Back in the late 70s, AT&T encouraged consumers to “reach out and touch someone” with their phone service; and for many people the message struck a chord. Today technology affords us a lot more options for getting in touch, including email, IM, chat and social media messaging. But convenience notwithstanding, there are times when nothing beats hearing a voice at the other end of the line,
In “10 Reasons to Pick Up the Phone Now,” Kevin Daum describes a number of scenarios when a phone call does the job the best. Among them:
- When you need an immediate response: Even if the person you are trying to reach doesn’t pick up, you can always leave a voice message to convey a sense of urgency about getting a response.
- When multiple people are involved: There’s nothing more confusing than email responses from several people crossing out of order. In this situation, a phone conference to get together to discuss an issue is essential.
- Subject involves lots of details. If your message is multi-part, has lots of details, or the issue is complex, it might be better to pick up the phone and call to clarify everything and make sure the recipient is on the same page.
- High importance: An important message can get lost in text, even with the addition of quotes, underscores and exclamation points. If the news is important or urgent, and if the likelihood is that the recipient will have questions, make a call.
Phone calls help achieve business goals
Small business owners have gotten the message loud and clear about the importance of a phone call to meeting business objectives. In Plantronics Small Business Survey conducted last year, when asked about the importance of phone calls to achieving business objectives, 17 percent of businesses with 1-19 employees and 47 percent of businesses with 20-99 employees said that phone calls were “critically important.”
Even after a digital communication (email or instant messaging), the survey found that a phone call is often still necessary to resolve an issue. Among respondents, 13 percent of small businesses with 1-19 employees and 27 percent of those with 20-99 employees indicated that 50 to 74 percent of their digitally communicated messages still required a phone call to resolve an issue.
Headsets enhance the call
Not only is getting on the phone important to small business owners, taking and receiving calls gets a boost from the use of headsets. Plantronics survey respondents ranked “better customer service” as the number one benefit of headsets since it means less time on hold for callers when employees need to move about the office to find information.
Employees also benefit by using headsets. Headsets make spending hours on the phone more comfortable – no more sore necks from cradling the handset – and being hands free means employees can perform other tasks when they are on a call, which boosts productivity.
When it comes to meeting your business goals, it turns out that “making the call” is a good call for your small business.
Suggested additional reading: TC Computer invests in Plantronics headsets to improve their customer communications