Why It’s Good To Talk
Communication is at the heart of every business, whether it’s collaborating with an international team, delivering a winning sales pitch to a new customer or sending an email round the office to get everyone’s tea and coffee preferences.
In the 21st
century the options for communication have exploded, with text, email, Skype, live web chats, WhatsApp, social media and more. But did you know that 32% of customers still prefer to speak on the phone and only 3% would like to communicate with a business over social media.
Great for Customers
A phone call is an excellent tool for building rapport with a customer. Albert Mehrabian wrote in his 1971 text “Silent Messages” that tone of voice accounted for 38% of the information encoded within a statement – needless to say, tone of voice is absent from all text-based communications.
Socially we tend to be more polite on the phone, people rarely start emails by asking how someone’s day is going or even by introducing ourselves. These small gestures can go a long way toward building a rapport and for whatever reason, they seem to come more naturally over the phone when compared to the abrupt nature of most emails.
Even in today’s rapidly technologized age many customers still feel unsure about using digital technology for communication for reasons such as age, technical knowhow, disability or security. For these customers especially it is important to have robust and professional telephone communications in place.
Great for Teams
For teams to work together well, they need to know each other. When everyone worked in an office together this was easy, but today a “team” may exist across continents, meeting in person rarely (or even never). In order to maintain rapport and a good working relationship it is a good idea for people to talk – and we mean actually talk – to each other. Inflection, accent and tone tells us more about a person than their mail signature does and it’s important that team members feel like they know each other as people – not just as addresses or icons in a list of contacts.
For more staff with dyslexia or a visual impairment, the option of non text-based communications methods is vital.
Phone calls have been around for over 150 years and they’re not going anywhere soon - because no matter how many communications tools we have access to, some ideas are just better delivered through speech.