Communicating with your colleagues and clients

The most successful workplaces greatly value communication–which is essentially just the transfer of information–whether it occurs through email, text, direct message, phone call, file sharing or (gasp!) face-to-face conversation. But even in a communications company, communicating isn’t always easy. As the saying goes, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

To dispel that notion, here are a few ways I communicate at work every day.

Communicating with colleagues

Email: This is best for non-urgent communication. If I use email, I don’t require – or expect – an immediate reply. I also find email is a convenient way to send small file attachments.

Direct messaging: This is great for quick or urgent conversations. With a direct message, I am hoping for a speedy response. We have used Skype, but have recently converted to Slack because of its chat channels and message search.

File sharing through internal server: Our server is set up to organize files for easy retrieval. Having an internal server also gives the team access to all the projects, which allows us to help each other when needed.

Sticky notes: Yes, this can be a handy way to get someone’s attention. A sticky note on a computer monitor is hard to miss, especially when it’s bright.

Face-to-face: Even with all of the available technology, face-to-face conversation can still be the most productive way to communicate. Luckily, our designers sit close enough to be able to talk across the room.

Communicating with clients

Email: Clients seem to prefer email as the primary form of communication because it is easy to use and readily accessible.

Phone calls: Getting a client on the phone can be hit or miss, so we often schedule calls only when other communication efforts have not been successful.

File management: We share a lot of graphics files with clients, some of which are quite large. We like to use Dropbox for ongoing projects. For clients who need to deliver one-off files to us, we have a convenient upload link on our website.

Ticket system: Our ticket system allows clients to email project requests directly into a queue that can be seen by our entire creative staff. Within the browser-based ticket system, we can communicate with clients about updates, revisions and approvals. This keeps project details from getting lost in regular email.

Video conferencing: This is a convenient alternative for clients who are farther away or even those who are local but do not wish to fight the traffic.

Face-to-face: Nothing beats shaking hands and sitting down with clients to discuss their projects. Personally, I prefer this hands-on this approach because I get to see the clients’ immediate response to our ideas.

Leave a Reply