Communication: Calling vs. Emailing

by Townes Haas
2/27/2018 3:56:52 PM


Email vs. Telephone: Which to Use and When

Email, texting and collaborative messaging platforms are ubiquitous in today's business world. Sometimes, however, it's better to pick up the telephone. If you have found yourself wrapped up in digital-only communication, here is why and when you should opt for a real-time phone call.

Pros and Cons of Each

There are some obvious advantages to sending someone an email. You can send quick, simple messages, without getting caught up in small talk or lengthy conversations. You can also message multiple people at once, while allowing recipients to respond at their leisure with more thoughtful input.

On the other hand, emails also come with some disadvantages. For one, it's much easier to ignore or overlook an email, compared to a phone call. Urgency and tone of voice are also lost within emails. Emails can also consume valuable time with back-and-forth messages that could have been handled with a quick phone conversation.

Just like emails, phone calls have their pros and cons. On the positive side, they are ideal for building relationships and explaining complex ideas. Unfortunately, they also require more time, can disrupt workflow, and typically demand a quiet space.

When a Phone Call Is Better

Whether it’s through text or email, modern business people prefer to communicate without having to slow down and pick up the phone. In certain instances, however, phone calls are a much more effective communication strategy. Some good examples include:

When you anticipate many questions: Some topics are too complex for an inefficient email back-and-forth. If you believe you will need to answer questions or explain key concepts, a real-time phone conversation is best. In some cases, you can also send a pre-call email outlining the topic to help streamline a scheduled phone conversation.

When emotion is a factor: If you are dealing with anger, frustration or hurt feelings, a phone call is always the better option. You never want to apologize via email. Since people often misinterpret emotions and attitudes when reading email or text, you shouldn't use them to discuss sensitive topics. You should also avoid engaging in arguments via email or text.

When you've taken a while to respond: If you've overlooked an email, it's best to pick up the phone to apologize and address the sender's concerns. This is the best way to reestablish trust that future emails will not be treated the same way.

When it's timely: If you need an answer now, you shouldn't send an email. In an effort to stay productive, most professionals resist checking their email while they are engaged in important projects. This means your message might sit in someone's inbox for a long time, especially if you send it before lunch or near the end of the day. If you need a quick response, pick up the phone and get the information you want without waiting.

While most business people regard email as a godsend, it can hinder relationship building and - in some cases - harm productivity. While appropriate for many interactions, digital communication should never be a crutch, no matter how busy your schedule gets.

Intelligent Office offers comprehensive business solutions that help small companies achieve more. Contact us to learn more.

Related

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >