With more and more companies using private business instant messaging clients, it’s easy to have more conversations through the IM client. The problem is that not all conversations should be had through these chat apps. So here are a few situations where office LAN messaging like this app at Linkedin.com may not be the right tool.
Ever had someone commit to a deadline and you were so glad you had that email to hold them to it? Imagine if you had that conversation on your IM client and you had no way to prove the commitment. The fact is that within a company there are many mini-contracts made. If you need to document a response, make sure you have an email or signed document. Instant messaging would not be the tool of choice. Brosix does offer the ability for all conversations to be backed up, but only a system administrator will have access to these files.
Tone is escalating
Even with emoticons and carefully selected words, sometimes people get upset. If you suspect that the person on the other end is getting frustrated it’s probably time to send an email, pick up the phone, or drop by their office. Business instant messaging is for quick messages and communication. When the tone heads south it’s time to use a different method of communication.
Lots of data
We’ve all had an IM conversation where the other person was sending message after message – you couldn’t even keep up because the lines kept moving! When you have a great deal of information to pass along you should use email or physical documents. This also gives the other person the ability to easily organize and store your information without having to copy and paste it out.
Business instant messaging is an excellent tool in many situations, but occasionally it’s simply not the best tool for the job. Make sure you are using the best tool for your situation. If you need to document a response, the conversation’s tone is escalating, or you have lots of data to pass along; consider other forms of communication like email, phone, physical documents, or even dropping by their office.