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Poll: Which method of communication do you prefer to use with clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:52
SITE STAFF
Jun 3, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which method of communication do you prefer to use with clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Jakacka. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Email Jun 3, 2013

For me, email is the fastest, easiest, cheapest and most efficient way to communicate with customers, as I will always have a record of everything I have discussed with them.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:52
Member (2006)
German to English
E-mail Jun 3, 2013

is what I do prefer, but for those customers who I have been working for for ages, it is pleasant to have a quick chat with them about projects now and then, just to keep the "human" side of things.

I do not mind instant messaging - Skype only!!- (again) with some customers that are abroad as it is quicker to deal with some matter in that way.

Oh, I must add, that I was forced to use a fax a couple of months ago, from one of the leading Software producers in the world. I have not used a fax for about 8 years now, and was more than surprised about that one...

[Edited at 2013-06-03 09:25 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
E-mail always! Jun 3, 2013

It's nearly my only method of communication. I like to have arrangements in writing, and I find that clients ramble on when they call me on the phone. It's not business-like, IMO.

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:52
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
email Jun 3, 2013

but i have occasionally used skype...although to send and receive documents it's always email, of course.

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Inge Brys  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Email / Skype Jun 3, 2013

I prefer e-mail/skype at any time: I have a written record, I can read and reply whenever it suits me!

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:52
German to English
+ ...
e-mail Jun 3, 2013

E-mail on its own is more than enough in most cases.
Skype and phone are the exception rather than the rule.
I see them primarily as a back-up for urgent communication, which is occasionally helpful!


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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:52
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Phone Jun 3, 2013

Quicker, allows you to address issues more directly.

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Texte Style
Local time: 22:52
French to English
e-mail for me too Jun 3, 2013

with skype to clear up quickie issues (like, "any news from the client about that meaningless sentence I mentioned?")

I do like to use the phone if things get hairy though. I find it easier to convey just how serious I am about my work and can tell whether or no the client has registered that my request for an explanation is legitimate. I get more of a feel for the type of work they are expecting from their way of going about business. And I definitely feel that I'm taken more seriously when I take the trouble to pick up the phone.

As to rambling, I like to ramble a bit myself, it's part of the process to determine what sort of client I'm dealing with. And as a PM rushed off my feet, I found that it was translators who enjoyed a bit of a chat. Not all of them: one only ever sent e-mails with all necessary info in the subject line for example, but there were enough to give me the distinct impression that working from home could result in desperate feelings of loneliness.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:52
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
E-mail Jun 3, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

E-mail on its own is more than enough in most cases.
Skype and phone are the exception rather than the rule.
I see them primarily as a back-up for urgent communication, which is occasionally helpful!


I see it the same way as Allision. The phone is reserved for absolute emergencies.

It's always good, for both parties, to have everything in writing.


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Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:52
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Email Jun 3, 2013

1) Because I tend to forget information that I have only heard and not read.
2) As mentioned above, it is best to have all agreements in writing.
3) It is easier to appear businesslike and on top of things in writing than on the phone with four+ boys shouting and/or howling in the background.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:52
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Leave a paper trail Jun 3, 2013

I think another poll recently touched upon this subject.

I will use the phone occasionally to talk to customers in the Tokyo area (I live in Kyoto, 2.5 hours away by Shinkansen) to follow up an e-mail I sent or just to say hello. Everybody appreciates a courtesy call now and then. Even we all do, right?

However, when it comes to confirming details, e-mail or other forms of communication that leave a paper trail are a must, just in case there was confusion or misunderstanding and things turn sour.

After all, nobody wants to go through a "he said, she said" slanging match.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I only have 2 clients who like to phone Jun 3, 2013

One client always sends me a "need to speak; when can I ring you?" email, so that works well for both of us. If I'm engrossed in something that will take even longer if I break off part-way through, she's quite happy to wait for an hour or two.

The other only rings when he has a job to offer me. It's sometimes not awfully convenient for me, but heh... he's trying to offer me work! The thing is, he knows that I don't work full-time and so I may not be in the office, whereas he's a PM for a big and busy agency and needs quick responses. It's an agency I really like working with and it's always just a quick call to exchange information plus a little of the inevitable "what's the weather like there?" chat.

In short, it's something I have no problems with at present, but I personally don't like it when the phone rings just when I'm working on phrasing a difficult marketing sentence, so I don't like the idea of disturbing my clients in the middle of whatever they're doing. I find the genteel 'ping!' of an email arriving much easier to assimilate into my work process.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:52
Hebrew to English
Telepathy Jun 3, 2013

It's just such a timesaver, and saves paper/pixels too!

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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly. Jun 3, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

E-mail on its own is more than enough in most cases.
Skype and phone are the exception rather than the rule.
I see them primarily as a back-up for urgent communication, which is occasionally helpful!


The same for me.


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