There are clear rules as to what forms of communication should be used at what times, and usually one clear, succinct message via voice call, Email, or text will suffice.
Business etiquette also has rules about over-communicating and bombardment, but there are some instances where BOTH a phone call and text message are needed to cover your bases. In any of the below scenarios, start with an immediate phone call. If there’s no answer, leave a message and follow up with a text.
If There is an Emergency
There are some statistics that show that about 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of receiving them so it is a great back-up system to have when you need it. If you have first left a voice mail about the emergency, following up with a text message is completely acceptable.
If There Are Any Kind of Last Minute Changes to Anything
We are still operating in a time when last minute changes to an expected plan merits a phone call. This is especially true if your client is waiting for or awaiting information from you, or if the change could potentially be bad news. Things do happen to cause last minute changes, but try to avoid this at all costs. It is incredibly rude to spring last minute changes on anyone, personally or professionally.
If You Are Returning an Important Call or Message
You should always try to answer the phone or respond within minutes when a customer reaches out. If for good reason you do miss a communication from them that is urgent, respond immediately. First use the method they used, then follow up with the other. This shows you are reliable and they can count on you; it builds trust and adds value to the relationship. Failing to do so will cost your business money and hard-earned reputation points.
There are always exceptions; you know your customer best and should, therefore, know what the relationship can and cannot tolerate. Communications technologies are useful tools and, used for good, will ensure loyal and repeat customers.
That is the lifeblood of business.