Poll: Do you communicate with clients using an instant messenger (Skype, MSN, etc.)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:33
SITE STAFF
Jun 7, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you communicate with clients using an instant messenger (Skype, MSN, etc.)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Blanc. View the poll results »



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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:33
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Yes, but Jun 7, 2014

this is rather exceptional.

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Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 03:33
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 7, 2014

two of my bigger clients always start the conversation on Skype; they check availability and say what sort/size of file it is but then move to e-mail for the nitty gritty. Skype is also fast when seeking clarifications...

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:33
English to Polish
No Jun 7, 2014

I used to use Skype, but found it too disturbing during work, especially if they keep asking for progress.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:33
French to English
+ ...
Me too Jun 7, 2014

Not for all clients, but for those who ask, and if I'm happy to work with those particular people that way (i.e. if I'm sure I won't be constantly hassled!), it works very well. As Yvonne says, a quick message to check availability can save a lot of time and I'm more likely to respond straightaway than if it appears in a long list of e-mails if I'm busy. Likewise I have colleagues I contact via Skype for terminology queries, or even to let off steam! You can always set your status to Away or Invisible/Do not Disturb if you don't want to be contacted.

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Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:33
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
if I must... Jun 7, 2014

I had one client checking in constantly and I found it so irritating that I almost cancelled the project. It was a super rush job that needed to be completed within 4 hours and he wasted almost an hour of that with the constant messages. And I really mean constant. How was I meant to get on with the job if I have to provide a progress report every 20 minutes??? That's just crazy! This is when and why I adopted a much harsher stance, deleted half my contacts on my Skype account, switched off notifications and decided not to work for clients who insist on Skype communications. I do still use it, but on my terms. I mean those jobs that say "must be available on Skype". Not for me.

Now I just check for messages whenever I check my email - every couple of hours.

Even so, I really prefer emails or video calls.
Skype appears quicker, but then I have to sit there and wait for a response, as I find it difficult to switch between tasks quickly. So I don't get anything else done in the meantime. A short discussion can drag out to half an hour or an hour, but it might only have taken 1 or 2 email exchanges or a 5 minute phone call.

I much rather receive an email that I can think about and respond to properly. I quite like video calls as well, especially if a more extensive discussion is necessary. I use Skype a lot for that - a lot more often than for the messaging function.

[Edited at 2014-06-07 17:07 GMT]


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:33
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Sometimes Jun 7, 2014

There should be an option for 'sometimes', as I do occasionally with certain customers, but not all the time with the majority.

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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Rarely Jun 7, 2014

Skype with only with one or two clients, for clarifications, questions, but I do not answer questions about the progress of a job or use it for general communication with them. Email for that!

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - I want everything in writing Jun 9, 2014

I don't trust verbal agreements with my clients. Usually a couple of e-mails on each side is sufficient to set up an assignment. If they happen to phone me, I ask them to confirm by e-mail.

E-mail forces people to be more succinct and precise than they would be on Skype. Communication tends to get sloppy in person-to-person exchanges and nearly always entails a few time-consuming politeness formulas - what Bronislaw Malinowski called "phatic communion."

[Edited at 2014-06-09 05:30 GMT]


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