All communication MUST be in writing by email for documentation purposes.
No phone policy
We have come to this conclusion after extensive study and experience with all avenues of contact, it is not a decision we made lightly or arbitrarily. Email makes more sense for several reasons:
A few years ago, a management consultant came into our office and banned us from talking to clients via email, insisting we should always use the phone. This was because he had just got off the phone from a client who had misunderstood an email we would of sent to him, the consultant not having read the email, was insistent that this would never have happened over the phone.
I beg to differ entirely , miscommunication still occurs verbally, perhaps more so. I would say it is easier to miss-hear something than miss-read it, especially when accents are involved. His argument is that you can not perceive tone across text and so your words can be misconstrued. I can see his point on this, but to some degree the same could be said of verbal communication without body language.
Furthermore, I can write an email and then if it does not make sense I will rewrite it, changing it until all is clear. Of course with a phone call, you also can not re-read the conversation at a later date, nor can you forward the information on verbatim as you could an email, potentially introducing a chain of misunderstandings.
Email has plenty of benefits over the phone:
It is asynchronous so it is not instantly distracting, I can get to a logical break in whatever I am doing before I even look at your email.
You can send attachments, links, and anything else that is needed.
However, what really convinced me was the fact that the consultant said "I have just read the email and what you have said is quite clear, it is not your fault he misunderstood it". Had the misunderstanding originated from a phone call this would have been quite different, he would have taken the client word that we would of made this promise and failed to keep it.
Emails provide accountability which I find invaluable as a business owner.