We have never before had so many fast, efficient, and ineffective ways to communicate with each other. We can text or email in a blink. We can even set up autoresponders to schedule and confirm appointments. And when they work, that is, when the information reaches the intended’s brain, their actual physical cognitive receptor, not just their digital communication tool, it is outstanding.

It is those times when the message is missed, though technically delivered and received, that you are set up for failure with a customer or client.  Which means you may have to use your pocket digital brain to function as it was initially designed – a phone.

Voice communication, person to person, is the best way to ensure that your message is received. A friend of mine, “Sam”, recently had to change an appointment with a customer from 10:00 to 10:30. Sam texted and emailed her and the client missed the message. She showed up for 10 o’clock and was beyond miffed that no one was there to receive her. Sam offered sincere apologies in text and email. My buddy then asked me what to do to make it right since there was no response to the digital outreach.

I said, “Call her and apologize.”

A look of disbelief came over Sam’s face. “What… you mean talk to her?” she stammered. Yep, sometimes you have to take the direct approach. Sam lucked out, it went to voice mail and then they communicated via the usual electronic methods of conflict avoidance.

The point is, had Sam called and either spoken to her client or left a voicemail with an instruction to confirm the appointment, all would have been well. You can’t count on text and email to do the job for you. Remember, your digital brain is also a telephone.

Use it as it was first intended to clarify, confirm, and celebrate with your customers, clients, colleagues… and of course, call your Mom. Hearing your voice every couple of weeks will keep her from worrying.