(by Tamy Phoon, Assistant Marketing Manager)
The effect of technology is impactful; it has changed our lifestyles and our business strategies, in short, it has rocked our world.
Let’s rewind to the time when the Internet was non-existent, communication was difficult and costly, and the most convenient yet expensive method was to opt for long distance calls. Then came the Internet, which introduced the first chatting tool, IRC. How did you introduce yourself to someone in the IRC? Very easy, the code was a/s/l. For the old and the young, the code stands for age/sex/location. Usually I would answer, 21/f/KL, which means 21 years old, female and Kuala Lumpur. The screen was basic, no pictures, no file transfer, no fancy schmancy.
I'm very much amazed by the Internet technology and how it has brought us a lot of convenience, in our personal life and in business. The long distance calls are for emergencies and with the availability of Skype, it’s kind of a no brainer to opt for telephone calls, as in today’s business, handling cost could make or break your business. Unless you are the CEO or decision makers of the company.
In my job, email, MSN and Skype are my tools. Communication by MSN (the online messenger) for example, is an art by itself. Emotions could be evoked using your writing style and also emoticons. Who says that business has to be stiff and serious at all times? We are humans the last time I checked. We accept orders, solve technical issues, and build relationship through chatting. It's amazing how online chatting shortens the distance between two people that are separated by thousand miles and by different time zones. I could close a deal in minutes through chatting and it doesn’t cost the company that much. I’ve learned a lot about other people and their cultures through this communication channel. For me it’s one of the wonders of the world.
After MSN, Skype is the hype. Normally we use Skype for video/voice call. Oprah is using it, people, so get on with the program! However, one of the main disadvantages of Skype is its slow connection and it could prompt you offline when actually you are online. If you didn't get my response through Skype, I’m not purposely ignoring you. Email me if it’s urgent or call me via Skype.

The other good things about online communication are that we could share information almost instantly - transferring of files, conference call with more than 3 people, etc. All of these involve minimal cost and it is indeed fast.

Conventional businessmen might question the effectiveness of this method. It’s not personalized; it’s like talking to a machine. To be honest, most of the time the feeling of the recipient is obvious. As an example, whenever I received an order, I would send some smiley to indicate my happiness and I’m actually smiling at my cubicle. When my client is mad, disappointed, have an urgent matters or exasperated, I know because we actually write our feelings down.

Since we want to have more money and distance separates us, the best option is to go online. When were the last time you chatted with us?

This method is not only effective for us; you can use it too in your business with your clients. Let’s have some fun while we are making money.

Please register your MSN or Skype account today, and add me in - my MSN id is tamy@fingertec.com and Skyped ID is fingertec_tamy. For the rest of the team’s MSN and Skype, Click on Talk To Us! on the main page fingertec.com

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