Nowadays text messages are common not only in personal use or between the employees at the workplace. Texting has become a powerful tool to communicate with customers and clients.
So, whether you’re writing an email to a business partner, texting to recruit a candidate for a job, sending an important notice to your employees or creating an SMS campaign for your customers, you must have the following tips in mind for high-quality communication.
Let’s start with the most importing “dos” in business texting etiquette:
Write to people only during the common business hours.
According to statistics texting is maximum direct as a form of communication. So, mind the time when you decide to send a promotional SMS campaign for your clients or to write an email to your employee. If the time is after the business hours, then don’t you expect a strong engagement or much of a reply.
You should think of a convenient time for a message. Sunday afternoon or late at night texting won’t show your respect but would be annoying. Unless you work in customer support, of course. In this case the most immediate response to a request that has come at night will be appreciated.
Beware of autocorrect.
Just imagine all the awkwardness that may appear in case of auto correction in the text that you simply haven’t noticed! Mostly it is harmless for a person who’s going to read it, but still, it looks very unprofessional and amateurish in communication with customers or colleagues.
And we do hope that you won’t be in a situation when autocorrect offends someone you texted. You wouldn’t wish this even to your rivals.
Avoid using abbreviations.
Yes, you are limited to 160 characters in SMS, but better think twice using an abbreviation texting in business. You should definitely bypass slang abbreviations like LOL or FTW which are absolutely improper in professional communication.
Professional texting etiquette suggests avoiding acronyms and abbreviations because there’s no guarantee they would be recognized correctly. You are trying to be maximum clear, right? And of course, never abbreviate your “Thank you!”.
Keep your tone of voice polite and friendly.
Everybody knows how it’s easy to seem cold or too authoritative when trying to follow all the rules of professional communication. Since we shouldn’t use emojis or exclamatory vocabulary in texting, let’s just replace them with a warm tone of voice. To create a positive impression, it’s better to overdo it with politeness than to not do it enough.
When texting customers, always get their permit first.
You can start your SMS campaigns only when you’ve got your clients’ permits (they’ve subscribed to receiving your news), or they’ve contacted you first. It’s not only a gesture of politeness but it’s also a law in many countries of the world. Not having a permit for messaging can cause real legal problems, so you need to arrange an express written consent.
And even if your clients agree to receive SMS texts from your business, you need to make it easy for them to unsubscribe from texting anytime. It is a part of giving respect and creating good customer experience. Check and be sure that your messaging campaign has a STOP option.
Now we’ve got to the most interesting point. What are the “don’ts” in professional texting etiquette?
Don’t use messages for announcing bad or sensitive news.
Such information should always be given face to face, in person. Better call your colleague if you’re going to cancel a scheduled meeting or talk to your partner in person if you want to end cooperation. Texting is inappropriate in these cases and will leave people with a bad opinion of you.
Don’t use emoji in your professional texting.
When it comes to professional communication, appealing to yellow smiley faces or hearts is weird. Would you place such smileys in your CV or in a contract with an employee? It would be maximum out of place.
And your relations with customers also are not so tight from the start to use emoji. Don’t try to push it to friendship with emoji because it mostly causes confusion and may even look offensive.
Using emoji messaging your employees may also look ambiguous. So, to avoid misunderstanding just keep your warm polite and friendly tone of voice.
Don’t text on presentations or meetings
You must agree that messaging from under the table is really unprofessional. In addition, it may seem rude to the speaker whose performance you are ignoring this way. Using your phone in a conference room is not expected, just turn it to the silent mode and then make all the communications you need when you leave the meeting. This rule of professional etiquette is like behind the scenes but it’s a very important one to honor.
Don’t send the same text by SMS and email.
For you sending a text and an email to customers may be automatic, but for your clients reading them are absolutely not. Choose one appropriate channel for one message, and don’t reach twice with the same text.
Moreover, the customers will understand that both the duplicated message and email were sent automatically, and they will lose the feeling of a personal attitude which you are trying to create with your communication.
Don’t text confidential information.
SMS or emails have never been the most secure channels for sending confidential data. Of course, now different marketing software guarantees you confidentiality in your texting, but it will be smart and prudent to avoid messaging confidential things.
For example, in the healthcare sphere it’s restricted to sending your personal information in SMS. It’s not only a non-compliance of professional etiquette but also a law violation. You must check your industry-specific regulations.
A few final words
So now you’re prepared and ready to push “send” for your SMS. Review your message one more time. Make sure that you’ve followed our tips for professional texting etiquette, and your message is friendly, polite, clear and helpful.
And if you still need more detailed and profound information on professional texting etiquette: https://smartercontact.com/blog/what-is-business-texting-etiquette/
Start growing your business with texting and gaining your clients’ loyalty!