Technology’s grip has tightened, causing all of us to email, text, IM, and Skype. We often communicate using the written word, rather than the spoken voice, and this might be bad for business. At Grasshopper, we love technology and all it can do for us. The web is our friend, and so are our smartphones, software solutions, and cool apps. Technology helps us do our job, but it’s also brought changes that aren’t necessarily good, at least according to Harvard Business Review.
Dan Pallotta, a social entrepreneur and contributor to the Harvard Business Review’s Blog, says that picking up the phone trumps typing an email for tons of reasons. It’s more personal, it’s less robotic, and it’s way more friendly. Pallotta warns that the quest for quick solutions shuts out the potential for deep connections. It’s also not as efficient as we think. We spend way too much time emailing about setting up a phone call. Why is it that we don’t just pick up the phone?
“It has been said that love is a function of communication. I believe that to be true. I believe, by extension, that human understanding is a function of communication,” writes Pallotta, “And the better human beings understand one another, the higher the level of functioning. The overuse of e-mail as an alternative to a call creates emotional distance.”
Friendship, understanding, and compassion can set your small business apart from big brands with a lot of bureaucracy and so-so customer service. The benefit of being small is that you can create emotional intimacy with your customers. Pallotta suggests that using the phone can make a small business better. How could your business step up your game by picking up the phone?
At Grasshopper, we like to use all that technology can offer- different forms of communications have distinct purposes. Ultimately, though, we agree with Pallotta, that communication via voice and through face-to-face contact is a great way to show you’re trustworthy. Pick up your phone, smile while you speak, and put a real human voice to the company that you love.
Do you agree with Pallotta? Should companies try to use the phone more often?