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Phone or email…

When writing about including an email address on printed materials the other day, I mentioned that I prefer emails to phone calls.

Other than anyone’s personal preferences between writing and talking, here are some of the reasons I prefer communicating via email in my business:

  • it is much easier to ignore an incoming email than phone call. If I am concentrating on a document for a client, I don’t like interruptions and prefer to keep working so ignore incoming messages
  • I can manage my time better with emails – I choose a time to go through emails and respond as it suits me, but a phone call won’t just sit and wait for my convenience! Yes, I have an answering machine which can allow me to call back later but that doesn’t mean the other person is available when I do call back…
  • I don’t always work conventional hours – I can read your email at 3am but I doubt you want me to return a phone call at such hours!
  • an email forms a record of what is discussed. This makes it easier for me to check facts and deadlines when working on a project rather than relying on memory or finding where I scribbled notes during a phone call!
  • in an email, I have the time, when necessary, to plan what needs to be said and how to present it; on the phone, an immediate response may be regretted later
  • I can appear professional in an email no matter what is happening in the office – not always feasible over the phone in a home office with three children and renovations in the background!

That said, the phone can be quicker and easier for clarifying information or an involved discussion. And obviously my reasons don’t apply for different types of businesses.

Do you prefer email contacts over phone calls? How do you prefer to contact potential suppliers/service providers yourself?