Email Productivity
How to be more efficient in written communications

Negative effects of e-mail
(From E-mail at the workplace)

In 1999 I began to notice that some written messages sent to clients, providers or work mates always required verbal explanations or clarifications, although the e-mail contained all the information and was well written.

At that same time I also started noticing that some e-mail "discussions" weren't completely satisfactory until there was a face-to-face conversation between those involved.

It was in 2004 when I clearly perceived the negative effects of e-mail, while providing consulting services to a technological corporation on the quality of their customer services (external and internal).

Although the employees were specialized engineers with excellent education and were highly skilled in technology, they had difficulties writing e-mails to clients that didnâ??t require telephone or personal "clarifications".

In some critical or complex cases of services provided to clients, the company's credibility and trust was satisfied only after verbal communication, and not with a written message, although clients never said so explicitly.

This happened time after time, for several months and with different types of clients, and I later confirmed this same pattern in other companies where I provided counseling services.

Even though people may have a good technical education, most have a hard time realizing and accepting that in some cases e-mail is not the best communication media to get credibility and trust. For them, it was the most comfortable medium, but it wasn't the most efficient one for their clients.

They liked the fact that they could write messages whenever they had the time, and not immediately, and that they didn't have to listen to and/or see the client in a difficult service situation, although they knew -paradoxically- that sooner or later, they would have to confront the client.

Many thought that they only needed to improve their writing skills, which was true. But this was not the main change they had to make: none of those excellent professionals thought that e-mail may not be the appropriate channel to communicate with clients in some situations.

(Fragment from E-mail at the workplace by Juan Carlos Jimenez. See it at Google Books).

Are we aware of how we use e-mail at workplace?


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Negative effects
of e-mail



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the email at the workplace

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