According to technology market research company The Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, email is the primary form of communication within the business world. In 2013 there were 929m business email accounts with this number expected to grow to 1.1bn by 2017. I guess it depends on the nature of the business concerned, because in a recent (albeit smaller scale) survey carried out by Stuart Winstone, Business Partnership Director at SilverDoor, 44 out of 45 of our property partners, who were picked at random, actually preferred the personal touch of phone calls and meetings.
Email has many advantages for the sender– it’s fast, it’s free and you can send the same message to multiple recipients to pretty much anywhere in the world. For the receiver it can have several downsides: serial mailers are people who don’t know when to use CC and when to use BCC in a group email or get irritated when they find an inbox full of “URGENT – PLEASE READ” emails. Chris Gee, SilverDoor’s Commercial Director says: “The majority of staff here are under the age of 30 and happily embrace all forms of modern communication, but as tempting as it may be to send an email they also know when it’s appropriate to pick up the phone”.
Conversation, on the other hand, whether face-to-face, over the phone or even via Skype, conveys subtleties in speech (enthusiasm, irony, and doubt for example) that no amount of ’emoticons’ can ever express. It builds rapport which in turn builds solid business relationships and it can illicit an immediate response. In a busy working day this can save precious minutes. So if you ever think there’s a possibility that information may get lost in translation or you’re not fully expressing what you’re trying to say, why not pick up the phone and deliver your message personally? If you have a different outlook on communications then let us know in the comments section below.
|Lise Marie, Partner Content Advisor|