Deciding between call or email as the mode of communication when reaching out to your customers can be easier said than done. Sometimes, the right method of contact is obvious, such as when you know your customer prefers talking on the phone. Other times, you’ll need to ask yourself some crucial questions to make the correct decision.
The Pros and Cons of Email
Email represents one of the most convenient ways to get in touch with your customers in today’s fast-paced digital world. You don’t need to worry about someone being available to take a call, and you can often say quite a lot in an email without having to waste too much time.
However, in some cases, emails can come across as cold and impersonal, and they’re much easier to ignore than a person speaking to you on the phone.
You can easily craft a message once and send it to multiple people
Respondents can read the email at any time and get back to you when they choose
Getting simple messages across quickly is easy
You’ll be able to reach people who prefer to avoid phone calls
You can back up your claims with links and resources
People can easily ignore an email or send it to spam
Emailing back and forth can be time-consuming for a complex conversation
Emails lack human appeal, tone of voice, and personality
The Pros and Cons of Calling
When choosing between a call or email most people see calling as the more traditional option. We’re used to making cold calls in the sales world, and connecting with people over the phone to discuss their needs. With a call, you can show more of your human side, and connect with your customers on a deeper, more emotional level.
However, there’s no guarantee that everyone you call is going to have time to talk to you. There are also a lot of consumers, particularly among younger generations, who prefer to ignore calls completely.
You have an emotional impact with the right tone of voice and personality
The experience feels more personalized, so you can build a relationship
You can explain difficult concepts a little more clearly
Back-and-forth conversations give you answers to crucial questions
You’re less likely to be ignored on a phone than you are with an email
You may struggle to find a time when your contact is available
Calling requires more effort than sending an email in most cases
Some people are opposed to phone calls, or don’t have time for them
How to Decide When to Email or Call
It’s often difficult to tell at a glance whether a conversation requires a call or an email, but there are a few factors you can consider to help you make the right choice, such as:
Tone: Tone can be difficult to convey in an email. If you need to talk about something emotional, or connect with customers on a deeper level, calling is a better choice.
Familiarity: Some people won’t pick up the phone if they see a number they don’t know. You might have an easier time reaching new contacts with email.
Topic: If you’re apologizing for something, or doing something important, like closing a deal, a call is often a better choice. Alternatively, emails are better for simple conversations.
Complexity: If the topic is complex and requires a lot of questions and back-and-forth, then a call will take less time than an email chain.
Number of people: Email is an excellent tool for mass communication, whereas calls with a lot of people involved can be difficult to navigate.
Time sensitivity: If you need to get an answer to something quickly, you’re more likely to get that with a call than an email. It’s easier to forget about an email entirely.
Relationship building: Do you need to build a relationship with this contact? If so, you might struggle to make an emotional connection through email.
Speed: If you need to send a lot of messages at once to a large number of prospects, email is likely to be a lot faster than contacting each person by phone.
Deciding When to Call or Email
While every situation is different, there are circumstances when calls make more sense than emails and vice versa. Emails are generally a good idea for communication with a large number of people, or when the topic you need to cover is straightforward.
If you anticipate a lot of questions from your contact, you need to build a sense of rapport, or you’re discussing something complicated, then a call is generally a better choice. Calls can give conversations a more personal touch.