While text message marketing isn’t new and more and more businesses are jumping on board, texting coworkers about business isn’t something many businesses have plans in place for. When determining whether or not your business needs a policy, or if you’ve discovered your business doesn’t have one, make sure you’ve covered your bases. You don’t want to damage your personal life or professional career. Here are 3 things to consider before you push send.
Is what you’re sending going to the intended recipient? It’s easy to blur the names of professional and personal contacts when quickly scrolling through your address book. An inappropriate text sent to the wrong person could damage your personal or professional life, or both. Office gossip is something that happens regardless of where you work. Is the context of your text to a coworker suitable should another employee or your boss read it? Scan before you send. Just as with emails and IMs, texts can be saved and brought to the table at a later date. Make sure the content is something you’ll standby and accept responsibility for should someone ask you about it.
Business calls for clear and concise communications. Text messaging often leads to misinterpretations of meaning or tone. When you’re establishing a new working relationship with someone, you don’t want a miscommunication to take place that could hinder your ability to get promoted or close a deal. Asking your employer, employee, clients and vendors for their preferences when it comes to texting is one of the easiest ways to avoid a miscommunication. If someone is an avid texter, they may be more comfortable. If your client is more inexperienced, they may indicate they prefer other means of communication. If you’re unsure whether you’re on the right track when it comes to texting with coworkers or clients, just ask them.
Is what you’re sending via text urgent? Is it something that needs to take place in person? While texting can be beneficial in sending out reminders or quick notes, consider whether or not the conversation taking place is one that needs to be done face-to-face. In business, building relationships is how you build loyal, lifetime customers. While texting a client may not seem like a big deal, you aren’t creating the same relationship you would as if you called them over the phone directly or sat down for an in-person meeting. With texting, it is important to consider the impact you’ll be leaving on someone. Sure, texting may be an effective, quick way to communicate, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for in-person interactions that business has been based off of for a long time.
Texting and business can prove to a valuable interaction or a time-consuming distraction. If you’re a business, consider putting a texting policy in place. As an employee, be sure to ask before acting if there is no policy or if you’re unclear what the policy is. Texting in business may lead to a faster response time, but may not be worth the risky position you’re putting yourself in. It’s up to the business and employees to determine whether or not texting is a good idea for the company as a whole.
Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as phone services for businesses and inter-office communications. She is a web content writer for Business.com.