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Poll: Do you use emoticons when communicating with clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:01
SITE STAFF
Mar 30, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use emoticons when communicating with clients?".

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:01
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Just a smiley Mar 30, 2013

once in a whileicon_smile.gif

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:01
English to German
+ ...
As soon as a successful relationship has been established Mar 30, 2013

A smiley next to my name when signing an email will become an established visual brand element next to my name. It replaces the smile in my voice.
If that particular smiley is missing - beware! Seriously. This usually happens only (and rarely) when I have to send reminders regarding invoices or if a client turns out to be overly high maintenance due to an abundance of silly questions or too many time consuming emails.


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:01
Member
German to English
+ ...
Them first Mar 30, 2013

I'll use a smiley if they have used one with me first.

 

Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
With a few long-term clients Mar 30, 2013

I might drop one in occasionally, but only once we've been able to establish a certain level of understanding and humour.

There are a couple of people with whom I often have brief but humorous exchanges. It's not unknown for me to reply to an email simply with a wry electronic smile.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I should hope not! Mar 30, 2013

I think they're very unprofessional.

I installed a set of them many years ago when I had my first computer. They caused the computer to freeze up, so I deleted them and that was the end of it. They don't hold any appeal for me.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:01
English to German
+ ...
Not really, Muriel. Mar 30, 2013

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I think they're very unprofessional.

I installed a set of them many years ago when I had my first computer. They caused the computer to freeze up, so I deleted them and that was the end of it. They don't hold any appeal for me.


As long as you restrict them to the two basic ":-)" and the rare ":-(" thingies. They were established for a reason decades ago. For grownups. Anything beyond is plain silly and childish.


 

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Why a translator might want to consider not using smileys Mar 30, 2013

Small children are asked to paint pictures to express their emotions because they haven't developed the required communication skills yet. If you choose the right words the emotions you want to express will come through in a message, and our job is to choose the right words, right?

 

Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:01
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Right Mar 30, 2013

Simon Bruni wrote:

Small children are asked to paint pictures to express their emotions because they haven't developed the required communication skills yet. If you choose the right words the emotions you want to express will come through in a message, and our job is to choose the right words, right?


My "no never" is based on something along these lines.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:01
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Only with certain clients Mar 30, 2013

Wordeffect wrote:

I might drop one in occasionally, but only once we've been able to establish a certain level of understanding and humour.

There are a couple of people with whom I often have brief but humorous exchanges. It's not unknown for me to reply to an email simply with a wry electronic smile.



Although I leave a "smile" with my KudoZ replies simply to give someone a smile, I usually don't use emoticons in my professional email unless it is with a good client whom I've been working with for a long time and with whom I have already spoken, either on the phone or via Skype. The usual business procedure is to express any emotions, only where appropriate, "verbally", that is in writing. After all, words are my business.icon_smile.gif

Happy Easter!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never Mar 30, 2013

I do not use emoticons and I prefer spelling everything out rather than using “AEAP”, “ASAP” and the like. Me too I think they are childish and unprofessional, but in truth I might have ended up doing the same on one or two occasions if my correspondent used one in the first place.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:01
English to German
+ ...
Ha! Don't get me started. Mar 30, 2013

Teresa Borges wrote:

I do not use emoticons and I prefer spelling everything out rather than using “AEAP”, “ASAP” and the like. Me too I think they are childish and unprofessional, but in truth I might have ended up doing the same on one or two occasions if my correspondent used one in the first place.


Never, ever. I also got really upset when a brand-new (very young and hip???) PM at my oldest and most established agency client started her emails with "SOW" in the subject line. You call me a WHAT??!?!? Turns out that the new and super-eager PM apparently just tried to save several nanoseconds of valuable company time by replacing "Statement of Work" with animal names. Cool... No further comment. But I digress...


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A good answer would be... Mar 30, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

I do not use emoticons and I prefer spelling everything out rather than using “AEAP”, “ASAP” and the like. Me too I think they are childish and unprofessional, but in truth I might have ended up doing the same on one or two occasions if my correspondent used one in the first place.


Never, ever. I also got really upset when a brand-new (very young and hip???) PM at my oldest and most established agency client started her emails with "SOW" in the subject line. You call me a WHAT??!?!? Turns out that the new and super-eager PM apparently just tried to save several nanoseconds of valuable company time by replacing "Statement of Work" with animal names. Cool... No further comment. But I digress...


... DRA (Don't Recognise Acronyms)!


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:01
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
only with certain Mar 30, 2013

I have one or two clients who actually used the smilies FIRST. one in the UK, who is very pleasant and a great client.
When for instance I tell her I received a wire payment and say thanks, or wish her happy holidays etc. It's usually on that type of occasion. In all cases, they used the smily or emoticon first, since I wouldn't think of doing that! I was never sure if it was appropriate. But if they do it, then it's ok!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Why they can still be a good idea Mar 30, 2013

Simon Bruni wrote:
Small children are asked to paint pictures to express their emotions because they haven't developed the required communication skills yet. If you choose the right words the emotions you want to express will come through in a message, and our job is to choose the right words, right?

But if your client is not also a master of the language that's being used for communication? I deal a lot with clients in, for example, Poland. We communicate in English as I don't have a word of Polish, but they are by no means able to pick up every nuance of the English language. I always write very simple sentences, but smileys can help convey the correct message. I agree though that icon_eek.gif,icon_biggrin.gif,icon_mad.gif,icon_razz.gif etc. have no place in client communication.


 
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