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Poll: How do you prefer your clients to contact you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:12
SITE STAFF
Oct 8, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you prefer your clients to contact you?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mary Worby

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 07:12
Italian to English
+ ...
Efficiency Oct 8, 2009

In my view, email is by far the most efficient form of communication and one of the greatest inventions perhaps since the internal combustion engine. In my view, efficiency also means being able to initiate and respond to communication at one's convenience, whereas telephone, and even instant messaging, can be intrusive. Another major factor, in my view, there is a much greater chance of misunderstanding in voice communication, then a lack of written proof. Always better to avoid misunderstandings and get it in writing.

I cannot understand why the fax has not already gone the way of the dinosaur and telegraph: extinct. Can someone explain its usefulness in a world of low-cost wordprocessing, scanning, email, and conversion tools?


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 08:12
Turkish to English
+ ...
By e-mail Oct 8, 2009

... but I am always happy to hear from them however they wish to contact me!

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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 07:12
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
I agree 100% with Latin_Hellas Oct 8, 2009

I was going to write the same thing. I couldn´t agree more!

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 07:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree also Oct 8, 2009

Yes, the point about written "proof" is important, although how binding an e-mail really is is debatable. But it is certainly a "weapon" if necessary.

And of course the comment about not being interrupted. I have never been so one hundred per cent in my choice of answer - none of the other options are even slightly acceptable for an initial communication!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Email Oct 8, 2009

I write some 30 emails every working day on an average. If I had to make 30 calls, I would be living in a mental hospital.

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xxxAguas de Mar
Latin_Hellas has said pretty much all Oct 8, 2009

I especially like the part of being able to respond at one's convenience, and not being intrusive as other means might be.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:12
Member (2006)
German to English
No preference Oct 8, 2009

but E-mail is the quickest way. Sometimes it is also nice to hear a voice as well - with regular customers

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:12
Member
German to English
+ ...
Good to know! Oct 8, 2009

I started the poll because I'm increasingly being asked by new customers for Skype details. I wondered whether this was becoming more popular as a method of communicating with customers and I should be embracing it more. The results have pretty much confirmed that e-mail is still where it's at and I can leave my Skype resolutely set to offline.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:12
Member (2006)
German to English
Skype Oct 8, 2009

Mary Worby wrote:

I started the poll because I'm increasingly being asked by new customers for Skype details. I wondered whether this was becoming more popular as a method of communicating with customers and I should be embracing it more. The results have pretty much confirmed that e-mail is still where it's at and I can leave my Skype resolutely set to offline.


I find Skype pretty much okay for urgent questions to my customers that use it - which is only about 10%


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Peggy Maeyer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:12
English to German
Telephone for intial contact, then e-mail Oct 8, 2009

Actually, I'd prefer clients to contact me via phone first if they want to make a booking; however, most of them just send an e-mail anyway, which sometimes results in a waiting time for them until I reply in case I'm not near my workstation when the e-mail hits. A simple phone call avoids these delays. Nevertheless, I do agree that e-mail and thus written communication is preferable for all other following communication relating to a specific job.
As far as Skype is concerned - I rarely use it for work purposes (yet), but I know some agencies who prefer communication through Skype - I don't really like it that much since it can get quite disturbing when I'm working on a - or even their - job. And - even though Skype is written communication (the phone option it offers would be counted as regular telephone here, I assume) - I found that it can also lead to misunderstandings, forcing the participants to explain their meaning several times because people tend to read through the postings too quickly (and miss out on some info), or because the individual postings overlap in time and are thus overlooked.
Wow, what a long comment - seems I've been mulling over this topic in my secret mind quite a bit without even knowing it!


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:12
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Email and Skype Oct 8, 2009

Emails are the normal, I would say almost protocolar way of contacting clients.

But in terms of closeness, of collaboration, of really working together, I must confess that I am a Skype-aholic!


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:12
Portuguese to English
+ ...
e-mail Oct 8, 2009

If you have e-mail and a smartphone, that's all you need. I also use Skype, but mainly for things that need to be clarified quickly and require some back-and-forth. I don't like receiving files through Skype (unless it's necessary because they are very large) because with Gmail I always have a record of everything that arrives and they're easy to find if I archive them but need them later. For me, e-mail is the best way to keep things organized.

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VoiceTex
Germany
Local time: 07:12
English to German
+ ...
e-mail Oct 8, 2009

I hit e-mail without thinking as I do prefer it for normal business communication.

Though Skype and phone also belong to my favourites - at least the chat in Skype - I think that an e-mail with a details agreed on should always be sent for confirmation.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:12
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
E-mail Oct 8, 2009

An e-mail can state formal petitions that words don't as they go with the wind...

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