As online communication increases, it is more important than ever to develop the necessary skills to effectively communicate with others, both personally and professionally. From online etiquette to using the right tone and platform to communicate, here are four top tips to help you communicate online successfully.
Sometimes referred to as “netiquette,” digital etiquette refers to a respect and courtesy code that you are expected to follow whenever you communicate with other people online. Most importantly, this refers to any type of communication, whether written [as in texts, emails, or chats] or audio/video calls.
When communicating online, apply the same behavior expectations that you would to a face-to-face interaction. Be yourself and make sure that you only share information or say things online that you would be happy to share or say in person.
Check your volume settings before starting an audio or video call to be sure you are speaking at a normal volume and avoid shouting. Finally, do not write or send emails and texts in ALL CAPS. This is the written equivalent to shouting or yelling and is unlikely to be well received. Instead, use bold or italics to emphasize specific words or points.
Depending on the type of communication you are engaging in and the kind of customer service you are providing, different apps or tools may be more appropriate. Make sure you use the correct method of communication for what you have to say or share. For instance, emails are better suited for communication or conversations, which do not require an immediate response, like when a customer has a problem where the solution will take some research. However, texts or phone calls may be more appropriate for urgent situations.
If you communicate with a group of people, you might find that a video conferencing app is more appropriate and collaborative. Alternatively, a group chat may be a better option if you want to engage in more informal way. Whichever tool or app you use, make sure you test it out beforehand to ensure it works.
Schedule meetings ahead of time and include the app or platform the meeting will be conducted on. This gives all attendees the time to install or download the software or app required. Be mindful of other's circumstances and avoid unannounced video calls.
Your tone is essential, especially when it comes to online written communication. Make sure that you keep your messages relevant and concise. Written communication can be easily misinterpreted, so avoid using sarcasm, especially when talking to customers. Similarly, make sure that you read your responses before sending them. For professional purposes, aim to use a formal or semi-formal tone, though there is nothing wrong with being a bit casual in certain situations.
Aim to match your response length and tone to that of the initial communication you received. Avoid sending informal, short, curt replies to longer written messages, which can come across as rude. Instead, try to add a little more substance and thought to your response.
Online communication can sometimes be confusing, so do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Equally, be patient and friendly to others if they do the same. Keep your online communication concise and straightforward. Avoid using overly complicated language or technical jargon unnecessarily, especially when dealing with customers. Consider using relevant videos or images to demonstrate your point or help to ensure its clarity.
Effective online communication can help you feel more connected and develop more significant networks, both personally and professionally. Whenever you engage in any form of online communication, remember to apply the same behavior and expectations as you would to an in-person situation. Be respectful and considerate with your replies. Ensure that your tone is appropriate to each case and that you are clear and polite in all your communication.