The question of phone vs. e-mail will always come down to the relationship between the sender and receiver. For instance, most of my clients return my phone calls with e-mails. I infer from their choice that I should reply in kind. Some clients have not spoken on the phone with me in years. Our only means of communication, except for face to face, is by e-mail. My attitude about this situation is simple: They’re the boss, so they dictate the rules of engagement.
Here are three points I keep in mind when selecting the means of communication:
- Respond to my audience in the mode they initiated.
- Initiate by e-mail when I need a record.
- Initiate by phone when dealing with a complex or urgent issue that could be resolved quicker by phone.
Thanks, Mr. Mello, for having the wisdom and confidence to ask a question that occurs at work to most people without their resolving it. I welcome all questions on writing at WORDS ON THE LINE.