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Business Texting Etiquette – 10 Proven Tips for Leaving Great Impressions

Texting is the go-to method of communication for many of us. Yet, words only play a small part in how our message is understood where emotions are involved. Texting cannot convey our tone of voice, emotions, gestures, body language, and facial expressions – all the elements of speech required for understanding emotions. 

A well-intentioned but misused emoji; a rushed reply; poor punctuation. These can all lead to misconstrued messages and feelings. Whether you’re texting a friend, colleague, or customer, following texting etiquette can go a long way toward avoiding hurt feelings, embarrassing situations, and misunderstandings. 

Here are the ten proven tips for leaving great impressions.

1. Never Text During Unsociable Hours

Sleep texting is the act of texting while sleeping, which is usually prompted by the sound of incoming messages. Research shows that the blue light of our phones disrupts our sleep cycles and leads to lower-quality rest when returning to sleep.

Before forwarding the latest gossip about your colleague, consider your recipient’s chronotype and time zone. For commercial text messaging, it is not only etiquette but illegal to disturb your customers in the middle of the night.

2. Switch off Autocorrect 

If you are using voice-to-text, ensure that you are in a quiet environment so as not to accidentally pick up any background noise that could cause a potentially embarrassing message. Before pressing send, reread the text message to make sure it says what you intended.

3. Use Pointers, and Do Not Write Essay-Length Messages 

We’ve all waited anxiously at the end of the blinking ellipsis while the sender appears to add yet another thought. However, the longer we wait, the less receptive we are to hearing what the sender says.

Text messaging, by its character limit, is intended for concise messages. Therefore, phone or email is more appropriate if a longer message is required. It is best to aim for short and sweet. The shorter the message, the easier it is to digest.

4. Seek Permission 

Asking for consent from a customer is considered polite. Permission opens the door for a healthy conversation. Keep in mind that messaging without consent is considered spamming.

Many countries worldwide have regulations and frameworks to protect their citizens from unwarranted messages flooding their inboxes. Hence, it is also a legal obligation to seek consent. Such consent can range from a customer sharing his number to receive information to explicit written consent. When in doubt, seek guidance from the manager or advice from your legal counsel.

5. Identify Yourself

Everyone receives messages from unknown numbers, and most may be wary of even opening a message from an unidentifiable source. So, until your number is known to the recipient or you are using a cloud-based solution where your number is your identity, it is important to identify yourself in the message to ensure that the communication gets delivered. 

As a business, it is advisable to use dedicated cloud-based numbers that are inherently identifiable by the recipient. Such numbers are available from cloud service providers.

6. Avoid Informal Abbreviations 

Overusing abbreviations such as “lol” and “u” could confuse your business associates, not to mention looking unprofessional. Your texts should be read clearly, especially when communicating with a new customer. Take the extra time to type out each word.

7. Never be Negative 

Giving negative feedback or firing someone via text is never a good idea. Save such serious conversations for when you are face-to-face with someone. Facial expressions and emotions cannot be communicated properly through a text message for these purposes and are inappropriate.

8. Be Responsive 

The core reason for the wide adoption of texting in business is speed. And speed should work both ways. When there is a query from a customer, it needs to be responded to quickly, in the shortest time possible.

Being responsive adds to a sense of gratification in the customer and adds to their experience. From this perspective, each query is an opportunity that should never be allowed to slip.

9. Start with a Polite Greeting

Nobody likes to receive a short and abrasive message. To avoid being cold or too direct, include a polite greeting and attention to manners within your message. A short but sweet greeting and a please’ or ‘thank you will go a long way in making a good impression.

We are so used to texting our friends and family that it can be easy to forget that not everybody has their number saved on their phone. So it is possible that even if you are dealing with a previous client, they may not have added your details – or they have six different Joes already saved in their contacts.

When you’re writing a business text, you can choose to begin with a simple ‘Good morning’ as a polite introduction. Alternatively, you can include an auto-signature at the bottom of your message that you can attach to each text.

10. Respect Customer Choices

Respecting the other person’s choice is exceptionally relevant to personal and professional engagements. In a business environment, customers have the choice and retain the option to exercise their choice at all times. Therefore, customers must be respected at all costs if they opt-out of receiving promotional texts.

Even though text messaging may seem outdated or archaic to some, most people will still look at an SMS fondly if it comes from a familiar brand. It’s about finding creative yet professional ways to communicate your brand’s service portfolio to potential customers to seal the proverbial deal.

While there will always be people who ignore your messages, the ones that respond will make your newly-defined marketing strategy worthwhile in the long run. To know more, connect with us at SPARK Services today!