Emails vs. phone calls. Is either a more efficient way to do business?

Being social animals, humans love to keep in contact with each other especially when it comes down to doing business. But we’ve come a long way since hieroglyphics and now you can get a message to someone a lot faster than a carrier pigeon, so we’ve decided to take a look at the two most popular way to do business over long distances - phone calls and emails. Both have pros and cons we will look at later on in the article but first let’s take a look when they were both invented.

The first phone call was made on March the 10th, 1876 and the first email to ever be sent was 95 years later in 1971. Both are incredibly efficient ways of getting information over to people who are not in the next room and you will probably have your preference as to which you prefer but what are they useful for?

THE DREADED PHONE CALL

They always come at inconvenient times, if you can’t understand them then that’s just tough luck and they demand immediate responses, regardless of if you know the information completely or not. So they suck, right? Not necessarily. Phone calls allow you to create that customer relationship so people are aware there is a person who is working on their enquiry, not just a robot. Who knows, you might even pick up on something they say and be able to provide them with a product or service that is more appropriate or efficient than what they originally wanted, too! Phone calls allow you to pick up on responses and develop a relationship with a person, rather than just a service. Also, if you have something that needs a speedy response it’s easier to pick up the phone and give them a call. However, have you ever got off a call with someone with absolutely no recollection of what they just said?

THE BLASTED EMAIL

This is where emails come in. But have you ever started your Monday morning with a 30 minute session of just reading all the emails you have missed over the weekend? If not, did you check them over the weekend? A survey carried out in the US showed that 81% of people checked their emails outside of work hours. However, emails are still incredibly useful. They allow you to respond to people with all the necessary information that they require, in a time that suits you and you can review everything that was said later on to make sure that you haven’t missed anything that they require. Plus, even if they do appear out of the blue, you don’t have to answer them immediately.

A survey carried out in the US showed that 81% of people checked their emails outside of work hours.

So they both have pros and cons and it could just come down to personal preference. Some people prefer a chat on the phone, some prefer an email they can reply to when they’re ready. But what about combining the two? If, for example, you’re designing a shop layout for someone give them a call. That way you can both put your ideas out there and then you can agree upon what works best. Once you’ve both decided on an idea, pop down the chat you just had into an email to confirm everything before you go ahead and spend the next two days designing the layout to find out they actually wanted the tills in the top left corner, not bottom right. Combining efficiency with a touch of personality not only builds stronger relationships, it also means you aren’t that annoying person who bombards inboxes or spam calls every time you receive an email.