If you have been a friend or follower for any number of years, you’ll know that email is the bane of my existence. As someone who receives several hundred bits of email a day, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Moreover, if I don’t respond to a note or inquiry immediately, there’s a chance it’ll slip down the pile and fall through the cracks. Really, I dislike impersonal email and am learning to appreciate the phone more and more.
I know so many people who don’t want to have to deal with the phone or talking to people in person because phone calls can be such a time suck. However, for me phone calls get the job done. They don’t sit in my inbox. They’re not looming in the background. They don’t require a whole lot of back and forth. In most cases, one call gets the job done.
I also know many people who’d rather email than talk on the phone because then they don’t have to “deal” with people. They don’t have to soothe hurt feelings or make small talk. They send a note and wait for another note to come back. Except I think sometimes it’s simply good business to “deal” with people rather than leave it all to email.
Let’s explore the benefits of using the phone over email.
Tones and Inferences
Folks don’t always catch on to an implied tone. Sometimes they think we’re being nasty, sarcastic or making light of their situation when this isn’t the case at all. When you can hear someone’s voice, the tone is no longer implied – it’s there. There’s no mistake. The party on the other end can tell when you’re serious, when you’re a little upset and when you’re joking. This can make all the difference in the world when conducting business.
One Phone Call v. Several Emails
There’s a lot of back and forth with email. Questions lead to more questions and those questions need answers. One single question can spawn a dozen emails.This is silliness. One short phone call can get all the questions out of the way without the back and forth eliminating confusion. Email is a time saver and the people who you do business with will appreciate the more personal approach.
Immediate Response v. Waiting
When talk with someone on the phone you’ll get an immediate response. When you email someone you have to wait for a response. When you have to email often to get all your questions answered, it can take days until you receive enough answers to get down to business.
Email is a convenience, for sure. However, sometimes conveniences are more inconvenient. I’m not quite sure why no one likes to pick up the phone anymore, but somewhere over the past decade or so we somehow lost our ability to use our voices to the ease of email. The personal touch means something. The people you do business with will appreciate your picking up the phone to get the job done over the frustration over a lot of back and forth.
What’s your preference…and why?