Phone vs. email what the customer wants

If you've ever dreaded an impending phone call or been secretly relieved P.S. -- Want to share this article with a friend, colleague, or client?.
Table of contents



While you can usually make these decisions in a snap, sometimes you find yourself reading over that e-mail seventeen times. Recounting a few quick details before reaching out to your customer could make future decisions a bit easier. At this point in your life you probably know which option makes you more nervous.

Since everyone appreciates a straight forward answer with some sophistication, go with the option that makes you feel calm, cool, and collected. If you start writing and find yourself going in circles, clear your head and try again. If you really find that what you have to say is just too complicated to explain in writing, then make sure you at least jot down some notes before calling.

If you need a quick answer, the phone is your best friend. In reality though, people probably ignore requests over the phone just as often as with e-mail.

Formal vs. Informal

Guaranteeing that what you ask for actually gets done or that someone will write you back is less a function of what medium you use and more about how you say it. In general, e-mail is a better choice when you want to keep a digital record of your communication, keep track of sticky details, follow up, or give a quick status update. They will be more likely to read the emails you send them since they asked to receive them , and will be less likely to unsubscribe, or mark your emails as spam.

And surely most people who are interested in your company will check that box, as the effort taken to tick a box to receive further correspondence will be negligible, right? More on that a bit later…. If you are going to choose the opt-in method, then make sure you give people a compelling reason to opt in.

How to Sell A Product - Sell Anything to Anyone with The 4 P's Method

Most people receive far more emails than they would like to on a daily basis — why should they receive even more? Will they receive a barrage of irrelevant and uninteresting internal updates about your company? Or will you let them have exclusive offers and discounts for your product or service?

The opt-out method means that the default setting is for visitors to be subscribed to your mailing list — they have to uncheck a box that has been pre-ticked, or check a box that says they do not want to receive any further correspondence from you. The above are two approaches that amount to the same — visitors have to act in order not to receive further correspondence. The bottom example is the absolute limit of opt-out acceptability — do not, under any circumstances, confuse your visitors into subscribing with a confusing mix of double negatives reminiscent of Pinocchio in Shrek trying desperately not to lie.

The opt-out option is widely considered to be the best way to grow a database quickly, but this will not be your only aim — ultimately, it is your bottom line that you want to grow.

Mobile vs. Desktop Search: The Battle for Consumer Attention

First, a slight tangent, but one that is relevant and interesting. Dan Ariely , and professor of psychology and behavioural economics, has discussed an interesting phenomenon around the percentages of people in European Countries who are willing to donate their organs after they pass away.

The anatomy of a customer service email

As you can see, the countries on the left including good old Blighty have significantly lower percentages of people that consent to donate their organs. Why such a gulf?

Marketing Research Chart: How do customers want to communicate? | MarketingSherpa

Their donation rates are drastically different; their cultures not, so why the difference? It turns out that the reason is deceptively simple — the design of the form told you it was relevant! In countries where the form is set as opt-in, where you have to choose to become an organ donor, people do not check the box and therefore do not become a part of the donor programme. In countries where the default is opt-out, people also do not check the box but do become a part of the program.

1. Focus on the journey, not the click

The point of this is to highlight even for important and emotive decisions, people tend to go for the default option. This behaviour is pervasive across a range of situations have you ever been brought the wrong food at a restaurant, only to find yourself eating it anyway rather than ask for the waiter to take it back and get you your correct order? But surely more important than these numbers are the percentages of people that open the continued correspondence. Here, email opt-in differs from organ donation because continued interactions are required; with organ donation, once the worst has happened , you are not required to do anything further obviously and your organs are donated.

With customers, dialogue and relationship building are key.