Business chat etiquette is the set of guidelines for communicating professionally in a chat environment. Just as with email and other forms of written communication, certain etiquette rules should be followed to maintain a professional tone and avoid misunderstandings.
The Dos of Business Chat Etiquette
To keep it short, being polite and formal is what you need to fulfill business chat etiquette. However, it can be more complicated than that. Below are the more detailed things to remember regarding business chat etiquette.
1. Do Use Proper Grammar and Spelling
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people don't use proper grammar and spelling in business chats. Remember, you're representing your company in these chats, so making a good impression is important.
2. Do Be Respectful
This goes for both the language you use and the topics you discuss. Remember, there's a real person on the other end of the chat, so treat them respectfully.
3. Do Be Professional
This is probably the most important rule of business chat etiquette. Remember, you're chatting with potential clients or customers, so it's important to be professional.
4. Do Stay on Topic
When you're in a business chat, it's important to stay on topic. This means no straying off into side conversations or discussing non-business-related topics.
5. Do Be Polite
This goes hand-in-hand with being respectful. Remember to use please, thank you, and avoid being rude or condescending.
6. Do Use Emoticons Sparingly
Emoticons can be a great way to lighten the mood in a business chat, but it's important to use them sparingly. Overuse of emoticons can come across as unprofessional.
7. Do Keep It Short
Business chats are not the time to catch up with old friends. Keep the conversation short and to the point.
The Don'ts of Business Chat Etiquette
As there are some things you need to do and keep in mind, there are also things to avoid with business chats. Below are the don'ts of business chat etiquette that you should know.
1. Don’t Use Text Speak or Abbreviations
When you're chatting with colleagues or clients, it's important to use proper grammar and spelling. Using text speak or abbreviations may come across as unprofessional and make it difficult for the person you're chatting with to understand you.
2. Don’t Use Offensive Language
This should go without saying, but using offensive language in a business chat is completely inappropriate. Not only is it rude, but it could also get you into trouble with your employer.
3. Don’t Share Confidential Information
Just because you're chatting online doesn't mean that the conversation is private. Be careful not to share confidential or sensitive information in a business chat.
4. Don’t Chat When You’re Supposed to Be Working
While chatting with colleagues can be a great way to take a break from work, limiting yourself to breaks and lunchtimes is important. Chatting during work hours can make it appear as if you're not working and may result in disciplinary action from your employer.
Business chat etiquette is important to follow in order to maintain a professional appearance and avoid any potential misunderstandings. There are key points to remember, such as using proper grammar, avoiding abbreviations, and being respectful to others. Following these guidelines will help you to communicate effectively in a business chat setting.
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