Even if your company is not big on instant messaging it doesn’t mean that you can totally forget about this communication tool. What will you do when one of your clients wants to start talking to you on IM? You may think this is far fetched, but in today’s world this is something that is sure to present itself soon enough. Believe it or not, many companies are using instant messaging for the majority of their inter-office communications. Some of these companies are deciding that this should also hold true when speaking with those outside the office.
If your clients are asking to communicate via IM there are a few things you must do:
1. Ask what instant messenger they use. This is probably the most important question. After all, you have to be using the same system in order to communicate.
2. Talk to your boss about this. It is safe to say that he will be alright with this as long as it is at the request of the client. After all, you don’t want to shoot down this idea and risk agitating your client. Doing that will only cause you problems, and may even result in losing the client for good.
3. Be sure of what you say when communicating via IM. Remember, this is much different than talking in person or on the phone. Make sure you are clear with your words and that you do not make any jokes that can be taken the wrong way. It is important to stay professional no matter how you are talking with clients.
If you are not currently using an instant messaging program within your company, but are asked to do so by a client, you should consider the above points and then move forward.