In today’s business world, we live and work in a sea of emails, instant messages, text messages, and collaboration platforms. With this it’s easy to get caught up in the digital shuffle—sometimes you just need to go analog.
People like to work with people: try to create a personal connection whenever possible. This could mean a phone call, or even better, a video call—especially if the topic is sensitive or complex, meaning it could take multiple emails back and forth to get to a solution.
If you find yourself thinking that the message you’re about to send is going to confuse or frustrate a client (or anyone for that matter), or they’ve previously expressed confusion or frustration with emails, then it may be best to take the time to pick up the phone and call. It could save you time and show the client you’re conscious of their time.
The next time you’re about to send that super long email, try shooting a quick note first asking the client to chat. Let them know you’re about to send them a long message and you wanted to discuss in advance to avoid any potential confusion.
Start off by saying something like “Rather than going back and forth on email, I figured we could have a quick conversation to keep things moving”. Once you have had your conversation, then send a summary follow up email confirming the conversation and sharing next steps.
We’ve all been on those never-ending internal email threads: you know, those emails that could be solved much more quickly if we just chatted face-to-face. Rather than letting those email threads drag on, take a moment to get out of your seat (yep, stand up) and walk over to your colleague’s desk to discuss in person. If your coworker is remote, shoot them a quick note to talk on the phone or a video chat.
If you have the opportunity, try to save everyone an extra series of emails (and time) by taking conversations to the phone, video chat, or even in person whenever possible, then use email to recap and document next steps.