Asking client to write shorter emails... bad idea?

I’ve been doing some work recently for a client, who is a really nice guy and generally good to work for.

Sometimes we have Zoom calls to discuss feedback etc, but a lot of our communication is over email (I think both of us generally find email easier).

But he often sends multiple emails of feedback, and his emails are SO LONG… probably about 500–800 words on average. A lot of what he says could easily be condensed into just a few sentences, and I wouldn’t have to spend so much time picking out the important bits or occasionally missing things.

Might it be considered a bit rude though to ask such a thing? am I better off just dealing with it?

It’s always good practice to be concise – but a client being client, depending on how much the job and the relationship mean to you, I’d polish up my reading skill and overlook this slight annoyance. A long-standing client, on the other hand, would have understood via communication (a prerequisite for “long-standing” to begin with).

Start by returning the email with the condensed points you pick out.

This shows you read and understand his needs.

But also shows that his complex emails cane be shorter.

Something simple like
Thanks for the feedback, as I understand the changes required are
1
2
3
4
Etc

Might get them to start sending you bullet pointed short changes.

Plus means you have fall back if something wasn’t clear as you responded to get clarification.

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Clients’ hurried, cryptic and incomplete writing in emails is a much bigger problem — at least for me. Despite long emails being annoying to you, picking out the important points in a message takes far less time than trying to figure out what wasn’t said or proceeding down a path and needing to backtrack out of it due to the client not mentioning something or other.

Whether or not your client would consider it rude or not, I don’t know, but you might end up regretting what you asked for if that client began not communicating enough. Maybe you could, instead, try asking this person to summarize important points into, perhaps, bullet points so that you could make sure you didn’t miss what was important.

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In the time it took me to write my post, @Eriskay and @Smurf2 beat me to my main points. :wink:

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Goes to show we all have roughly the same opinion.

I always clarify back to client if it’s unclear or long winded.

I’m a strong believer of paper trails. I prefer clients to write more, not less.

I’d prefer more too. It always seems we don’t have time to read a long email, but always have time to do it over…oh, wait. So yah, more info the better.

And I’d prefer clients (and Project Managers) who read past the first question when I send an email query.
Love that reply that only answers the first bullet point.

The other thing is an either/or question. “Do you want red or blue.”
The reply? “Yes.” :confounded:

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My personal saying. If you don’t have time to do it right, how do you have time to do it twice!

We sort of had the same saying but it goes more like, “the client doesn’t give us time to print it right, but there always seems to be time to do it over for free…”

Read them…I sold 20k in appliances in 2 days just listening.Retail is kinda different though. What i am at getting at is i listen to my customers. I know who is buying by the way they walk. I will not draw it out very long.It’s not worth my time LOL.

Thanks for the tips!

Also yes good point about long emails being better than short, rushed ones that don’t properly answer your questions haha… I should probably just be grateful that this client isn’t the latter :laughing:

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