One of electronic communication channels is instant messaging. Instant messaging has been widely used with the power of internet, people will use IM talk to family, friends, co-workers, even we can make friends through using the IM. Face-to-face conversation is an informal discussion through body language and spoken language on the issue among the people to exchange their opinions freely and fairly. Using the face-to face conversation, people can gain better understanding of how a customer is feeling than using other forms of communication such as email or telephone calls.
There are many advantages of using the instant message and face-to-face conversation. Instant message connects people regardless where they are located and it will save more of the time and money. In business use, colleagues can send and reply the message in real time without face to face, meanwhile the work report can be shared in the instant chat room. IM can make a virtual meeting room without gathering all related people together in a physical meeting room. People can share ideas and get conclusion by discussing with using the IM. Besides that, traditional method like make phone calls to customers or suppliers are replaced by the Instant message that it is more convenience and save cost. Using the face-to-face conversation, employees can get responses of customers immediately without misunderstanding. More of the time, receivers will misunderstand and misread the email; face-to-face meetings have minimized the risk of misunderstand compared to email. During the conversation, people not only hear a response but know their feeling; people also can guest what will take for next step. Using face-to-face conversation, they will use body language such as eye contact, verbal language to present their opinions. Body language speaks a lot louder than words. Besides that, having a meeting, lunch or a cup of coffee will give us chance to build a relationship. It will help to generate a collaborative environment thus inspire a positive emotional between both partner.
At the same time, Instant Message and face-to-face conversation also got disadvantages. When using Instant Message, people can’t really get the emotional bead on someone through IM. They can’t sure that the person talking to us is the person they want to talk, which can be dangerous if they aren’t careful. For example, their system may be attacked of the virus because they accidentally receive some files from unknown people or click a disguised URL. Besides, there are also got security risks like the content of the IM may be intercepted. The sensitive data like customers details and sale report may be stolen and released on the internet. In addition, there will be potential for misuse in workplace. During working time, employees may use IM to chat with friends and waste time or even bring the virus from outside. The disadvantages of face-to-face conversation is people difficult to face-to-face meetings effective in a large-sized organization. Especially if it’s a large company that each department are situated at different places and hard to find a time to meet. There are not effective in a large face-to-face meeting because it is very hard to get a message across a lot of people. Even though the speaker is face to their audiences but the vital personal touch is missing because of many people. The personal touch is valuable that it can make sure all of audiences is listening. Therefore, his or her speech will become monologue and wasting.
As a conclusion, if you want to use an IM or face-to-face conversation inside the company, you may consider the advantages and disadvantages of IM has mentioned above.