Emails have been the main course of business correspondence for many years now. For many reasons, it has proved itself the perfect channel to communicate – quick, accessible, convenient, and trackable. You can send messages, attach documents, and transmit files. However, just as emails have effectively replaced the snail mail, a new way of communicating has emerged and is proving to be more efficient, faster, and reliable than the email.

I’m talking about chat and instant messaging tools like WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, and even the social intranet direct messaging tools. These applications are free and convenient to use. Most have options wherein you can attach and send files. Sending and receiving messages are easy. It also eliminates the inbox backlog and management, giving you more time to deal with the more important business tasks and issues.

The more informal channel of communication is the best solution to constantly connect people within an organization. Quick messages are transmitted, read, replied to, and resolutions arrived at instantly. Paperwork is eliminated. No need to clog email inboxes, freeing it for the more formal business correspondence and documentation needs.

In today’s world where everyone constantly carries a mobile phone, the best way to get a hold of them is through a messaging app. Unlike emails where you wonder whether it has been received and read, messaging tools like WhatsApp and Skype have tracking indicators, letting you know if the message has been transmitted and read.

While delivering all the messaging functions of email, instant messaging tools give more. Perhaps the most significant addition is the call functionality. Most messaging tools serve as an effective discussion forums – via chat or call. Business conferences with team members from all over the world is easy and free. Business issues are discussed and settled quickly. No waiting and room for misunderstanding – common when discussing issues in the email.

People will instantly check their phones or computers for messages, not so much for emails. Average response time for business emails is 24 hours. Internal emails could be read quicker and replied to within the business day. Messages sent through chat or messaging apps are read within seconds and replied to in minutes.

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