So.. because I prefer YM, I’m unprofessional now?

A phone call doesn’t take a whole day. Hands up maganda ang gawa nyo. No questions about that. But communication? I doubt it. You guys have the talent. But be professional when it comes to dealing with serious people. Kahit part time lang yang ginagawa nyo. Goodluck

-Anonymous WittyMinds Client

It’s funny how this client  reacted violently when I refused to talk over the telephone. What’s wrong with YM or E-mails? Am I not in the 21st century yet? When I received that text message, I don’t know how I should feel. Should I feel bad? Offended? Or guilty? Just when I was about to admit that yeah maybe I should start being professional and agree to talk over the phone if my clients want to, I remembered I am taking OC 152 (I actually received this text message while in OC 152 class which made my conviction a lot stronger :P) and an OrCom hat to wear.

Privacy Issues

I refuse to talk over the phone because of privacy issues. Yes this is a business, but it’s an e-business. We just talked about the risks of transacting online so I really prefer to communicate through e-mails, YM or SMS only especially with a first time client. We never encountered a client who is against this scheme because almost all of the 81+ transactions we have made using new social media channels, 100% went well.

We just don’t want to turn our professional relationship with our clients to something too personal because of the unreasonable favors they tend to ask  once we put down the wall we put between them and us.

Ask me why I prefer to discuss the matters through e-mail

In fact, transacting through e-mails is quite advantageous for a business in which a lot of information is being exchanged between us, the designers and our clients. Since we do layout designing, there are revisions to make and these revisions are well noted when we exchange e-mails. If we forget some details, we can always look back on our past mails to check it out. Our e-mail or YM conversations serve as a record of our transactions, like a proof that we can always take hold of.

And if he’s so busy, why does he prefer to talk over the phone which requires more time and effort rather than to write an e-mail which doesn’t have any pressure at all. He can ask all the questions he wants. It is also easier for us to answer his queries since all he needs to know can be found in our website so we just need to give him the links. It is more difficult to dictate the links, you know.

And if he wants a spontaneous communication, why not YM? Isn’t it like a telephone conversation, too? Only much, much easier and no need to take notes because WE ARE TAKING NOTES  in the process already. So one task was just marked done.

But it’s a case-to-case basis, too

I’m not prescribing that everyone, especially business people like us, should just talk over e-mails or YM forever and never agree to meet-up or talk personally. I just prefer to communicate through these new social media at the moment because the business we are in is based online, we are just taking safety precautions because as we are saying over and over, we can’t trust everyone online, most especially if money is involved.

And hey, this is part-time! Meaning, we don’t and can’t give much of our time to it so we prefer to exhaust the most accessible and convenient ways to go without compromising quality and the trust of our clients. If we have done it successfully in the past, we can do it again, and again, and again.

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About Marj Casal

Maria Angelica Nepomuceno Casal is a student of the University of the Philippines Manila and this blog is created as part of the requirements of my OC152 class. And might as well be a long term hobby.
This entry was posted in For OC152 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to So.. because I prefer YM, I’m unprofessional now?

  1. galeaya says:

    For me, not having to speak over the phone to whomever is on the other side of that e-transaction is a relief. I feel more secure in knowing that although I’d have to give my name and contact details (even address and bank details sometimes) to this unknown person, s/he still has no idea who I am, what I look like, what I do for a living. It gives me a sense of security that I’m not giving away too much information about myself, and still have control over the information exchange. I guess not everyone is like that; there are some people who prefer to have proof that the person on the other side of the line is “for real”. It’s not that I’m defending that client, of course. Unreasonable is unreasonable, no matter how you look at it.

    I hope you don’t get discouraged. There are a lot of flaky people out there, and this was just one of those bad-luck-times. Hey, who knows, maybe in return for this one grumpy client, there’ll be two more happy clients coming your way. :3

    • Marj Casal says:

      Thanks Erose! Yes, I understand where that client is coming from. He is a serious businessman and I’m a crazy part-timer. I don’t feel upset that I lost that client because if he did become my client, we might have worse problems in the future if we have contrasting beliefs on how we should really communicate. πŸ™‚

  2. Gel says:

    I can relate to this blog post so much I feel like I authored it. Hahaha. You know we both don’t like answering phone calls (and that’s a relief, knowing I’m not alone in this haha).

    Professionalism can never be equated to answering phone calls. Professionalism is NOT doing what the client wants you to do! What must be done must be done. And for online businesses like yours, phone calls might be the least preferred way of communicating with a client. Like what you said, you have no proof. The only way you can provide proof that you’ve been scammed is through a print screen image. And two, YM and emails satisfy our need for flex time. We don’t have to be both available at the same time to make a transaction. Emails can wait until you’re free of urgent work.

    I know you know your stuff, Marj. You’re professional and you’ll last in the design business, with or without phone calls. πŸ˜‰

  3. neralair says:

    Shouldn’t it be ‘hands down?’ Just asking. If it’s ‘hands up’… Well, I just envision the client surrendering. Maybe he/she/it is doing so? πŸ˜€

    Indeed. Phone calls are not what they used to be. Before telephone scams and prank calls came into the picture, phone calls were okay. It was fun knowing you can talk to the person just by dialing his/her landline number, though the bills you had to pay was not the fun part. Now? Let’s just say that receiving a phone call (especially from an unknown number) is not exactly anyone’s cup of tea. Nowadays, even your voice can be used against you. Hello, being paranoid.

    Maybe that person thinks of YM as Friendster is compared to Facebook (if so, that is just so low). And I agree with Angel. Professionalism is not determined by blind obedience, but being able to answer and surpass their demands needs, while still holding on to your work principles, is the way to go. Or maybe we should just start using Skype. Haha. πŸ˜€

    • Marj Casal says:

      He really said “hands down” in his text message. I’m imagining it’s like “sumasamba” gesture? Haha. I guess he did surrender because I was so stubborn that I never called him even if he kept asking me to. Hehe.

      Thanks!!! πŸ™‚

  4. KC says:

    Maybe he actually meant “thumbs up”. πŸ˜›

    As an online shopper, I would like to make transactions as “detached” as possible (for security purposes). Like you, I prefer to use text messaging/YM/e-mail in transactions so our conversations are recorded–verbatim–and wala syang kawala if ever na may mangyari. πŸ˜€ Just go on with what you are doing, you have 81+ other satisfied clients (and counting!) to prove that you are an effective communicator. πŸ™‚ Cheers to your online business!

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