In the past year, I’ve noticed a very interesting pattern. My younger clients in their 30s and 40s like to text. Even when I have an initial consult with them in person, most communication after that is by text. It took me a while to get used to texting, because that’s not the way I usually communicate. Some of them are texting complicated questions, and the answers aren’t simple. I will often ask them to send me an email, because their question requires a lengthy explanation.
Once clients hit 40 and above, their main mode of communication is usually by email. I would get lots and lots of email. Nobody wanted to talk on the phone. That was so 1990s.
Couples who text and email seem more concerned with the mechanics of the mediation process. They want to know how long it will take, how much it will cost, and do they have to go to court. They just want a mediator to help them with the divorce process. They don’t seem as concerned with my personality or experience, or if I am someone they can work with. It is more about just needing someone, or anyone, to help them get divorced and move things along quickly.
Clients over 50 or 60 use the phone. They need to hear my voice and my responses, get an idea of how I sound and how I will communicate with them. It is much more about the energy back and forth and determining whether I am someone they feel comfortable with.
Communicating with clients has proven to be not so much challenging as different. Depending on their age, the form of communication they are most comfortable with might be texting, email, or the phone. Whichever mode they choose doesn’t matter. It is a small accommodation to make, to help people going through the divorce mediation process, and it may make a very difficult situation a little less stressful for them.
What is your favorite mode of communication?