Stop. Does that question really need to be an email? When should you send a direct message?
Thanks to technology, we have several options to communicate with our colleagues, friends, clients and more. However, that means some of your channels can get clogged by unnecessary questions or requests. At some point you’ve probably thought “This could’ve been a text.” or “Why don’t you just call me.”
Despite all of our options, each communication channel has its specific purposes. By understanding how to use these channels, you can effectively communicate with your team and clients to get more work done, without annoying or overwhelming others or yourself. Here’s what you need to know.
When Should I Email?
The benefit to email is that regardless of how many digital platforms and messaging tools we get, email is a staple that everyone uses. Where instant messaging can be seen as fast and simple, emails have a higher level of formality where larger chunks of information are sent out. In fact, you should be using email for four main reasons:
1. To formally communicate decisions
2. To confirm or schedule appointments
3. To document important conversations
4. To send announcements and information to teams and clients
Where email lacks in casual conversation, it’s a great tool for direct responses and confirming details. For example, don’t send an important reminder through chat, where it can be easily overlooked or forgotten. Messages like:
“Just a reminder that I need the monthly report by 5 pm today. Let me know if you need any help!”
..is a perfect example of what you should send as an email. It’s clear, concise, and needs little interaction to get the message across. Email also leaves a trail of messages that are easier to track, so you can look back on a thread to review information sent to you. In other words, email is a great asset to track all of your production needs.
When Should I Message?
Instant messages, whether on a digital platform or through a text, or becoming increasingly popular within a business setting. While email makes sense for a single, but lengthier, project item, chat is great for ongoing projects that require instant back and forth communication. You should be using messaging for:
1. Quick updates to teams and clients
2. Ongoing topics and discussion points that require more fast-paced back and forth communication
3. A follow-up / thank you
4. Simple questions that need a faster response
For example, messaging can be used for letting your teammate know you enjoyed the conversation you had earlier, or telling your boss you’ll be ten minutes late to the weekly team meeting. But it’s not just helpful for your internal team. In fact, 64% of consumers think that businesses should communicate through text more often!
Texting can be used to give clients quick answers, or help with any lingering questions they’d like answered. By knowing the proper uses, you can use messaging to your advantage when working with your team and clients.
When Should I Call?
Phone calls are similar to messaging in that it’s useful for quicker updates or questions, but can feel more intrusive than the other two methods. A good rule of thumb - only call teammates or clients as a last resort option.
Since people today don’t like to be bothered by phone calls, make a call for these reasons only:
1. You have an emergency that needs addressed quickly
2. Your email or message hasn’t been responded to yet
Any reason outside of those could potentially hurt your business, or cause animosity within your team, especially if it’s frequent. So be careful, and keep it short if you can.
All of Your Messaging in One Place
Having options to message is great, but when your communication tools are scattered, it’s hard to keep track.
Our digital platform, Desktop.com, gives you access to a variety of methods of communicating all in one place, which makes it easy to stay on top of it all. Direct message your team, invite clients or partners to a group chat to go over projects, send chat invites to anyone with an email address, enjoy full HD video conferences or instant voice calls and access your email app straight from your Desktop.com dashboard.
Streamline the remote work experience and try Desktop.com for FREE today.