IM Etiquette With Clients: Polishing Casual Communication

Posted On: August 24, 2014

IM or chat is a popular communication medium for quick, online communication. While it may be considered “casual,” that doesn’t mean there are no rules. Let’s take a look at how to approach IM etiquette with clients, customers and others in a work environment. 

What are the benefits of using IM?
  • IM is quick, and cheaper than using the phone for international connections
  • IM is text-based so participants do not need to worry about listening comprehension problems such as accent differences, etc.
  • IM can be used to send a quick hello among team members to check in for the day, or ask about quick status updates
What are the downsides of using IM?
  • Because we can use IM for a quick ping, many feel IM is casual, and hence use casual language, make more spelling mistakes, use texting language, and do not talk talk in complete sentences.
  • It can be tricky to know when it’s more appropriate to send an email or pick up the phone and talk.
Remember at work, our communications can be cut, pasted and archived. This means we need to always use our most polished language. At work we are not only representing our company, but ourselves. What kind of image and impression do you want to leave behind? 
Learn how to use Instant Messaging with Professionalism
See our program on Email and Business Writing

Standards to Polish Chatting with Clients or Colleagues

To help you to polish your IM etiquette, Intel has made this handy document to use as a reference. 

Check out the document “Make Sure to Mind your Instant Messaging Matters” from Intel.

Jennifer Kumar, a communication strategist helps Indians communicate more clearly with their distributed teams around the world. Contact her for more information.
Related Posts: 
A lighter look at conference calls in the corporate environment 
Improving presentations (including demos and status update meetings) over the phone  

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