It may have been invented in 1876 and fallen on hard times, but the humble telephone is still a great way to communicate with your clients (despite what Snapchat might tell you).
Never email if you can call. Never call if you can meet face to face
Why you need to call your clients
Account Managers build relationships with their clients, sure. They also have to get things done.
Which is why a real conversation with your client now and then will come in real handy.
1. It’s easy
Why write a big long email to explain how something works or what went wrong or what’s going to happen next when you can explain so much more clearly with a conversation?
Phone calls are great to reduce complexity in your message.
2. It’s faster
Save yourself from the torture of replies and forwarding and an army of recipients in copy. Pick up the phone and sort whatever it is out there AND then.
3. Know, like and trust
Phone calls build relationships. You connect on a more personal level and you get to understand your client better. A phone call engages so much more than email because it’s in the moment.
A phone call is a especially useful if you anticipate a lot of questions. You can cover these all in one phone call instead of dozens of emails.
4. No misunderstandings
You don’t need to read between the lines. You can gauge your clients’ reaction more effectively on the phone. You can make sure you’re understood and talk it out if there’s any confusion.
Sometimes you learn a lot more than you bargained for. Frequently I’ve called my clients to talk about one thing and we’ve talked about something else. We’ve gone completely off piste (and off record) and we’ve talked about:
- what’s going on in their business
- who’s in the zoo
- who’s coming and going
And even some “you didn’t hear it from me” advice on some decisions that are about to be announced that will impact our relationship as a supplier.
So here's my challenge for you: pick a client, pick up the phone, and talk.
Not sure what to say?
Read 45 Revealing Questions To Ask Your Customers for a list of questions you can ask to help you understand your client and what they value.