Still Talking Into Your Phone? How Quaint!

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In the April 2015 issue, Vanity Fair published results of a survey they conducted that’s near and dear to our hearts as well – the pervasiveness of mobile technology and how we use it. Intriguingly enough, a full 87 percent said they agreed we are all “addicted” to our smartphones.

And that, inevitably, is going to change the way we communicate with each other and with businesses. The “Good-Bye To Hello” article in the same issue looks at the history of, and potential successors to, the phone call. Just after revealing that recent research indicated that “speaking into it” is only the sixth most common activity people do with their phones, author A.A. Gill goes into a quick history of the phone call and how it regularly carried gravitas you might not find on other channels – everything from Alexander Graham Bell’s first call to the President’s “red phone” to phone calls as literary devices, like in “Dial M for Murder.”

If you’re wondering what #1 is on that list of things people do with their phones, it probably won’t surprise you the answer is texting – something Gill just doesn’t think has the same gravitas. (And don’t get Gill started on emojis.) Only time will tell if texting develops some kind of rules of engagement that allow it to become as weighty as the phone call – chances are, voice will stick around. But if you’re trying to see how this translates for a company, all of these evolutions are in line with the way we at Aspect see customer service in the here and now, as well as the near future. Self-service – whether it’s text, or another channel like apps and social – can form the foundation of everyday service, freeing up agents to have those meaningful conversations via voice (or whatever channel the customer chooses, including channels that may feel even more personal, like video) when the stakes are higher.

In a lot of ways, we’re not saying good-bye to hello, we’re saying hello to change – an evolution that’s giving us amazing new ways to get information we need and to keep it personal when we communicate with one another.