I don’t do calls.
Well, hardly ever. If I can avoid a call, I will.
Calls suck. They suck time, they suck because I work from home and get a billion deliveries a day, and they suck even harder when you ask for video on Skype (because I don’t feel the need to dress fancy for my colleagues, the dog and cats). But mainly it’s the time thing.
Don’t get me wrong, Skype has its uses, mainly in the text-chat capacity. And if we’re kicking off a project and you want to chat around some ideas, then I’m usually pretty happy to schedule call then, but otherwise? …
Let me break it down further…
- Calls, of any kind, require scheduling. We have to block out time from both our schedules. While 10am on a Monday might be convenient to me, it might not be to you.
- Calls over-run, we might have said ‘this is just a quick call’, but that soon turns in to 40 minutes!
- We’ll spend at least 10 minutes going over niceties, getting our shit together, and saying goodbye. During those 10 minutes we both could’ve been doing something way more awesome.
- Unless we’re taking endless notes (which prolongs the length of the call anyway), everything’s lost once it’s been said. The written word is so much better for referencing after the fact.
- You might have an in-depth question about something relating to a bit of web development you need, things like that usually require a little research – totally not easy to do whilst on a call.
A call just pisses at least an hour of everyone’s time up the wall. And you know what’s worse? When we have to email to follow up after the call! Dude! That should’ve been the only bit of correspondence we needed.
So, if you try and schedule a call with me to discuss your potential project, I’m gonna be pointing you towards your email. If you insist that we chat, then I’ll have to charge you a consulting rate for the duration of the call. Time is valuable for both of us, and it’s totally not cost effective for me to dedicate an hours worth of time to a project that might not even make it to my table!
“But Kim!” I hear you exclaim, “How can we figure out if you can work on my project if we can’t talk on the phone?! How do I possibly know what to include in an email!”.
I’m glad you asked!
You see, I’ve been doing this making-websites-for-other-people thing for a few years now, and I know what questions to ask. Infact, I have a fabulous form that you fill in! Actually, I have two! I have one that I have you fill in to give me the low down on what you want me to do, and I have another for you to fill in when we kick off the project.
The answers on these forms give me all the information I need, and they even work in your favour — you get to sit down and really concentrate on what you need from the person you’re hiring, whether that ends up being me or someone else.
I know a lot of my peers will scoff at my not taking calls, bad client relationships they say, but honestly? It’s never been an issue in my business. I’ve conducted huge projects just via email and project management systems, and I’ve also been sat silent for 2 hours on group calls in big agencies (man, I do love billing for those two hours, though) when I could’ve been doing something way more productive.
If calls work for you and your business, and you’re 100% sure that there’s not a better way of communicating that’ll save both parties time, then great! Carry on! But me? I don’t do calls.