Business professionals are constantly complaining that Millennials aren’t interested in face to face communication and that workplace communication is suffering because of it. Keep in mind, the first workable prototype of the Internet appeared in the late 1960’s. Research laboratories began using Instant Messenger for the first time in the early 1970’s. The first text message was sent in 1984- a full 6 years before the millennials were even born. The Millennials didn’t create the technology they are using…their parents and their grandparents did!
We shouldn’t be surprised, when 30 years later, Millennials have embraced a technology that is older than they are. In fact, we should be grateful that they are taking the technology and creating business applications that lead to innovations and increased efficiencies in the marketplace.
For example, when comparing the delivery channel for marketing messages over the last few years, we discover that the read rate for text messaging is a whopping 98% versus a read rate of only 20% for email. Mobile Marketing Watch Additionally, the average response time for a business request delivered by text is 90 seconds versus 90 minutes for an email. HubSpot
Using text messaging to communicate our message allows us to reach more customers, build more relationships, and solve more problems quickly and efficiently. Instead of bemoaning days gone by, let’s figure out how to use the technology we have in a business -appropriate way that allows for the effective flow of communication.
Here’s 4 things you should do before you hit Send when using text messaging for business purposes.
1. Consider Your Audience
Although text messaging is becoming accepted in the professional setting be sure that your text is appropriate for your audience. While emojis and acronyms like LOL are fine in a text to your best friend, they aren’t considered appropriate for many business texts and can make undermine your professional credibility.
2. Verify Your Recipient
I will be the first one to admit that I have sent a text to the wrong person. It’s easy to do, and easy to avoid. A quick glance at the recipient before you hit send can help you avoid an awkward moment and the time required to re-send the message to the correct person.
Related: The Rules of Business Texting
3. Proof-read your Auto Correct and Check Your Grammar
Auto correct can have mind of its own. Be sure to re-read your text for clarity and any unintended changes to your message. While you are at it, review your grammar too. Because text messages are short, appropriate grammar can go a long way to helping ensure your message is clear. For example, there is a big difference between “Let’s eat Grandma.” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.”
4. Communicate Clearly
Without the opportunity to read body language, it is easy to take text messages out of context. Increase the chance that your message will understood at you intended by keeping the message short, friendly, and professional.