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Pressure Under Fire


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#1
James Hines

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Hello gentlemen I just completed my first client project & found out how stressful it can be when your e-mail service seems to not be sending your message. I even found myself making small mistakes such as sending the wrong files over the e-mail service. However the main problem was the fact that I sent a file on Wednesday containing the fixed coverage only to find out that it didn't even go through just today, the problem occured again tonight. Has any cartographer encountered these problems before?

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#2
Derek Tonn

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Measure twice, cut once. Advice that works in carpentry, map design, or email communications. :)

Seriously though, clients will be understanding if electronic communication problems occur infrequently. If it occurs too-often, they'll gladly take their business elsewhere. You HAVE to make sure you have a good web site host, a good email provider, ask for return receipts on important emails that you send, check and re-check for typos/incorrect attachments/missing attachments, etc. We all make mistakes from time to time, but if folks are paying us for our services, we don't get that many "get out of jail free" cards to cash-in with the people who are essentially paying our bills.
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

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http://www.mapformation.com

#3
frax

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Don't forget to call them now and then too. To much e-mail is not good, then you lose the personal touch.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Don't rely on email for anything over 5 Mb. Look for an FTP server, or a service like Pando or Dropload (although I have mixed experiences with both... Pando slowing down to a 1 kb/sec crawl in downloading a 100Mb file...)

I agree with Hugo, a call every now and then (or a face-to-face meeting, if at all possible) works wonders. Especially on larger projects or with recurring clients, it's good to build up a personal relationship.
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#5
James Hines

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Thanks for the advice I have created a sub domain where I can store my projects & in the future a web system of pages will be setup for my potential clients. The site is still in development & where I'm only getting started I don't have much to add, but alas it is a project in the works.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#6
ELeFevre

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IMO it's best to just pick up the phone and call the client before and after you send them a file. One quick call letting them know what to expect and another quick call confirming that the file was received and that everything is as promised. You can keep the calls super short so your not annoying. It doesnt make any sense to work really hard on a project and then have everything fall apart at the end.

It's also a good idea to send a test file to a colleage or friend to look-over and edit before sending the real version to the client. It seems to take a fresh pair of eyes to catch the most blatant mistakes!



#7
mike

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Don't ever rely on email to get your message through. I am in contact with a lot of people and even though email is the most convenient, it is not the quickest way sometimes. Usually a phone call works even better. After email became mainstream, I think a lot of people forgot how to use a phone to do business.

Anyways, like Hans said files should be transferred through some kind of FTP site/service. It's a lot more convenient for both you and your clients. This way you can have proper file management, and less confusion as to what file versions or updates the client needs. Also, being ultra clear in your emails/phone calls will help too. You may sound like a robot sometimes, but I find most people who can read/listen will understand. There will always be those clients that don't read a word that you write in your emails and ask a ton of questions!

#8
MapMedia

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This can happen to anyone, and its good you are bringing it up - it means you see it as poor performance and want to improve it.
As a rule, when I am sending an email to a client, however small or trivial the content, I take my time (slow down!) and once I have typed it, I sit back and read and reread to see if I can find errors or add or improve the message. In short, aim for perfection, every time - its a best practice.




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