At Intrigue Media, we believe strongly in face-to-face interaction, in-person. Call us old fashioned. I know that I’m going to ruffle some feathers with this post.
While Skype is an amazing feat of technology, it’s not good enough for the level of communication we strive for with our clients and internally.
I worked for another company a couple years ago, and our client interactions were primarily through Skype. Nothing was worse than beginning a client relationship with tech-unsavvy people by forcing them to have to figure out something they didn’t even care to learn about.
Email, texting, and instant messaging are amazing innovations in communication, but it can take much more time than an in-person or phone conversation. There can be so much back and forth and ambiguity in these mediums, and this can kill productivity. And the last time I checked, productivity affects profits, which means dollars in your pocket if you are a business owner.
Not all of our clients want face time communication for everything– we have a stakeholder who wants a monthly email with bullet points about how his campaign is doing. We are happy to send him this, because this is the most important form of communication to him.
However, the second that higher communication is needed- for troubleshooting, billing, creative direction, or satisfaction surveys- we grab the phone. If it’ll take longer than 15 minutes, we book a time in-person with our clients.
Earlier this year, I heard a social media consultant speak about client communication. She said that her goal for 2013 was to not meet any of her clients in person. This killed me, and let me tell you why.
At Intrigue, we believe in a culture of open, honest communication, and a bias for action.
Being able to pick up on facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language helps us understand how our clients really feel. Meeting in person ensures that we don’t have to worry about technology breaking, power outages, internet connection speed, or wasting our clients’ (and our) time by writing pages-long email messages.
Communicating in person helps us work smarter, not harder, to be more productive. It helps both of us be more profitable.
Why? Because we care about helping you grow your business so you can do what you love. And I’m pretty sure that Skyping or emailing your marketing partner probably didn’t make your top 10 ways to increase your profitability.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree.