Are you a talker or a texter? Or do you prefer sending emails? February 2017 data show that US smartphone penetration surpassed 80 percent in 2016 (source: ComScore), making this growth the largest so far. However, the most basic function of a phone – the call – seems not to be so popular after all. As it turns out, the majority of Americans today prefer texts over phone calls and email. Which group do you belong?
Email vs. phone call
In business, electronic mail is widely used to send bigger data chunks and files, and sending an email still means that, whatever the message, it is not urgent. As opposed to the sluggishness of email, phone calls demand immediacy and making instant choices and giving orders, without even having the time to think about it deeply. Some even prefer making a call before sending an email or directly after sending it to their recipient if a matter is of great urgency.
Of course, this is valid only (but not exclusively) in offices which deal with the administration. For example, when the car industry needs to make an instant decision – they might feel discomfort and even annoyance for dealing with such an issue over the phone. Sending email notifications to pick up your car from the mechanic is completely out of the question because it might get lost in the spam folder or even clogged by batches of other, more important, emails.
In this case, a call is a preferred option, but what happens if your customer does not want to or cannot take the call? There must be an alternative.
Phone call vs. texting
“Most Americans would rather type it than say it, according to a new report that shows how tied to texting U.S. society has become.” Chicago Tribune
Statistics show that a large number of population in the US (more than a third) own a smartphone and uses it for more than four hours a day, making it a smartphone-dependent population. If we neglect this mere fact of dependency, the call is still in disadvantage when compared to texting. Since a large percentage of today’s car buyers have come of age in the era of cell phones and text messaging, it is natural for them to feel comfortable when using this service.
Pew Research also discovered that the younger generations, such as the Millennials, have developed an aversion to phone calls and, instead, prefer talking to their peers and acquaintances via SMS. This only means that the social situation which demands to speak to someone we cannot see is problematic due to some reasons (listed below), so some (i.e. the majority of people) prefer taking the time to give the message a thought and respond when they feel like it. Given that text messages are opened within moments and that we do not see our senders, we still have enough time to think about the message and go with it or deny.
Things are truly faster with texting.
Why phone calls are no longer a preferred method of communicating
“There is no more efficient tool for business than the phone call, but yet we use them far too little because they suck.” Tom Goodwin
- I might not know who it is – that’s a dilemma.
- There is a short window to answer a call – you have to immediately stop whatever you are doing which can be rude to someone next to you.
- Likelihood of a good call is small.
- You are committing – the moment you pick you are forced to deal with something.
- There is an imbalance of information and situation – it might be a good time for the advisor, but we don’t know about the client.
- It’s real time – this means a client might need to make a $1000 or larger decision immediately reducing the odds of approval.
- Often can’t access things you need – this is a killer problem if I want to better understand or look at something.
- It takes time – the required hello’s and how are you’s and isn’t it rainy/cold/sunny/not sunny/not hot/nearly hot/was hot takes valuable time when you still don’t know what the call is for
Every means of communication has both positives and negatives. It just depends on what you need at a given moment.
Emails are good for sending big files and things that do not require urgency.
Phone calls are direct and can make things work faster, but avoiding calls is a major issue which prevents getting things done.
Sending text messages is the preferred means of communication in the US and researchers even predict that it will increase by 2021, just as the number of smartphone users increases.
The data clearly shows a potential of the benefits of texting. If your car dealership is still thinking about implementing a texting app as a means of communication with your customers, you are in the right place: text “DEMO” to (415) 429-5588 and we will give you a demonstration of Advantage Tec’s top-notch app: advantage TXT. It is fast, it is cost-effective, and it does wonders! See for yourself.