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Poll: Which instant messaging tool do you prefer to use to communicate with your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:57
SITE STAFF
Oct 18, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which instant messaging tool do you prefer to use to communicate with your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by tilakahuja. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
I don't use instant messaging Oct 18, 2013

I have Skype, which I have very occasionally used for brief messaging flurries, but don't give out my Skype address and certainly don't encourage it. I find it even more disruptive than e-mail, which seems to be instant enough for most purposes.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
I prefer not to Oct 18, 2013

I don't really use instant messaging for work purposes with clients or agencies. I do use Skype to communicate with a couple of translator colleagues to share opinions, discuss terms and exchange files etc, but as a rule I don't instant message my clients or give them my Skype details.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Dimwit Luddite question Oct 18, 2013

How does this differ from sending an email or picking up the phone???

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Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 10:57
English to Romanian
+ ...
Skype Oct 18, 2013

I use Skype for work related issues and YM with my friends.

Honestly, I prefer exchange emails with my clients (with files and conditions of the project stated clearly in one/couple of emails) because in case of misunderstanding it is a clear proof of the agreed terms. Email is considered a proof of the offer and acceptance of the offer (therefore the conclusion of an agreement) for a project.
Sometimes Skype is more at ease for fast conversations, on small details, questions on one term or other etc.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Paper trail Oct 18, 2013

Chris S wrote:

How does this differ from sending an email or picking up the phone???


@Chris
Not a lot, really.

But I do ask customers to send me a confirmation e-mail summarizing important matters mentioned over the phone so that both parties are in the know and there is no room for doubt.

Leaving a paper trail is all important. Any kind of verbal communication is more open to misinterpretation -- we are all human, we do forget things occasionally.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Skype Oct 18, 2013

It's much faster than communicating by email. It's so frustrating waiting for clients to answer emails sometimes to sort out details or confirm price and deadlines. With Skype this can all be done and dusted in a few minutes.

It's much cheaper than phoning (duh!) because it's completely FREE. No more explanation needed surely.

Skype will keep a record of your conversations with clients right from the very beginning (as long as you go to options and choose "forever" in history).

You can send files via Skype, which is quite handy if, for whatever reason, your email or your client's isn't working properly.


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:57
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Prefer not to Oct 18, 2013

I do give customers my Skype ID if they specifically request it. However, I much prefer ordinary email so that I'm not constantly being interrupted and losing my train of thought.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
E-mail only Oct 18, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:
Leaving a paper trail is all important. Any kind of verbal communication is more open to misinterpretation -- we are all human, we do forget things occasionally.


I totally agree with Julian. I want to have everything in writing. And I don't want my clients bugging me while I'm working. I only communicate with them when I start a job and when it's delivered.

Phoning and texting are big time-wasters, too. I use the phone so rarely that I often forget to look for messages.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
IM? no thanks Oct 18, 2013

I've worked with some truly great PMs over the years and I've also dealt with some who left something to be desired. The last thing I'd want to do is give the latter type the possibility of breathing down my neck at any instant. IM? No thanks!

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
If at all, then Skype Oct 18, 2013

I'd rather keep an email record of any correspondence with my clients.

However, only 2 clients have my Skype ID in case of "emergency" or for quick clarification; one of them being a member of the ProZ.com site staff.

Whenever the IM contains important information, I copy the entire conversation (in writing, of course, since I don't make business calls on Skype), and print it, including times and the date.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Different strokes for different folks Oct 18, 2013

I'm beginning to wonder whether anybody on this thread has ever used Skype. If you are busy and do not want to be contacted, you can either go offline, become invisible or set it to "do not disturb". You will not receive any notifications about incoming calls or messages if you choose the latter option.

I've used Skype for years and I have never been constantly interrupted or had PMs breathing down my neck, or had any problems with discrepancies between what was agreed on Skype and elsewhere. Perhaps I've just been lucky, or maybe I live on another work planet.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Instant messaging would be an unnecessary hassle, unless Oct 18, 2013

the whole document translation of 100 page vanished, or something like that.
I find Skype exactly the same -- a hassle and an invasion of privacy, in any circumstances other than conferences, or conference interpreting.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:57
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
SKYPE Oct 18, 2013

but I don't use IM a great deal with clients. I have a few on skype contacts but it's unusual that i use it. Usually email, but I keep SKYPE open in case someone wants to contact me.

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Maryse Sousa
Germany
Local time: 09:57
German to Portuguese
+ ...
skype Oct 18, 2013

I use skype to communicate with regular clients, but I rarely contact them. Only if I have any questions regarding the source texts.
I don't give my skype or any other contacts other than e-mail to new clients.


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Poll: Which instant messaging tool do you prefer to use to communicate with your clients?

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