Instant Messaging Rules of Engagement
We recently discussed the increasing use of Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) in the corporate world. We noted that instant messaging is a nice complement to email and phone conversations. It’s fast, effective and essentially real-time, while the fact that it’s text-based means non-real-time communication can be facilitated with EIM as well.
As the use of EIM grows, those who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the technology may feel like they don’t know how to properly utilize this valuable tool. As with any form of communication, there are rules of etiquette that should be followed when using EIM.
Vivian Giang discussed some of these rules in an article for Business Insider. The full article is worth reading, but we thought we’d highlight a few of the more fundamental points:
Keep it Short
Instant messaging is not a replacement for email or phone calls; they are complementary tools. “Ask yourself: “Will this message require the receiver to take time to think about their response?,” Giang advises. “If yes, you might want to send an email or call them instead.”
Be Conscious of Status Messages
Most EIM tools allow users to put up a status, which usually include options like “available,” “busy” and “away.” It’s polite to avoid messaging people who have a status of “busy” or “away.” They are essentially telling you they do not wish to be disturbed, with the possible exception of critical items. Think of it as someone having their office door shut.
Hello and Goodbye
When staring a conversation, rather than jumping right in, try to use a brief greeting. A simple “hi” or “hello” is usually fine. Similarly, it’s appropriate to send a quick “thanks” or “thank you” when departing.
If you need a quick reference to remember some of these rules, Florida International University provides a handy etiquette sheet for using its own FIUchat system.
Of course, EIM is just one communication option in a world fueled by technology that is continually evolving and changing. That’s where we can help! Access Direct uses a variety of tech tools to stay in touch with our staff and clients, and we counsel prospects and clients on the tools that might be most efficient for their unique needs.
Have questions about what options would work best for you? Get in touch!