Our business is based around the internet –
If somebody contacts us via our email enquiry function, we respond back with a response and a quote, should they approve, terms are outlined, we do the work, client pays, everybody’s happy!
This has become commonplace with our business now. It seems to be the preferred method of our clients and only occasionally we need conduct business over the phone or meet our clients in person. If it is a necessity we will meet the customer face to face to outline the needs and requirements; with most jobs it is now more common not to meet the client. In fact, communicating via email only is becoming more common for most businesses, as not only is there no room for misinterpretation when it’s written down there is also a traceable paper trail. As elements of some projects are visual, ie, poster design, business stationery design and web design, sending an email of a screenshot is the best way to gather feedback. So, in fact, email makes the process easier, as again, there is no room for misinterpretation. You try describing your design to a customer over the telephone – not an easy feat!
Time is Money
The other advantage of email is the obvious one – it’s cheaper and quick. Telephone conversations may be non-productive, answering the phone may be inconvenient for either party at any one time. We sometimes find that when we are at events or meetings, we can’t talk, and when we do, it sometimes sounds like an ‘unprofessional environment’.
Quite often, some people may think it’s too laborious to write out a simple email, and easier to make a call……but then you’re stuck on the phone for hour’s whittering away and putting the world to rights for a call that should take 5 minutes or written in an email and take 10 minutes. We’re on our computers all day long, as soon as Outlook pops up with an email, we address it immediately, especially if it’s an enquiry……well – you got to, aint ya?
If you’re talking on the phone and trying to make notes, sometimes these don’t translate properly, at least if you’re sat in front of your computer, writing out an email with your feedback, you can ensure you have everything covered. You may forget on the phone, and then a task can take twice as long.
What Does an Email Say?
You may be thinking, can you gauge someone by communicating by email alone?
We think so; the initial communications will be formal and professional, the more we communicate, the more we loosen up and become more informal, so yes, you can gauge someone. As humans we have a good way of understanding someone’s personality from test, although this is not always true, so I would advice caution here. By becoming too relaxed to soon can give the client the wrong idea and you will always need to uphold a professional image, you are a business after all.
With our graphic based projects, after the first initial meeting we will follow a work flow which involves purely email and online communication. We utilise tools such as Mockflow, Skype, Lucid Chart and email, each serving a different purpose in projects. If these tools are implemented correctly the need for phone communication is instantly minimised and you have the makings of a strong project plan. Not all clients will like working this way so we are quite flexible and we will always use the phone where necessary, what we are saying though is yes we believe email business can be successful and is becoming the preferred method of our clients!