co IM: Small Business Tool Or A Waste Of Time? |

If you are going to do business online, then it makes sense to use online communications tools. Right?

One of the most primitive online communications tools is instant messaging. It’s been around almost as long as the Internet itself. And it’s gotten better over the years. There are some instant messaging clients, IM clients, now that allow you to send and receive e-mail and manage your social networks.

Instant messaging is a great small business communications tool. When your clients have a pressing question, would you rather they call you and take up 30 minutes of your time chatting about Junior’s college exams or instant message you for a ten minute conversation that is all business.

I’m not being facetious. The telephone is a useful tool, but have you noticed that people have a tendency to get sidetracked. You break the ice with a joke, spend two minutes laughing, move on to another joke, and before you know it, half an hour has passed and you haven’t even talked about the reason you called. With instant messaging, you can get right to business.

One useful way to use IM is with a button on your website. Allow your clients to message you with a question, or even an order. If you have to discuss a project and need feedback from the client, IM it and you can get your feedback in real time.

If you’re going to do business online, you might as well use online communications tools. Do it the right way.