Collection Skills Training Magazine Section



heads call tails email

Emailing/Texting vs. Making a phone call: which is better? I often get asked this question in our seminars and corporate training programs. There are two sides to every coin. Both ‘sending emails’ and ‘making calls’ have their pros and cons.  I believe that the question to ask isn’t ‘Which method is better?’ but ‘Which method is better suited for the situation at hand?’  

Nowadays, making phone calls seems to be a fading feat as emails and text messaging are being perceived as the modern, swift and optimal form of business communication.  The preference does bear some validity, as emails provide an easy entry in to someone’s inbox without having to worry about the time, time-zones, long-distance or the convenience (or inconvenience) of speaking to that person.  For that matter, there is no need to even get to know the person you communicate with. You can also send the same email message to multiple recipients in one go. If it’s a volume issue, you can reach scores of recipients within a very short period of time with email batching, marketing or campaigning. Emails are cost-effective. Emails leave a trail and may come in handy in the future to fallback on or reviewed later. They are perceived as something formal, i.e. ‘given in writing’. They can improve your workflow, as scheduling an email is easier than scheduling a call. Phone calls, on the other hand, may disrupt the workflow of the recipient.

But then, if it’s easy-come, it’s also easy-go! The recipient can easily ignore an email or simply delete it. Composing, typing, proof-reading and going back and forth with emails can take up a lot of time. It is difficult to have a dialogue using emails. They can be easily misunderstood and if that happens, more time has to be spent in clarifying your position or point of view.  It will not be easy to explain complex matters or resolve disputes via email.  With emails, there is no instant feedback.  It lacks the magic of voice, tone and emotions. No wonder this void has given birth to the new world of emojis, that nowadays go hand-in-hand with the written word. :)

Emailing is a good communication tool but it should not become a veil for the shy and timid to hide behind if picking up the phone and speaking to someone is intimidating and nerve-racking.

So while email is a faster way to reach someone, it may not be the quickest way to get a response from that person.

Here is the deal. If you anticipate a lot of questions; if you have to overcome an objection; if you need to resolve a complicated matter or dispute; if you need a quick response time; if you wish to discuss something urgent, and if you wish to build relationships, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone…Give it a human touch; otherwise, we make it easy for machine intelligence (AI) to replace our roles!

...and let's end the discussion by admitting that emails and phone calls together can help us become better communicators, improve our efficiency, and get the desired results when we judiciously select the right mode for the right occasion.

Author: Puru Grover © Credit Guru Inc |

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