With the rise of internet businesses and digital communication through email becoming the norm, it’s often true that the telephone can get forgotten. But if your business barely uses the telephone this can be a huge loss.
Here are six reasons why the telephone is still a truly vital tool to your business.
A personal touch
It is certainly true that emails and other forms of online communication have become much more important to businesses over the last few years. But it’s worth remembering that emails and digital communication feel much less like a personal conversation. Think about your own experiences – if someone asks you a direct question over email, it’s much easier to close the email and avoid it than it would if you had been asked the question in person.
This points to the fact that the telephone is still the most important personal tool to your business. Talking over the phone makes you human and real. Whether you’re talking to a client, a colleague, a supplier or another business, speaking over the phone makes it easier for them to trust and relate to you. This is the kind of human interaction that emails simply do not provide.
Another key advantage of the phone is that it is immediate. If you need an urgent response there is simply no substitute to picking up the phone. When you call someone you can get through to them and sort things out on the spot. How many times have you sent out an urgent email or text, then found yourself waiting for several hours on the response? It happens all the time.
When you have business-critical matters to deal with, it can make a huge difference to be able to deal with something straight away rather than wasting your time. Too many businesses lose out on sales and other important transactions because they didn’t or couldn’t respond quickly enough – using the phone is an important way to remedy this, with 24 hour telephone answering being the ideal solution.
Separates you from competition
According to research by Zendesk, 40% of people will purchase from a competitor brand if they offer great customer service. Offering a comprehensive telephone service will impress customers, especially as many of your competitors will not offer something like that. Remember that while telephones are hugely valuable, there are many businesses who believe they can do without them – or use them at the absolute minimum, preferring digital communication. The fact that you are available on the phone will make you stand out from the crowd. If you can develop an excellent reputation for quality customer service or being easy to work with – this can get you a huge amount of business.
There are plenty of people who don’t use the internet
It’s worth noting that while a huge proportion of your clients and suppliers will use the internet, there are still some important demographics that either don’t use it or – more commonly – still place more trust in offline business. There is still a large percentage of the UK who would prefer to do business over the phone, rather than entrusting cyberspace with financial details. It is a bad idea to ignore the value of these people as they may well be worth a lot of money to your business.
If you are going to have a conversation that involves a large number of people, the best way to go about it is still to conference call – and of course, to carry out conference calls you will need a phone system that is capable of holding them. You might think that it’s a good idea to use modern technologies like Skype, however there is a warning here. Unfortunately the UK still has very slow internet speeds.
According to statistics, the UK still lags behind countries like Latvia, Denmark and Romania. This means that large group conversations through Skype are unfortunately likely to experience connection issues. This means that is still far more effective to use conference call facilities if you want to have a conversation that involves multiple people.
The telephone is an incredible time saving device for many business. As we talked about earlier, you are to get an immediate response when you pick up the phone – this has significant ramifications when it comes to saving you time at work. Whether you’re trying to solve a problem, discuss an issue with a customer or any form of business communication, it will take far longer if you try to do via email than if you simply pick up the phone. Time is such an important resource to a business, it’s important not to waste it on emails when you could easily do it by talking over the phone. Try dealing with problems on the phone and see the difference it makes to your working day.