There’s no question about it. Mobile technology has transformed the business practices of many companies—from consumer products to professional services.
Even the baby-boomer generation has joined the mobile generation with their smart phones, smart TVs, tablets and online shopping. But according to Techcrunch, “millennials represent the largest group of smartphone owners, and their adoption of the devices is still growing: by the second quarter of this year, 85% of those aged 18-24 owned a smartphone and 85% of those aged 25-34 did. That’s up from 77% and 80%, respectively, over the same time last year.”
With increased reliance on these devices, it’s time to look at appropriate business etiquette practices. Here are five tips for making sure your use of mobile technology for texting is well received and not an unintended intrusion.
- Proof your work before sending. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. When texting, make sure your message is clear, concise and error free. Double check autocorrect to be certain it hasn’t changed your intended message into something different or embarrassing.
- Avoid acronyms. While most people understand LOL (laugh out loud, not lots of love), SMH (shaking my head) and OMG (oh my god), they may not know what NDA (non-disclosure agreement), KPI (key performance indicator), MOOC (massive open online course) and MILE (maximum impact, little effort) stand for.
- Eliminate emoticons. These are representative of facial expressions and formed by combinations of keyboard characters. They may also be cartoon characters or designs inserted from a mobile app. They do not always display the way they look on your device, and they are not appropriate for business communications.
- Ask for permission before sending a text for business purposes. While it might be okay to text a colleague, customer or prospect of a change in plans or late arrival for a scheduled meeting, the phone is still better for these types of communications. When in doubt, rely on the personal touch. This will set you apart from the competition.
- Consider timing. Late night texts are not good manners. They imply a sense of urgency which in most cases doesn’t really exist. Be sure to consider the recipient’s time zone when sending texts.
Make sure your texting is well received and not an unintended intrusion
Text messaging is certainly the quickest way to communicate. Faster than email and often more convenient than a phone call, it has become common place. Yet, texting isn’t always the best option. In the end, a good rule of thumb is to balance the use of technology with the human touch.