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Business Tech Etiquette: Should I Call or Email?
March 28th, 2016

Business Tech Etiquette: Should I Call or Email?

Bill Gaskill

In this age of technology, email is a very popular and widely-used medium of communication in our daily business lives. An email provides both parties with a written reference to the conversation. The...

In this age of technology, email is a very popular and widely-used medium of communication in our daily business lives. An email provides both parties with a written reference to the conversation. There are, however, certain occasions where contact by telephone is a better means of conducting business between the parties involved. How do you know when to call or email?

Understanding when and under what circumstances you need to call instead of using email will help you grow your business and cement your relationships with your clients and partners. You need to understand advantages and disadvantages of using either medium.

Developing associations and individual relationships

The sound of a person’s voice can usually reveal the true feelings behind his or her words. In developing business relationships, genuineness can make or break a deal. The instant feedback obtained provides both parties with a sense of rapport and a better understanding of how to communicate with one another.

A phone call can also avoid any potential misunderstanding that an email may create. You can ask questions or get quick clarification when you use the phone.

Poor grammar, punctuation, or misused words in a written message could convey the wrong message and a possible loss of business. Many times some of these errors can be overlooked or go unnoticed during a phone call.

Timeliness

Depending on the degree of urgency, a phone call will typically result in a quicker response. A ringing phone often gets more attention than an email, especially when you call a person’s mobile number.

If the issue is not urgent, a written email may work better. For some people, a written message allows him or her to have something to refer to later. It can help remind you of the issue and the next steps to take.

However, it is important to remember that emails can have a tendency to get buried in a person’s inbox, especially for those who receive a substantial volume of email on a daily basis.

The type of response needed

Give consideration to whether or not a verbal response is acceptable or if a written response is required. If a written reply is required, then an email may be better.

An excellent way to avoid confusion is to use both mediums. Consider placing a phone call followed up by an email requesting a written response. This way, the phone call provides a “heads-up” that an email requiring action will follow.

Welcoming new customers and following-up with current ones

Letting your customers know you appreciate their business by contacting them occasionally by phone call adds a much more personal touch than an email.

Customers like to know there is a real person with whom they are transacting business. It also helps create a personal bond between you and the client.

This sort of personal interaction and bonding often leads to referrals by the customer.

Final thoughts

Phone calls and emails both have their place in business communications. The decision as to which to use lies in the degree of urgency of the message, as well as the level of personalization you want to impart to the message. Usually, you need to do both.


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