In this ever-changing world of technology, one way of communicating that isn’t going away any time soon is texting. It’s one of the fastest ways to communicate with someone who is busy. For many business professionals like Andy Defrancesco, replying to a text versus returning a phone call is easier, while on the go. It takes seconds to respond with an answer or ask a question and normally you hear back in a couple minutes.
When texting a client it can get a little tricky and there are guidelines you should consider before hitting send. You don’t want to come across unprofessional but if you text correctly, this form of communication can be extremely effective. Below are 6 rules you should live by when you consider texting a client.
- Ask permission first. Make sure your client is okay with receiving a text from you. Unexpected messages, no matter the content of them, can throw them off and irritate them to the point where they don’t want to respond. Or, you may receive a negative response.
- Don’t use abbreviations. It may be easier for you to respond with “THX U” instead of “Thank You” but this belongs in conversations with your friends, not clients. However, business and industry abbreviations that are commonly known and used should be safe to include in your message.
- Watch your tone. The downside to texting versus a phone call is that tone can often be, and is easily misinterpreted. When you’re trying to be straight to the point, your message may come across as rude. Take a few seconds before hitting send to be certain the tone of the message is professional and polite.
- Reconsider lengthy messages. The point of texting with a client is to get quick and timely information across. If you have more than a few sentences to send to someone, it may overwhelm them. Consider giving the client a call instead and following up with an email with the information.
- When you respond matters. It may feel tempting to respond to a client’s text in the middle of the night, especially if you weren’t doing anything. However, if you respond at midnight, you may be setting a precedent with your client. Unless you are willing to always respond to them in the middle of the night, hold off replying until normal business hours. Also, remember that many people keep their mobile phones by their bedside charging and that text tones in the middle of the night can be disruptive.
- Avoid any legal discussions. There are appropriate subjects to discuss through texts and there are inappropriate ones. When it comes to legal information, avoid communicating these matters via text messaging. Email is better and safer, especially if you want to keep track of conversations you may need to reference in the future.
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