Texting to seal a deal? Think again, Servcorp research shows

Let’s role-play for a second, you are making a business deal, it is 1996 and you’ve been through a few updates to your work mobile to arrive at the email-capable Nokia 9000 Communicator.

Do you text your business proposition to your potential partner? Do you fax it? Do you tap it out in an email? Or do you phone them to organise a face-to-face meeting?

A survey of 457 owners and managers of Australian businesses has found that a remarkable number of communications channels are now being used, including social media and texting, to seal deals.

Your 1996-self would surely blanch at how your future-self avoids face-to-face contact.

The Galaxy poll for the Servcorp Good Business Study found they pursue face-to-face meetings only 19% of the time, preferring a phone call 54% of the time followed by email 25% of the time.

In terms of communication forms, 91% said email is preferred, followed by 64% saying face-to-face was their chosen form. A quarter said text messaging, once considered the domain of teenagers, was their preferred form of communication, and 10% preferred social media.

There is a hidden pitfall in the rise of written electronic communications, the survey reveals 58% of business owners are “significantly influenced” by typos and grammatical errors when choosing a supplier or awarding a contract.

Other top grumbles were not having their calls/voicemails returned, at 78%, and not feeling their needs are understood or met coming in second at 67%.

Servcorp, which runs serviced offices, released the results today.

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