We use technology in almost everything that we do. How we shop and find entertainment to how we share information and communicate with each other can all be done with a touch of a button from our mobile phone. Not only can everything be done with a touch of a screen, it is all instantaneous and digital consumption of information is at it’s highest.
Businesses can take advantage of these progressive technologies, but we mustn’t forget the importance of good old fashioned, voice-to-voice telephone conversation.
In an article entitled “Texting and the Dying Art of Conversation” the author explains how her adult children don’t seem to have great speaking skills, having difficulty keeping a real-live conversation going. She explains that after a few minutes of strained conversation, their heads go down, screens of their smart phones light up and their attention is gone. This situation took place at home, but as we use technology more and more in business, are we starting to lose the art of conversation?
Building meaningful relationships is the key to gaining and retaining customers for your business. Word of mouth marketing is probably the most effective way you can get your name out there and grow your business. In the same way a positive recommendation from a customer can help you make more sales, a negative comment can drive new customers away.
Are you taking the time to speak with your customers? Good communication, whether in person, through a telephone conversation or through a message on hold, is key to any business’ success. Even Pope Francis was quoted saying “The great challenge facing us today is to learn once again how to talk to one another, not simply how to generate and consume information.”
The ability to share information instantaneously to a massive online audience has proved to be very lucrative for business. We can advertise to very specific target markets and blast our messages across the internet for thousands to see, but is this sharing of information helping build real relationships with our communities and customers? It definitely will get your name out there, but adding that human interaction through telephone communication or in-person meetings will make sure they remember it.
Sadly, the use of technology can have a negative effect on how businesses communicate with their customers. Have you found yourself texting or emailing a client instead of taking the time to call or even meet face-to-face? People will always feel more comfortable with others when they’ve spoken with them or met them in person. The fact that you are genuine, professional and trustworthy is difficult to convey through a text message or email.
For more information on how you can improve your telephone communication from answering the phone, greeting a client to better speaking skills, read our blog on how “Professional Telephone Etiquette is Good for Business”
The average North American executive spends an average of 15 minutes a day on hold. That’s 9 days a year.