I am an email addict.  I have never been great about writing letters or making phone calls, but I can’t remember the last day I spent without emailing a friend or relative.  If not for email, I would probably be completely out of touch with my long-distance loved ones.

Email is essential to Ruby Receptionists. We use email to communicate with our clients and coworkers all day, every day.  But at Ruby, our forte is excellent telephone communication, and we have found that sometimes making a good old fashioned telephone call is better than replying to a colleague’s email.  Here are some tips for determining when to reply to an email, and when to pick up the phone:

Is your colleague upset, or might your colleague become upset?  Call.

Touchy subjects are best addressed over the phone.  Even the most carefully-crafted message may be misconstrued without the aid of a friendly voice.  Moreover, a telephone call is a better expression of care and concern than an email, and showing a business associate you care is especially important when strong emotions are involved.

Need to explain something complicated? Call.  

When you need to convey information that’s likely to be confusing, call instead of writing.  Confusing topics usually lead to multiple questions, and by calling, those questions can be addressed quickly and easily without the back-and-forth of a long email chain.  Likewise, if you are having a difficult time explaining something in writing, it is best to call and explain it in conversation.

Need to say “no”?  Call. 

Delivering a big N-O doesn’t have to be difficult.  When saying “no” to a colleague, it is important to do so in a tactful, respectful, helpful tone, and it is much easier to convey tone in speaking than in writing.  By calling, you give yourself a great opportunity to explain the reasoning behind the “no,” and offer suggestions and alternatives.

Feel like calling instead of emailing?  Call!

Sometimes calling is faster, easier, or better than emailing.  Other times, calling just feels like the right thing to do.  Calling an associate is an excellent way to make an impression and a personal connection. Any time you feel compelled to call, go for it!