally and in less work-related texts. Or we can let our client take the lead and only use emojis when replying to their texts containing emojis.
5. Note the Time of Day
Our client may have sent a text at 11:30pm, but we only read it just before turning in at 1am. If it is an urgent matter, reply their text, it shows our commitment and going the extra-mile. If it is not, an 8:30am text the next day can do no harm. We certainly hope clients will extend back the same courtesy.
6. Clients will Respond on Their Own Time
Our clients have their own lives too. When we send them a text, do not always expect an immediate response. They may be in the middle of a meal, engaged in a meeting, or simply too busy to respond to any of their texts even if they do see them. Texting can be a one-way communication. Our clients may only confirm they have read our text.
7. Backup Our Texts
All client communication must be archived, and texts are no different, in the event of an audit, lawsuit, or any mediation or litigation.
Texting can be an effective way of communicating, but it is not always the case. If there is a complicated question for our client or the issue pardons a dynamic conversation, a phone call or an email may be a better channel of communication. At times when we have to deliver bad news or reschedule a meeting or to sort out some matters related to on-going projects, it is best to call our client, followed by an email if it calls for it.
1. How to implement WhatsApp messaging into your business – By Matthew Hussey: http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/05/18/how-to-implement-whatsapp-messaging-into-your-business/
2. The 10 Most Popular Mobile Messaging Apps In The World by Stephanie Ellen Chan:
3. How Much Time Do Your Employees Waste at Work Each Day? By Jayson Demers:
4. The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies by Michael Chui, James Manyika, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Hugo Sarrazin, Geoffrey Sands and Magdalena Westergren:
5. Sixty-Six Percent of Small Business Owners Use Mobile Technology:
6. Is Texting a Client Okay? The Truth for Advisors by Corinne DeCost:
7. Number of monthly active WhatsApp users worldwide from April 2013 to April 2015 (in millions) http://www.statista.com/statistics/260819/number-of-monthly-active-whatsapp-users/
About the AUTHOR
Nicholas Goh is the CEO of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, a leading global content consulting services company. Verztec assists companies around the world to design, develop, localize and publish their global communication messages in over 100 languages across various channels. For more information, please visit http://www.verztec.com.
VerztecLearning, the Learning Solutions division of Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, is a leader in innovative blended learning and online courses for soft skills, leadership skills, IT skills, business skills and project management skills training. Please visit http://www.verzteclearning.com
Nicholas Goh, Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, http://www.verztec.com, +65 65774660, [email protected]
SOURCE Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd