When presenting information to a client, there are two main ways: you can speak to them by phone or in person, or you can put your words into writing in the form of handouts and emails. Which form is better?
Looking at this topic from a business perspective, a follow-up question should be asked: How time-sensitive does the response need to be? For example, you would not send an email reply if there is a fire on location, and similarly, you are not likely to (I hope!) have a quick 5 minute conversation about how to bring a multimillion dollar plant online.
Each form of communication has its advantages and disadvantages.
In general, you should talk to someone if the message is either time-sensitive (“There’s a fire, and I need you here NOW!”), or when multiple messages (text or email) have already been sent and it is just ‘easier’ to talk on the phone to provide final clarification. Personally, this happens after 2 to 3 messages have already been sent, and it appears that the message chain is about to become much longer.
Here at Cohort Communications, Inc., we focus on “Making order out of chaos!,” with a strong focus on your documentation needs. This emphasis implies that we have spent our careers in developing ways to assist businesses in achieving clarity in written communications.
Why is this clarity important? Let’s look at an overview of advantages of written communication:
- written messages do not have to be delivered on the spur of the moment; they can be edited and revised several times before they are sent so the content can be shaped to maximum effect.
- written communication provides a permanent record of the messages and can be saved for later study.
- written forms of communication also enable recipients to take more time in reviewing the message and providing appropriate feedback.
- written forms of communication are often considered more appropriate for complex business messages that include important facts and figures.
- good writing skills often lead to increased client satisfaction; improved inter-organizational efficiency; and enhanced image in the community and in industry.
If you are reading this post, then it is likely you are already aware of the need to communicate clearly, and are either in the process of finding ways to improve your clarity, or are looking for someone to assist you in improving your communication needs.
Picture these scenarios:
- A potential client wants you to explain why your service or product is better than a competitor’s. As you talk to them, they become increasingly interested, but your handout is a mess, you’re your website is no better, with spelling errors and poor formatting. Does this provide a good impression to the client, and help you close the sale?
- You spend a great deal of money on R&D to create a tool, product, or service that provides savings in time, money, and increases client output. The problem is that clients don’t know how to use it effectively because the user manual is incomprehensible. To improve sales and client satisfaction, what is one easy way to fix this problem?
- Every business fears getting audited. Businesses use accountants and bookkeepers to keep their numbers in order. Who do you use to help keep your business processes clear so that audits become relatively painless? To ensure that your messages and concepts are being received clearly? To ensure that new hires are trained efficiently and have access to institutional knowledge?
In addition to assisting clients, written communications play a central role in maintaining smooth operations in your business. Clear reports on business activities, messages to shareholders, and communications to employees all ensure that no time is wasted in the restatement of tasks and activities. All of which works to improve your bottom line.
For more information about how to improve your written communications, or for assistance in creating clarity in the documentation for your organization, contact us today at [email protected] for a free, no-obligation quote.