We have all seen the huge strides made in communications over recent years, with SMS, Instant Messaging and Web Chat, but are we about to see a huge transformation, with people actually being able to speak to each other, one-2-one! Imagine being able to ‘cut to the chase’ via a conversation, display humour or agreement, through the tone of your voice, or use words to describe opinion or opportunity! Imagine no more. The incredible enhancement of speech, is now available on all smart phones, and brings with it huge time saving and economic benefits!

Tongue-in-cheek it may be, but the sheer power of a voice communication has been forgotten by many, in favour of messaging.

How many times have you been involved in email or message ping pong, when parties haven’t quite understood the nuances of the message? Being able to pick up a phone and speak to the other party, with full HD clarity, using language, words and tone to convey the sentiment, is a powerful communication tool leading to instant understanding and agreement.

Larger companies have already learned that a phone call is an important tool in their communications arsenal and where required are already training staff in the art of conversation. Emailing and messaging has their place for sure, but a phone call can sometimes be the better choice, and it is important for all business to recognise it.

Recent surveys show that Customers love personal communication:

  • 94% of mobile users have needed to call a business after a Google search – Google
  • 69% of customers use click to call to quickly get an answer and accomplish their buying goal. – Google Search
  • More affluent clients prefer to pick up the phone and call in 79 out of 100 cases. – Ringostat
  • 47% of mobile searchers will look for another brand if there is no phone number associated with their result. – Google

Of course Email, SMS and IM are incredible tools and have increased our ability to communicate across great distances, time zones, language and cultural barriers, but ignoring the power of the phone call is at your peril.

Some small business owners have seen a decline in sales due to their younger Millennial employees sending sales pitches to potential customers instead of making a call. It’s much harder to build a relationship and rapport with a client via email then it is by phone. In a Wall Street Journal article last week “Jason Nazar, a 34-year-old Santa Monica, Calif.-based technology entrepreneur, says his company has missed out on potential hires because his 20-something employees schedule interviews by email, rather than phoning applicants” Jason was quoted saying “If you can do something more quickly and more efficiently by using older technology, then do it,” Many companies are now running full blown training sessions for younger staff on how to use telephones and handle conversations because they realise the power a call can have over any other form of communication.

Here are six reasons why you should Call rather than Text:

  1. If it’s going to be awkward – Conversations that may be awkward on the phone are more likely to be offensive, misunderstood or even incomprehensible by message. Quite often a carefully toned phone conversation can turn an awkward situation into a positive outcome.
  2. If you want to build a relationship – Phone calls humanise work communication in a way that messages can’t. Spoken words spark collaboration and laughter. We build relationships not by exchanging information but by feeling like we’re together. Moreover, tone and context are easily misread in messages, which can lead to unnecessary conflict and damage existing or potential relationships. It is hard to get the EQ (emotional intelligence) right in messages, but very easy in a phone call.
  3. When you’ve scheduled it – Calling someone out of the blue can feel confrontational and needy unless you have regular dialogue. This is both a courtesy and a productivity trick: by scheduling when the call will happen and how long it will last, you’re more likely to stick to the agenda and allocated time, and earn huge respect and create a stronger relationship.
  4. If you are negotiating – When you’re thinking about whether to call or send a message, ask, “Is this a negotiation or a notification?” Whenever you don’t want something in writing or you’re still talking terms or discussing, phone calls can sort out interests and information without setting anything in stone prematurely. There’s a distinction between sharing data, where one person talks at the other and conversation; where there’s a coming together and more of an exchange.
  5. If it’s time to close the loop – If an existing message exchange is persistently unclear or unsettled, a phone call can politely put people on the spot and get a definitive answer. In short, phone calls can remove a digital bottleneck and close an exchange so we can move on productively.
  6. When you don’t have to pay crazy international calling rates – Many people who need to make global contact, whether for personal or professional reasons,  tend to resort to text and email…simply because they believe it is cheaper than paying international call rates. “Messaging tennis”, can be a huge drain on time and energy, and often lead to a loss of respect, and even sales and income. International call rates are hideously low nowadays and ‘cost above good communication’ is a false economy and should never be a consideration.

Fundamentally, how we communicate depends on what we’re exchanging. If you’re exchanging cut and dry information, email often suffices. If you’re exchanging thoughts, ideas, opinions or potential terms for negotiation, a phone call may be warranted.

Today, we have infinite ways of communicating information. Matching the right medium with the right topic can save us time and start more meaningful working relationships.

When it comes to communication, we have never had it so lucky! Our personal smartphones are mini-computers and the latest technology from companies like ConXhub, allow us to communicate as though we have all our business phones and lines embedded into them. They allow us to communicate via call or message from any phone number directly from our mobile phones, whilst keeping our personal mobile number private. There has never been a better or easier time to communicate – happy calling!

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