Communications for your Project—Mixing the Latest Technology with Best Practices
By Lorianna Kastrop, Vice President/CFO, The Kastrop Group, Inc., Architects
Hello there, new client! Yes, we know you would like to text us or call our cell phones whenever you wish. It’s convenient for you and it is efficient to keep the communication lines open on your project. Here’s why we recommend that you continue to communicate with us via our company phone or by email.
First, we have many projects in the office in various stages of effort. We do not take calls while we are in project meetings or on job sites, so it is best to call the office and they can communicate when we will be available for a callback with you or put you through to voicemail. We receive notifications on our devices whenever a voicemail is recorded. We also want our employees to have a healthy work/life balance and if they take client calls on their personal cell phones, they would be working 24/7. That’s not sustainable.
Second, text messages are difficult to log and track. Text messages tend to be less formal and piecemeal, being sent on a small screen, very on-the-go. Emails allow us to keep our correspondence accurate, clear, and concise, improving our overall efficiency on your project. We read and log every email and have a process to follow-up. Text messages could “drop through the cracks” and not get the same attention as email communications.
Lastly, and most importantly, we need to be able to document what has been said and done about any ongoing issues on your project. For example, we may have obtained an approval from a City department about your project and then another City employee contradicts the approval. With email, we can easily show that the approval was documented, and work proceeded accordingly. We can prove follow-up communications with you, our Client, and the General Contractor. With this meticulous amount of documentation, we can avoid confrontations and reversals in the permit approval process.
So, we hope that you will understand, and appreciate, that it is in your best interest to use the slightly older technology of email and office voicemails to document your project. I fully expect to get feedback from someone about how to track, print and store text messages in the same way that we handle email. Maybe it is already happening, and we just haven’t implemented software to do it. We are still on that journey with our systems, and we hope to advance as we learn.
Thanks for reading, and as always, we are Designing for Your Reality.