A bit of nostalgia first…
Does anybody still use the traditional red phone box? I’m old enough to remember a time when, as a Brownie, we had to have 2p in our pocket along with a clean hanky, a bandage and a piece of string (?). Yes, there was a time when you could make a call for 2p! I can also remember when you would go and meet a friend up the town on a Saturday, and if they didn’t show up, you would debate whether you might miss them if you headed off to the nearest phone box to see if they’d already left.
It’s hard to imagine how we managed before mobile phones, but we didn’t know any better, I suppose!
Returning to the 21st century, what’s your favourite method of communicating with your clients?
Telephone, email, Skype or perhaps ping pong Facebook message?
I use nearly all of the above, but almost without exception I will avoid the first one – the telephone!
I think this has a lot to do with not being able to see the person I’m speaking to. Although I won’t make a song and dance about being an intravert (I don’t like to label myself too much!), I do get anxious when I’m confronted with a lot of noisy people in a room (give me a smaller number of people I know well, and I can be the life and soul of the party!), and if a number comes up on my phone that I don’t know, I immediately have a physical reaction (think butterflies in the stomach) and I will ignore it.
Before you ask (and as you’re on my website you’ll know already), yes, I do have phone numbers for my business, but I think I must be sending out a ‘don’t call me’ vibe, as nine times out of ten, any business enquiries I get come via email or Facebook, and I can reply to these in a timely manner but also think about how I’m going to respond.
There’s also the issue of being completely focused on what you’re doing, only to be interrupted by the phone ringing and breaking your concentration, and for this reason alone I tend to keep my phone on silent all the time. I don’t think constantly stopping to answer your phone is a very productive way of working, and if you are worried about missing calls, especially if you receive a lot, there are plenty of good call answering services out there.
I do think, however, that as there are so many different methods of communication these days and if you’re not comfortable using the phone, you shouldn’t feel you have to make yourself do it just because you think everyone else is. For example, I am more than happy to schedule Skype calls, the difference being that you can actually see the person you’re speaking to and get the same benefit as if you were meeting in person.
What do you think? I know I can’t be the only one who really doesn’t like using the phone, so let me know if you’re a fellow phone hater!