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80 % of pros prefer e-mail over phone

What do you use?

     
11:55 pm on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A survey [domino.metagroup.com] taken by a research group claims 80% of business people prefer email over phone. Top three reasons given were:
- E-mail facilitates communication with multiple parties
- E-mail enables more rapid communication
- E-mail generates a written record of the interaction

Personally I can relate to that, as I tend to rely solely on email.
So what do you prefer when doing business: phone, email, fax?

11:57 pm on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I prefer e-mail with people I don't care much to deal with, or don't have the time to deal with it. However when I want something, I want something I prefer the phone because of the immediate interaction. :D
11:58 pm on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Email by a mile.

It gives me time to think about my answer rather than having to respond right away when asked on the phone. It is also nice to have a written account for future use.

Another great feature is the fact that I can cut and paste answers to commonly answered questions. It would be kind of ackward to hold the phone up to a tape recorder to answer frequently asked questions.

12:25 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Email, not only for business but for Life!

I only use the phone when interactivity is really (genuinely) needed. That is not very often.

1:12 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Email as much as possible.

I'm become highly allergic to phone calls over the years.

2:16 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My cards don't even list a phone. If you can't do email, you don't need to be "talking" to me.
3:29 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For day-to-day, run-of-the-mill type stuff you can't beat it. Started using it <mumbles> years ago and missed it for the years until it became popularly available.

Now for wooing new business I still prefer the telephone. But as an old and *almost* reformed stutterer, initial back-and-forth by email lets me build up the familiarity I need before being comfortable on the phone.

And I agree with DrCool 100% about "gives me time to think about my answer." I just feel more comfortable with a phone conversation or - Heaven forfend! -- meeting for coffee to finalize things after hashing out all the preliminary stuff by email.

11:14 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wow, that's a 100% agreement so far...wonder if I should take off phone contact completely.

What I'm not sure about is the aspect of having something for record with emails - how legally binding is that? We all know there are possibilities to fake emails.

11:17 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Totally email - time management is my number one reason.

Anyone have a client who emails, but then phones you anyway. Just to let you know. On every email. That's where voice mail and caller ID are very nice tools as well.

11:41 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We find our fax and phone enquiries are closed 1,000% better than email enquiries. That's right. 10 times more fax/phone enquiries are closed than email enquiries. Fax or phone takes more effort, and they tend to be more serious.

However we are not a specifically tech company, and it depends on your industry I guess.

Certainly after you know a person, or is an existing client, email is better. (after mailwasher has done its job!)

[edited by: chiyo at 11:42 am (utc) on April 23, 2003]

11:41 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From a business stand point of view I comm with my clients
through emails
I am well known to return very swiftly mails

this is really the main problem I know a few people that are
swamped by emails and do have a hard time weeding out mails
those person do not respond in a timely manner.

12:35 pm on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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100% email. Some clients I haven't spoken to in at least a year. However, I take quite a bit of time with my emails to them.
1:13 pm on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Totally email - time management is my number one reason.

With you all the way on that thought

If I get a "cold" sales phone call, I tend to be less than polite.

I have stopped using fax altogether as most of that was junk (OK most emails are junk too, but they are much easier to control with anti-spam software than fax)

3:41 pm on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i will generaly not talk to clients on the phone. it just ends up in me getting angry at them.

email is much better.

4:41 pm on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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E-mail, e-mail and e-mail once again. Well, at least for professional matters. My g/f (we work together) has the same opinion, she even prefers to e-mail her parents rather than phone (same with me).
L&L
1:26 am on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Email, unless it's absolutely impossible. I used to run a telemarketing room (I know, I know, please don't kick me off the forum!), and I HATE talking on the phone. :)

Rachel

10:07 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Time to show the other side :)

I find that when intially creating contact with customers, the phone is GREAT. Hearing a voice on the other side comforts a lot of people.

Once contact has been made and rapport built, the conversation then moves to email in order to keep things moving and to keep records.

10:26 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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When a prospective client contacts me:

email or phone is fine... I prefer phone as it starts a rapport, and email enquiries tend to be one or two lines and rather uninformative.

When someone wants me as a client:

Don't EVER email me for an initial contact. It will be binned. I don't care how useful your service may be. If you do it particularly badly (like the accountancy company who harvested one of my site's email addys off the net and sent the same butt-ugly HTML email (all 789 kb of it) to sales, admin and enquiries at the one same site), I will phone you and tear you a new one. If you do it again after I have asked you to remove my address (like the same company who the next month sent only to one address, only 330 kb this time, but sent SEVEN copies), I will contact your ISP and have your butt roasted. *evil grin*

NEVER EVER fax me. I don't care how useful your service may be, I will hunt down your freephone number and waste YOUR money and YOUR resources by calling you to give you a lesson in marketing.

IF and ONLY IF your service is truely likely to be relevant to me (and I don't mean relevant like 'paper.. you use paper, don't you?', please phone. If I have time I will speak to you briefly. If I don't, I will ask you to send literature (on paper.. for reading over coffee). If you're really lucky I may ask you to come in and show me.

If you are an established client of mine:

Whatever you like is fine, but phone me... I like hearing your voice.

If you are an established supplier of mine:

You can phone me, but only as often as I have indicated is necessary. You can email me, but only a personal email (note: that doesn't just mean personalised with my name at the top) unless I have indicated I want to receive a particular newsletter or such. Don't fax me EVER unless it is a personal fax about a particular deal we are already working on.

10:51 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Anybody who wants to contact us for business reasons is welcome to do so by the method HE/SHE prefers.

Yes, this includes unsolicated emails - quite a few have become clients or suppliers!

We are doing business with both, clients and suppliers, and whatever way of communication they prefer, is fine with us.

And, If they show up in person on our door, we will invite them for a coffee (or whatever) and we will have time for them.

4:39 am on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I too am much more comfortable with email and use it 99% of the time, but I find it can be a trap.

There's nothing like a phone call to get to the bottom of an issue, cut through some BS, or just get what you need to get done right then.

I also used to run a techsupport organization and I watched support reps time after time allow issues to drag on for days via email. Two words usually got the issue resolved quickly: "Call them". Ok three words "...now."

10:59 am on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I prefer email over phone.

Another means of communication that has worked very well for me is Yahoo Messenger :)

As I am located in India and most of my clients are in places like UK, Canada etc. for me telephone would have been a big cost factor as well.

So whenever I need interactive sessions it is through yahoo messenger :)

Jaski

11:22 am on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Donít we forget the very basic?
All of that is indeed fine
But nothing is better that looking someone straightforward in the eyes and a solid handshake
The question is how to initiate the first meeting
If I cannot speak to a potential client
I mail (real mail :) ) and follow up
cheers
11:33 am on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I favor email for anything that includes any details of spec, price or delivery date. Even if its agreed on the phone I'l always ask to confirm it by email.

For new leads,or sales follow ups I think the phone is far better, you get the chance to make your offer and then force a response - you dont get that with email marketing.

7:03 am on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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email and instant messaging. Prefer Instant messaging over phone because of the same reasons as Jaski said.
10:48 pm on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Email is the way 90% of my interaction with the world takes place while working. Another 8% or so is Instant Messaging via either Yahoo! or MSN Messenger. The remaining 2% is unfortunately relegated to picking up the telephone; an activity a loath.

I prefer the written record of email and IM, the ability to save interactions for further review and reflection as well as the ability to form my thoughts clearly before communicating to the other person.

 

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