Why 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?
Why some e-mail "discussions" weren't completely satisfactory until there was a face-to-face conversation between those involved.
In 2004 I started to perceive the negative effects of e-mail, while providing consulting services to a technological corporation on the quality of their customer services.
Although the employees were specialized engineers with excellent education and were highly skilled in technology, they had difficulties writing e-mails to clients that didn’t require telephone or personal "clarifications".
In some 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.
People may have a good technical education, but they have a hard time realizing 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 benefit that they could write messages whenever they had the time, and not immediately, and that they didn’t have to listen or see the client in a difficult service situation. But they knew -paradoxically- that sooner or later, they would have to confront the client.
Always keep in mind that e-mail may not be the appropriate channel to communicate with clients in some situations. Particularly, the situations that involve strong emotions, and any degree of conflict