On-line Business Etiquette

As we talked about in our last post, more and more businesses are moving away from using the traditional communication methods to reach associates, clients and prospects. In the current climate switched on business professionals are harnessing the various social networks to market their product or service.

However, one area seems to be overlooked all the time and that is the importance of on-line business etiquette. Given the multitude of communication methods available to business owners it is easy to be oblivious to the mistakes we can make.

Concise Communication

It is critical that we pay attention to these errors and correct them as soon as we are made aware of them. This will ensure that we are using the web to correspond in a correct and concise manner. Always be respectful and courteous to others when chatting inside a chat room or sending an email. Include the words, “Please”, “Thank you” and “Good morning” when writing. The Internet will become a friendlier environment if you practice politeness more.

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UPPER CASE or Not

It is vital that you do not send chat messages that are in all UPPER CASE. According to instant messaging etiquette, this is very rude. Writing in all capital letters is shouting in the virtual world. While this is often done to make a particular point, the perception of this tactic is similar to screaming or being obnoxious. This can be considered very rude by a lot of people. However, you can capitalize proper nouns and a word or two to emphasize your point.

Conversational tone

Remember that conversational tone or voice adjustments do not come through in an e-mail, thus all that is seen are the words. Therefore, the reader is sensitive to the words alone, and the use of all capitals can give a misleading impression.

Using Red to Highlight

Is similarly annoying and pushy. Red is taken as an adversarial implication by the reader. Red is associated with urgent situations, such as a fire. Right off the bat, red projects an unfavourable perception. Thus, when written in an e-mail, it puts the reader on notice and wary. Red is also harsher on the eyes and is tougher to read. This also will alter your intended message in a negative way.

Do Not Delay

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An additional error is to delay your answer to an email. No matter how busy you might be, a quick response time is critical in maintaining a good relationship with your customers and keeping them satisfied.”

Spamming

Spamming is another invasive and rude action wherein you get a person’s email and send too many unwanted messages. It is always a good idea especially when doing business on-line that you use permission based email to reach out to your customers and prospects.

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Language

If you are talking to people from other countries, be sensitive about some of their language and try to help them understand you better by using the right language, tools. Keep in mind that every customer is a critical part of a successful business. Your customer must never feel that he is being ignored or treated poorly. Especially in this harsh economic climate, you must be vigilant in retaining business. Prompt answers to emails is an easy method to maintain a long term business relationship with your customer. They will be inclined to stay in the business relationship rather than shopping around. Keep your messages short, especially when chatting or writing an email. Try to cut your message into several short paragraphs, so that these can be easy to follow. Use acronyms and other on-line abbreviations to help others understand your message better.

Stick to the Topic

Keep in mind that every customer is a critical part of a successful business. Your customer must never feel that he is being ignored or treated poorly. Especially in this harsh economic climate, you must be vigilant in retaining business. Prompt answers to emails is an easy method to maintain a long term business relationship with your customer. They will be inclined to stay in the business relationship rather than shopping around. Keep your messages short, especially when chatting or writing an email. Try to cut your message into several short paragraphs, so that these can be easy to follow. Use acronyms and other on-line abbreviations to help others understand your message better. If you are speaking to a friend or an on-line beginner, you can make your messages longer, provided that you stick to the topic at hand.
This will avoid confusing the other person. In the same fashion, you should observe the appropriate courtesies when a company contacts you. Answering is the important thing. Even if you intend to sever the relationship, be up front about it so that the client can make alternative arrangements, rather than leaving them dangling in the wind.

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Honesty

With these difficult economic times, it is not fair to be dishonest with a customer. Creating favourable relationships will allow you to develop a good reputation in the business community, and this will enhance your chances for success. Not observing good manners is just bad business sense. If you are in a position where you are filling a vacant employment position, you will probably receive numerous job applications. While it may prove to be inconvenient, you should send answers to all applicants. You will create good will for your business, and those applicants will still retain a positive impression in the future. Always be careful to project your company in a good light. Being rude can come back to haunt you later. While this expression is no doubt overused, it is still a good idea to treat others the way you would like to be treated.

By following these proper and easy to implement on-line business etiquette guidelines you will be sure to leave a good impression with every Internet user you meet.


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