Digital communication in business
We can choose from numerous communications tools, including: email, instant messaging, mobile and desk phones, dial in conference calls, video conferencing, Twitter, LinkedIn, SMS – the list goes on. And it will continue to do so with the evolution of technology changing at high speed.
We can feel overwhelmed by the tools that are available to us. If we are not sure what they are for or how and when to use them, then technology can in fact hinder rather than empower us. However, a portfolio of the latest communications tools used correctly will improve our productivity and effectively make our lives easier.
Selecting the right communications tools depends upon on the task and the communications itself. It can also be dependent on your location, whether you are at your desk, on the move or working from a coffee shop and whom you want to talk to.
How to pick the right digital communication method for your business
The tips below will help you decide what communications tool is best for you, along with advantages and disadvantages of each digital communication type.
Phone – either desk phone or mobile – one-to-one
Using the phone is beneficial if you want to talk through ideas or discuss a subject at length. It is more personal and enables you to express yourself and clarify points that may be misconstrued using other communications. You can have a chat socially before talking business and find out how the other person is, which is refreshing in this fast-moving world.
The phone may not be appropriate for a quick resolution and maybe the person is not available so you have to leave a voicemail, and wait for them to return. You want an answer to a question but you cannot physically make a call because it is too noisy or you cannot get reception. Unless you record the call you have no evidence of the communication.
Should I use e-mail for digital communication?
Advantages of email as a digital communication method:
Email is good to document and track conversations and activities, and send files to one another or a group of people. Email can be managed from the desktop or on the move from smartphones and iPads. It appears to be the most used form of communication in business – if not overused.
Disadvantages of email as a digital communication method:
Everyone seems to use email for every type of communication even when it’s not necessary, therefore clogging up your inbox. Email is not real-time communication, though some people assume it is.
People copy you in on irrelevant email trails, again flooding your inbox! Sometimes you may have to wait a while for a reply as for some it is a mammoth task to wade through their cluttered inbox.
The volume of emails has increased so much today that automatic filters have been introduced, such as Clutter in Microsoft Outlook, however, this now creates the risk that important emails get filtered out resulting in the need to manage two inboxes.
Instant messaging for digital communication
With instant messaging solutions you can see your colleagues’ presence and availability, which is helpful when you require an immediate response. You know when your colleagues are busy and when they are around to help out fast It’s great for quick questions and answers.
Sometimes people ignore the busy notice and send messages that ping and disturb you while in the middle of work or a meeting. The answer is to use the do not disturb option as this conversation doesn’t get sent.
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