Technology has been an amazing boon for businesses of every size, but none more so than for small businesses. Having come of age as an entrepreneur through the technology evolution, it’s truly amazing that what once took days by many, is now done in minutes by one person.

The development and ease of use of current technology now allows small businesses to compete with much larger organizations. Software applications that once would have cost the small business owner a fortune to purchase, along with the hardware to run these applications, are now available for pennies a day and hosted on the cloud. Heck, most can be managed on your smartphone, giving you true mobility and freedom.

Small screen and keypad restrictive

I admit that, try as I might, there are just somethings that I can’t manage well on a smartphone. Whether that’s because the screen size or fat finger syndrome, I just prefer a much larger interface. Don’t get me wrong I love having all this capability in the palm of my hand, but I find the small screen and keypad restrictive.

I read somewhere once that smartphones and tablets are for consuming information, whereas laptops and desktops are for inputting information. I guess the reason I remembered this, is because it certainly rang true to me. Hats off though, to those that can manage everything on their smartphones!

This simple app never gets credit

However, one the most powerful apps included in every smartphone that gets used less and less every day, is the phone app. This powerful, yet simple app never gets any credit or hype, yet has the ability to increase our efficiency and productivity many times over.

Unlike so many of our other available communication apps, this simple app can cut through the clutter that fills our inboxes and messaging apps. Aside from calling a customer service line, where you’re put in a cue, because our call is important, if someone is available, they’ll usually answer the phone. This then becomes an opportunity to create a personal interaction that is sorely missing in todays business environment.

Calling someone to get an answer, is far quicker than writing an email or sending a text message. Talking to someone on the phone reinforces the relationship and that’s a critical element in a selling situation. One major advantage a phone call has over just every other communication vehicle, except face to face interaction, is the ability to hear an individual’s emotions.

It reinforces relationships

This live interaction gives you the opportunity to clarify or reinforce your position based on the feedback you’re receiving. A phone call allows to adjust on the spot should the situation change or if someone is having a bad day. You can’t really do that once you’ve hit send on that email or text message.

In addition, when two people are having a conversation, you can typically benefit from added information that is shared during a conversation. This information can be personal or business and serves again to reinforce the relationship. This rarely happens in email or text communications.

Phone calls also have an immediacy. Once more, if the individual is available, you’re not having to wait hours or days for a response that is becoming the norm with many electronic communications. Most interactions via the phone are usually just a clarification on some outstanding issue. If necessary, a follow up email can always be sent later as a confirmation. Meanwhile, by making a call, you get your answer and can then move forward with your task at hand.

Phone calls are personal

I’m constantly having to remind clients to pick up the phone when I see them starting to compose an email or text message. As a small business owner, it’s incredibly important to connect on a human level as frequently as we can with our customers and prospective customers. It’s one more human touchpoint. In many cases it can be a point of difference between you and your competition, because a phone call is personal.

I’m not sure how we’ve managed to move away from this tool but as the chasm grows between human interaction, I predict that we may see a resurgence in it’s use. I for one hopes so. So next time you’ve got a question for a customer, pick up the phone!

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Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2019

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2 comments on “Small Business Minute # 76 – Pick Up the Phone

  1. Love it Greg!!! Too many people rely on email. Some days I’m shocked when I actually get to speak to someone at the other end of the phone!

    Cheers!

    • gregw May 9, 2019

      Thanks for the comment Diane, I appreciate you taking the time. I would have called, but thought that in this case email would be acceptable 🙂 Greg