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Susan DeMatei
 
August 20, 2013 | Email Marketing | Susan DeMatei

BEFORE YOU HIT SEND...

Most customer care people will suggest you communicate with customers in the manner to which you were first communicated.

This makes sense, as they initially reached out to you in a manner in which they were comfortable with.  A call warrants a call back, a tweet gets a tweet, and so on.

The possible exception to this rule is email.

Typically, we like emails.  They are less intrusive and allow you to compose your thoughts, document agreements and discussions, clearly layout details, and respond when you best have time to respond.

But, have you noticed that sometimes issues can be extended, even compounded, over email, when sometimes a simple call could diffuse the situation?

Before you hit send, here are three reasons you should consider calling instead of writing.

1. It is easier to sound like a jerk over email.

And this goes both ways.  How often have we read emails from an employee or colleague and cringed.  You know they didn’t mean it that abruptly, but no matter how many smiley faces and you add, your tone will undoubtedly come across as flat via email. And for customers, when they are safe behind their monitor, they’d say things they’d never say in person.

So pick up the phone.

When we are talking in person or on the phone, there is a tendency for people to want to find some type of common ground, because not everyone is comfortable being combative or aggressive in person.

2. It is Very Easy to be Misunderstood over Email

Along with the above, your inflection, tone and body language often go a long way towards the ultimate communication.  Saying your sorry, and writing it offer two very different sentiments.

The other issue with communications is that it can be looked at and stewed over again and again, further inflaming and already upset customers.

If you must send an email, read and re-read it from the customer’s point of view – and have someone else read it for you, too.

3. Personally Connecting is Powerful

While technology allows us to communication in every way possible, it also seems to isolate us from people as well.  In today’s world we text more than we call, and Facebook more than we meet for coffee.  There is something emotionally powerful about taking the time out of your day to pick up the phone and reach out to someone.

I’m a big proponent of using technology in wineries.  But, don’t let technological advances keep you from connecting with your customers and partners, or get in the way of true engagement or understanding in a situation.

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