2 September 2019
The pros and cons of IM for businesses
Nothing’s ever that simple, is it? It would be great if we could detail a genuinely flawless strategy for any aspect of business management, including your communications strategy. However, then, it just wouldn’t be management, would it? Still, if you haven’t yet implemented instant messaging into your regular communication systems, here’s everything you need to know – for better or worse.
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It’s for the many, but not for everyone
Essentially, this is one of the main reasons why there remain both pros and cons to using instant messaging in business communications. There are still, and may always be, people who simply prefer a phone call, as instant messaging doesn’t work for them.
Not everyone feels comfortable articulating their ideas and concerns with typing; some people could see this method of communicating as unemotional and un-engaging. From a subjective point of view, this is still one of the biggest cons of instant messaging.
However, with more people growing up using it as a communication platform every day, it is simply a more natural method with which they’re fully accustomed. It also reduces the impact of communicating over long distances and is usually less problematic than video conferencing, which is more prone to buffering.
The biggest benefit, for both sender and receiver, is simply in its name – instant messaging; real-time chat, with no call waiting, no transferring, and no need to move to a quiet location while engaged in conversation.
It works just as efficiently for both parties
Surprisingly, this can actually be a con for customers, as it isn’t always what they want. For instance, if you’ve ever taken a difficult call or heard somebody verbally lambasting a call centre operative, consider how that call may have gone were it to be conducted with alternative communication tools. Certainly, you or the recipient may have had more time to detail a reasonable response – but the caller wouldn’t have been able to communicate with the same venomous intent.
This is where the unemotional qualities of instant messaging lose some fans. Simply turning on the ‘Caps Lock’ doesn’t have the same impact as raising your voice and leaving no room for breath. However, this makes it a massive pro for people who receive such calls. They can take more time, receive advice and respond calmly, even in the face of comments of the complete opposite kind. Therefore, instant messaging can be a wonderful tool for staff and customer relationship management.
It’s not just for smartphone applications
As this essentially means that instant messaging is now more broadly accessible, this, again, sounds like it should only be in the category of pro. However, once again, it means that the people who don’t want to use this method of communication, have less chance of finding an alternative – either as a business owner or consumer.
Instant messaging is an integral part of unified communications technologies which allow businesses to conduct all internal and external communications via a single, cloud-based platform. A big pro for progressive businesses, this can be an enormous con for those that don’t feel ready to make the switch to this modern method of communication. By now, you’ll already know where you stand on the matter.
2 September 2019 | Neil Taylor
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.