Over the years as my business has developed I find myself leaning more and more towards email communication and less towards phone communication. Why? Because I find that written communication helps define what needs to be done and what a client’s plans are. It helps create a task list for me and I can keep referring back to it instead of wondering ‘what did they say again?’
However, some clients prefer spoken communication, rather than email. This may because they don’t feel confident in their typing or writing skills (perhaps both), or perhaps connecting via voice helps make me seem more real to them. Maybe it’s something else, whatever it is, their communication preferences may differ from mine.
So how do I cope with this difference? I email them back with a list of what I’ve been doing, referring back to our conversations. I like to make sure there’s as little room as possible for misunderstanding and that there’s a clear paper trail in our communication. There have been so many times when email has helped keep things clear and to the point, however email isn’t 100% proof in the delivery so we need to recognise that sometimes it does not arrive. I always make sure I file my ‘sent’ email into that client’s folder as a back up of what’s taken place so if I need to resend it I can, without having to search through heaps of sent emails to find the right one.
What do you do to keep the lines of communication open? What works best for you? I’d love to hear from both VAs and clients.
Sophie Burnham says
I remember when I was in my corporate life, and then temping, how important it is to have written communication, even if it is just confirming what has been said.
I also file my sent folder to my clients – that way I have a linear communication on any of the projects I am working on.
Amy Cooper says
It basically depends upon the person to whom you are in concern with. Like, now days as we are moving towards the encroachment in every field whether it be science or commerce one should need to be more and more passionate toward computer which will help him making his work easier as well as quicker. Although it’s true that spoken message works much more effectively then sending e-mails.
Amy McIntosh says
Nearly all of my communication takes place via email; however, I set aside time each week for a phone call that usually lasts about 45 minutes.
Email is the perfect way to clearly state needs and expectations. The phone call is a nice touch to keep the ‘face’ of my business real and approachable.