It was only 7.45am and I was catching up with emails and playing with some photos I wanted to edit. The business line rang and I wondered whether I should pick it up yet or not. After all I don’t usually start work till a bit later.
I answered the phone and it was one of my clients. A cheque he’d sent over a week ago still hadn’t arrived and he was ringing to say he’d only just now seen my email from the previous night. I laughed inwardly as I listened to him and then when he stopped I told him that it was alright, I sent emails when I was thinking of things, even if late at night and that I didn’t expect him to be sitting at his computer 24/7. He laughed.
I’ve been working with this client for quite some time and we have a good working relationship. I knew that his cheque had really gotten lost in the mail and I wasn’t worried as I knew he would follow up. But that’s not the point to my story here. My point is that I was able to send him an email at a late hour, without having to wait till a ‘decent time’ to make contact with him. I guess he rang early in the morning because he knows I’m always in my office – well, much of the time anyway. But he could just as easily emailed back.
The vendor for the new home my husband and I have recently bought will often ring me the minute he sees an email from me too. We had a chat about this recently and he said he recognised that my preferred communication is email but he likes to talk. I guess for many people too, they may not have the typing skills to quickly knock out a message and they probably get frustrated by that.
I like email for a number of reasons:
- I can type up a message quickly
- I can send email any time of day or night without worrying about getting the recipient at a difficult time.
- Receiving email helps clarify/explain or list what’s required by the sender – I have instructions and I don’t have to depend on my memory or wonder if I heard correctly.
- I can respond to emails at times that suit me and not answer them as a phone needs answering, i.e. urgently because it’s making a loud noise.
- Some people forget to leave phone numbers when leaving a message and I have to wait for them to call back. With email you just hit reply.
I recognise that everyone has a different preferred method of communication but I do feel that if clients are giving details or instructions for something then email is often the best form for communication. But, for me, it’s simply a matter of convenience, at a time that suits me.