Many companies have a basic tool for managing their business on a day-to-day basis in email. So much so that for many companies a problem with the mail causes a greater problem than to run out of a telephone. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the number of calls goes down in many companies and the sending of messages by mail is preferred.
It is a tool that allows us to communicate or exchange information, but it is much more than a phone call. It is a database or a kind of electronic notary of conversations. We also have time to structure the information we include, reread and modify before sending the message.
Mail communication can be much more effective and clear
Email is an asynchronous means of communication. We do not need,nor wait, that the other person is connected to the mail just when we send it to receive it. Therefore a great advantage is that it is less intrusive than a call and does not interrupt, unless he wishes it, to our interlocutor. Nothing urgent should be sent by email, at least without prior reliable communication notifying of the shipment, either by telephone or other means.
The mail facilitates the exchange of documents, something that can not be done with the simple call. But also include extra information for the recipient to use if he considers appropriate, such as links to web pages or online documents. Also, if it is a long topic, it is easier to structure the information well, in a more visual way and to facilitate reading and understanding by our interlocutor.
But you also have to be careful, since when email is used as if it were instant messaging it loses much of its appeal. In this case they are quick messages and without too much information, where a conversation is maintained, but perhaps it is more complicated to follow the thread.
What strikes me is that despite the importance given to this communication tool, many companies invest as little as possible in it, to the point of continuing to use personal rather than corporate emails. This makes them more ineffective, especially in mobility or multi-device environments, something most common today.
If you know how to combine both, you will save a lot of time
Using one or the other is not exclusive. Sending an email does not imply that you can not make a call to that customer. That yes, call immediately after sending the mail to know if they have received it is frowned upon, despite being a fairly frequent practice. You can call to introduce an issue and notice that later more details are sent by mail, or when a reasonable time has passed and we have not received a response.
There are also more sensitive issues, which often do not want to leave in writing, the first contact with a client or a string of messages so long that it is necessary to contact directly to refocus the topic. Then, once you agree, you can send a summary mail to show the agreement that has been reached. Finally, for any urgent question, the call is the best contact option.