Real Time Communications Featured Article

Applying Effective Communication Skills to Real Time, Online Communications

May 30, 2014

Just because we can communicate online through messaging, calling, video chat and file and screen sharing doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way to get in touch with someone. When latency, bandwidth and jitter get in the way, sometimes it may simply be easier to grab your smartphone and dial. But as these different means of online communications improve with features, connectivity and quality, turning to the Web to get in touch with someone may soon be the norm, both for personal and work purposes. When that happens, are you ready to be the most effective communicator possible?

There’s a recent article in Forbes that lists seven good things communicators always do that takes communication beyond basic language rules to more effective, positive exchanges of information. As we migrate toward online communications more so than real-life interactions, these are great tips to keep in mind as you communicate with customers, clients, coworkers or just friends and family online.

  • Get personal
  • Represent facts
  • Be specific
  • Ask questions
  • Ask for clarification
  • Listen
  • Read body language

Some of these might seem impossible – how can you really be as effective communicating over the Internet as you would be face-to-face? With the growth of video conferencing, it’s possible to read body language and gauge the reaction of who you are talking to. One of the worst parts of communicating online is the constant, “What did you say? I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up.” That’s not what we mean by asking for clarification. Luckily for everyone who uses the Internet for communications worldwide, solutions and networks are becoming much more advanced and sophisticated so they can offer the same quality and reliability as the traditional PSTN.

Putting these seven steps in context of a contact center can significantly help agents improve customer satisfaction. Tools and communications solutions today enable agents to communicate with contextual data, meaning they can know what customers were looking at when they called, what their history is with the company and be specific about who they are and what they’re trying to achieve. In other words, it makes it easy to get personal.

Communicating online is becoming just as common as interacting with people in real life, and we’ll have to transfer over the same etiquette and skills for effective communication there online. Technologies like VoIP, WebRTC, OTT services and other IP-based communication services are making real time communications come to life. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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