Email Vs Call – Which is better?

Email Vs Call – Which is better?

Candice Donnelly - Senior Account Manager 12th June 2019 Read time 5 minutes

It’s good to talk…BUT is it better?

I still remember, many moons ago, sitting in my first job manning the reception desk as Front of House Assistant in a busy Marketing Agency. And having, what would now seem, very 'old fashioned' day-to-day responsibilities. These included many tasks that in today's digital age may seem farcical;

How times have changed… some for the better, some for the worse. I still find it incredible how you can be sitting 10 feet away, sometimes closer, to a colleague and not speak for hours on end. However, silently still communicating via endless emails, Slack chats, social media and other project management tools. God forbid you raise your head above your laptop screen to utter a spoken word! I know many would shudder at the thought, but the spoken word in any environment is seldom heard these days, with everyone sucked into a zombie-like 'smartphone' trance.

So, if we're choosing to avoid verbal communication with our colleagues sitting in the same room, how are we managing relationships with the outside world, with our suppliers and clients alike? I would imagine the majority would answer the same: "via Email".

So, the big question – Which is best - Email or Call?

Call me old school but I am still a strong believer in the spoken word over a 'typed' one when it comes to communicating. Many problems are solved quickly and more effectively over a two-way conversation. Which, if addressed by email, could go on for hours, even days… I find it so much better to just pick up the phone to speak directly to someone. However, this isn't always the right choice and isn't more convenient for everyone.

To help us all make the right 'call' (see what I did there?), I have highlighted below my recommendations for when I think we should be writing an Email and when a phone call would be best depending on different scenarios/situations we may all come across in the future.

When an email is recommended: When a telephone call is recommended:

To help further, I have also highlighted below some advantages and disadvantages of both communication methods.

Advantages of Email:

Disadvantages of Email:

Advantages of Phone Calls:

Disadvantages of Phone Calls:

SO, which communication method is King (or Queen)?

Taking all of the above into consideration, the only answer here is NEITHER. The winning formula is BOTH. A perfect combination!

I don’t think we should be asking ourselves which is the better, easiest or preferred method of communication for us personally, but instead asking which is the BEST method based on the unique situation in hand. Meaning, inevitably, at some point in the future we will all need to venture out of our comfort zone and make that call!

One thing is certain, regardless of how it is achieved and by which method - "Communication is key".


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