Inc. May/June 2020 pp10 “May I Ask Who’s Calling? “Chatting with customers by text allows business owners to send information quickly and cheaply at scale, prompting some companies to ditch their landlines completely. So are voice calls obsolete?” “Inc. ask two founders to talk it through”. By Britt Morse.
Do you need a phone line to communicate with customers?
JM (Jennifer Matthews of Tempaper)-benefits of phone: easier to convey tone, be genuine and avoid misunderstanding.
ML (Michael Lastoria of Pizza)-not needed for Pizza business as text-based plug-in gets the job done, is authentic and controls brand identity better.
Doesn’t a phone line make it easier for customers to reach you?
JM-customers want to speak by phone and if they have questions why should they be required to type that out?
ML-Pizza’s text has a pick-up in less than two minutes and is staffed live.
What about communication with employees?
JM-dialog may start with an EMAIL proposal for example but the follow-up likely is by phone enabling discussion.
ML-same benefits as for customers plus Millennials and Gen Z prefer texting.
What method of communication helps you do business quicker?
JM-a teleconference is essential for sale team calls-cover a large agenda, discuss and avoid miscommunication of critical information.
ML-Pizza phone line goes directly to text-based. “It’s the most common form of communication. Text messaging is engaging, empathetic and easy to use…provides us with robust data more useful than what we’d gather by phone”.
Inc-“customers still want to talk”. Per HBR article 2017, a study by BIA/Kelsey highlights-169 billion calls to businesses expected in 2020. Calls up to 15 times more likely to generate a successful sale or follow-up activity than text-based communication. Text has advantages as discussed but “you shouldn’t give up that phone yet”.