Up until the late 1990s and early 2000s, phone calls, Post-it notes and in person discussions accounted for a majority of in-company communications. Back then, connecting and collaborating with your employees was simple and straightforward. Then enter: the internet and mobile technology.
The world wide web opened the door to email as a business tool, with that era’s most innovative early adopters benefitting from the ability to communicate with employees with a simple mouse click. From there, we saw the rise of mobile technology and smartphones, leading to the use of texting for business communication. Following the rise of SMS, we saw a slew of instant messaging mobile apps — an emergence that effectively spurred even more changes in company communications, both internal and external.
How Effective are Emails as a Business Tool?
With so many choices available, some are left to wonder about the effectiveness of a given communication channel. Namely, email.
An analysis performed by the McKinsey Global Institute found that workers spend about one-third of their work time — 28 percent, to be exact — reading and composing emails.
Sounds promising, right? Well, not exactly. The equation changes dramatically when it comes to actually reading those emails. In short, employees simply aren’t reading their work emails — and that’s including internal messages from management and supervisors.
A survey that included an analysis of 56 million email messages revealed that 77 percent of those work emails were opened but only 37 percent of employees actually read the messages. In cases where the work emails included embedded links or other clickables, the employees clicked through in just 24 percent of the time.
Studies have found that the average employee checks email 11 times in an hour. That’s 88 times over the course of a typical 9 to 5 workday. But an analysis revealed that it takes an average of 23 minutes for employees to return to their work after an email-related interruption. What’s more, a survey of employees found that 62 percent cited email as their primary source of on-the-job distractions.
Email also comes out on the losing end when compared to other communication methods such as SMS. According to one source, texting is associated with a 98 percent open rate, while emails average around 20 percent. It was also found that people were 4.5 percent more likely to open a text message versus an email. These statistics relate to marketing text messages and emails. But the overall dynamic remains the same when you examine emails versus instant messaging for business communications.
It’s clear the email is rather problematic when it comes to using email as a business communication tool. But fortunately, email isn’t your only option. There’s the matter of email versus instant messaging for office communications.
Using Instant Messaging for Business Communications
Mobile technology abound, many companies are making the shift to instant messaging apps for business communications. In fact, one survey found that 22 percent of companies opted to shift to an instant messaging platform for business in an attempt to boost efficiency. Meanwhile, 14 percent cited team collaboration as their primary motivator for deploying an instant messaging app for business communications.
When you consider how humans naturally communicate, it’s easy to see why instant messaging is more effective than emails. We don’t speak in long, drawn-out paragraphs. We tend to speak in short bursts, with long missives being the rarity. IMs are just like this — small bits of text that tend to be direct and to the point. This makes it far easier (and more palatable) for employees as they absorb incoming information and compose outgoing messages.
Enterprise messaging apps impact productivity too since “short and sweet” is the clear expectation for IMs. As a result, employees spend far less time writing and reading messages that are sent via IM app instead of email. That’s good news when it comes to efficiency and overall productivity levels.
A portion of instant messaging apps can also be deployed on non-mobile platforms, with desktop versions also available in some cases. This allows for a degree of communications continuity that drives productivity. Employees can access the enterprise messaging platform regardless of which device they happen to be using.
Message preservation, record keeping and regulatory compliance are points of significant concern for companies in a diverse range of industries. Like email, the best business messaging apps are auditable and preservable, allowing for full legal and regulatory compliance.
SayHey Messenger® is an example of an enterprise messaging app that offers comprehensive auditing capabilities — a feature that is difficult to find, even amongst the industry’s most widely-used instant messaging platforms. This is ideal for highly-regulated organizations such as companies in the finance, healthcare and insurance industries.
SayHey Messenger® also offers two types of deployment. There is a SaaS Business deployment with a mobile app platform for Apple iOS and Android, along with a web app portal. Enterprise deployments represent the other option, with all messaging data stored in the client’s private cloud environment. With enterprise software integrations, the SayHey Messenger® app is embedded within the client’s existing software systems. This allows users to access their instant messages without leaving the screen, leading to greater productivity and better efficiency.
Consider using SayHey Messenger® as your business messaging platform. And the best part? It’s deployed in a matter of days. Contact us today to learn more about SayHey Messenger®.