To put it into perspective; our day and age with the development of technology allows us to communicate with our friends, colleagues, business associates and customers in a variety of different ways. From hand written letters, emailing, sms, instant chat, telephone, Skype… the list is vast! From a business perspective, these choices have not only opened many more doors than was previously possible in terms of communication and business transactions, but has also perhaps resulted in confusion over when to use what. In particular, we will be focusing on email versus the telephone. When is one better than the other? When is one more appropriate to use than the other? To help answer these questions we have broken down the benefits of each to help determine when one would be more appropriate over the other.
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Putting email and telephone communication into perspective
Looking at telephone calls, there might be the impression that with the boom of technology – phone calls have drifted into non-existence. However, looking at how popular and lucrative the mobile phone industry is we know this is not the case. It is simply that email has made telephone communication easier. Rather than picking up the phone for each and every business transaction, emailing allows for free communication at a much cheaper and faster pace. However, on the other hand this has also encouraged the tendency to reply on emails too much – from short to very lengthy emails where at times a telephone conversation would have been much more effective.
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When to consider email communication over the telephone
Email communication, as mentioned above, is cost-effective and fast. For this reason quick communication when needed, is done easily via email. Most people who communicate via email regularly are able to respond in timely fashion. For this reason, business conducted over emails can be completed quickly and efficiently. More importantly however, email communication is recorded and therefore trackable. This is particularly important when important documents, agreements, business dealings or contracts are involved. Conversations and business dealing can be easily traced back and followed up via email as all the details are automatically saved and stored.
When to consider telephone communication over email
There are instances however, when more sensitive matters arise that would be best dealt with telephonically. Email has a tendency to become a welcome solution to not wanting to carry out an awkward and difficult conversation. However, as much as this may be an easier solution for you, you are not considering the person on the other end. Email communication can come across more harsh and less empathic. Telephone calls add then necessary personal touch when difficult situations arise between business relations that need to be solved. At times, emails can become overloaded and a lengthy written email can produce quicker results with a simple phone call. When introducing yourself for the first time to a company, possible business associate or client – a phone call adds the right personal touch that an email cannot match. You are able to add tone to your voice so that your message comes across clearly as well as avoid any misunderstandings that can easily occur with email communication.
Email versus telephone communication within a business environment can become confusing. Each method has its positive and negative sides – however they work beautifully together. Email allows for quick, recorded and efficient business transactions, where as the telephone enables your personality, character and personal touch to come across. Use your initiative when deciding what the better option for a particular situation is. If in doubt – it is probably best to go for the personal touch and pick up the phone. When you are leaning towards email because you wish to avoid an awkward situation you will know the right decision is also to pick up the phone. The more you work at balancing your communication appropriately between emails and telephone calls the easier and more natural it’ll come knowing when to use what.
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