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Poll: Do you use an instant messaging tool to chat with clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:48
SITE STAFF
Feb 26, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use an instant messaging tool to chat with clients?".

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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:48
Member (2013)
English to Russian
Yep Feb 26, 2015

In fact, several PMs I work with prefer Skype over email — and so do I!

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:48
Member
German to English
+ ...
Occasionally Feb 26, 2015

Occasionally I will have a Skype conversation with a customer, but realistically it's not really much quicker than e-mail. I also find the 'xxx is typing' annoying, as I feel I need to sit and wait for what they are writing, and sometimes it takes a while and is distracting. Even worse is when they spend ages typing, then you can see them cross it all out and give up! So I tend to stick with e-mail as it means I can send it off and carry on with what I was doing until the next message comes in.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:48
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Feb 26, 2015

I want everything in writing - I keep my e-mails until I'm paid to make sure that all communication is clear.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Feb 26, 2015

E-mail

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No ... Feb 26, 2015

Not routinely, I don't really like to be randomly disturbed, it messes with my chi.

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:48
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
Twitter special Feb 26, 2015

I think anything is fine where you can save a piece of paper of a phone bill.
As I serve for Twitter, currently we develop an app to accept ASAP orders via Tweet from regular customers. Less words, just a language pairs, delivery deadline and some vital information in 140 characters.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 21:48
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Feb 26, 2015

I don't chat with clients. They send me serious jobs and I send back serious translations. That's all there is to it.

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Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:48
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Occasionally Feb 26, 2015

Some agencies I work with sometimes send a message to me to check my availability, but normally I prefer to use e-mail.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Feb 26, 2015

It's always an option, a possibility - but for now I only use skype to chat with friends, family and colleagues.

I have one client that I would like to be able to consult more quickly and more frequently about queries arising from extreme lack of context in some of their texts (software strings, mainly), for example "what does this abbreviation here stand for"... but for now it seems to be out of the question.


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Corinne Jeannet  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:48
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
Skype but only for urgent requests Feb 26, 2015

Some clients send me a Skype message if they have an urgent request and need an instant reply about my availability (or they give me a call).
But only a few of them and there is always an email afterwards to confirm the details anyway.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:48
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
My advice - Leave a paper trail Feb 26, 2015

Anything oral is so open to misinterpretation. Get it in writing.

I've had calls before on Skype and line quality has been faint to the point of hardly understanding what the other party is saying. If people call me on Skype for business reasons, the first thing I ask them to do is to e-mail me, especially, if they want to discuss availability and other details.
It's dangerous to base a decision on barely audible dialogue. You don't want one of those 'he said, he said' situations down the line.

And I hate those 'Hi, Julian. This is James from [blah blah blah]. We have a 10,000 source character document. Can you do it by tomorrow?' from a PM fresh out of god knows where who I've never heard of from a company I did work for a couple of years ago at 8 pm Japan time. Just thought I'd throw in a pet peeve for entertainment value.

So, I answered 'No'


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No Feb 26, 2015

I reserve it for my children, all three of us living in different countries so not really wanting to pick up the phone. None of us would welcome Skype calls during the day but a "can we skype this evening about 8 GMT?" instant message is just enough and not too distracting.

I would welcome messages from clients if they would restrict themselves to "are you available?" ones AND would be prepared to wait for a quarter of an hour or so for the reply. But once they have your address they expect instant attention for every query, and I'm not prepared to break my concentration for things that could wait.


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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:48
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
Instant response Feb 26, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
once they have your address they expect instant attention for every query, and I'm not prepared to break my concentration for things that could wait.


Flexibility, yes; multi-tasking, yes, when appropriate; instant response, no. As Sheila says, in the end you're doing all your clients a disservice if you routinely break from the translation you're concentrating on at the first ring (buzz, twinkle, whinge) of Skype.


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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:48
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Concentration Feb 26, 2015

This business of not being able to concentrate on a project and respond to messages at the same time is interesting. I certainly can't do it!

Perhaps as translators we take extra care over these supposedly spontaneous messages, carefully considering each phrase etc.

There seems to be a suggestion that younger people will "develop multi-tasking" to a greater extent, but I have my doubts!


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