August 27, 2018
Being able to communicate is an awesome thing! As forms of communication continue to grow certain forms like texting and Snapchat, it’s sadly going to be the case that some forms of communication like phone calls start to die.
Among one group this trend is all too obvious, Millennials, this has a big effect on companies need to approach how they will connect with an audience. But what’s going on here and why is this happening? Why are are your phone calls going unanswered?
Here are the common reasons why Millennials aren’t answering your phone calls.
It doesn’t matter if you just woke up, you’re on your way into the office, eating lunch, taking a jog, or eating dinner with your family, there is never a time when a phone can be considered not interruptive. Phone calls demand your immediate attention, distract you from what you were doing, and are just disruptive.
If you get a call or decide to take it in the middle of whatever it was that you are working on, it can 20+ minutes to get your focus back after the call. Who wants that?
When you get a call from someone, they are making 2 big assumptions:
Sometimes one of these two might be true, but more often than not, this call is unwelcome and the caller feels like they are being selfish to take up your time – maybe even a little insulting – to the person who gets the call.
How long does it even to get a phone call started? You’ve got the “Hello’s” and “How are you?’s”. Did you know people talk an average of 8 minutes per day just talking about the weather? That’s a lot of time on if it’s hot, cold, raining, all time wasters that could be skipped.
Other hot topics include kids, sports, and weekend plans. How many times have you felt pressure to spend time on these topics whenever you get on the phone with someone because you don’t want to be rude right?
If you’re a millennial you don’t want to pick up the phone because you never know when you do if it’s going to be a 10-second call or a 20-minute call, or who knows, even longer.
When you’re using another medium, like email, testing, or even social media. You send out an update, ask a quick question, whatever it is, it’s quick and to the point. After that if it needs to follow up, it gets done, the person who gets it knows exactly what to do and even gets the benefit of replying when they have the time to do it (see disruptive above).
Almost all of these messages take less than a minute to write and send out. Phone calls, on the other side of the coin, almost always take at five minutes from “Hello?” to “Bye Bye!”. What’s the point of taking five minutes when you could wrap it all up in less than a minute?
How many times do you pick up the phone only to say “Who the heck is this?” and then when you finally do, you say “Ugh, seriously, why did I pick that up?”. You know it, I know it, phone calls are annoying.
Maybe it’s because Millennials don’t like to physically talk to people or maybe it’s because they feel like the person getting in touch is being so presumptuous, and mostly because we are still getting way too many calls.. Almost every time you pick up the phone it’s mostly a negative and annoying experience.
If we only got a call here or there it might be okay, but the volume of calls we get is just out of control. It’s like our phone number just got put on the home page of Google. If you work at the front desk or front-line of an office, assistant, or customer service role, phone calls can be the largest stress of your day, yuck!
If you’re in a role where you’re expected to never miss a call, the stress can be ten-fold worse, evert time the phone rings you have to spring into action and catch it before the caller gets away. You’re constantly on a hamster wheel trying to answer the phone, never knowing when it’s going to ring and having no control over your work day.
Each brings more work onto an already full plate and trains you to avoid the phone like the plague because you know when it rings more work is on the way. The reason people prefer texting and emailing is that it removes this reactionary buzzer in your ear that is the phone and gives people the control to consume, complete, and respond to your request on their own time. It removes the stress and makes for a much more efficient and effective day.
The reason you used to call is to get to someone quickly and communicate something fast. Well, guess what? There are about 10 other ways to do that now and they are all faster than the phone call. Sorry phone call, you’ve had your day. How many ways do you need to be able to reach someone?
The only use of the phone call is to fill the time with extra words that people don’t need hear and extra information that isn’t required, it doesn’t really leave the phone call in a great light. Sure you can communicate tone a lot more effectively, but if you’re really trying to get super personal and you really want people to see your emotion, try a video call, you get voice and video, that’s full-on virtual body language in HD.
How many times are you in a public place and someone is going on and on about something that they probably wouldn’t want you to know about? Or maybe you’ve had to whisper when trying to share a conversation with your friends or family?
No one wants to have that kind of anxiety, feeling like someone might be hearing their innermost thoughts or feelings they’re trying to intimately share with a friend. That’s why most Millennials will simply text these details to their friends and groups can quickly hear all the important details without the rest of the world listening in.
If you’re trying to reach your friends you text. If you’re trying to get a meeting or schedule a call with an acquaintance you send an email. If you’re trying to sell some something, you try to get them on the phone, you call.
Phone calls aren’t about being personal. And in the time of automation in business and the digital savvy of Millennials, people are trying to find that personal touch. That’s why 33% of the time on mobile phones is spent text messaging and 38% is spent on social networking apps/sites.
When you get a phone call it disrupts you and stops whatever you were working on. A phone call takes away your control of the time and gives it over to the person calling you.
If you accept the call, you are also giving acceptance to the caller to control you and your time schedule. Millennials are driven by being productive, and they want to be able to do things on their own time.
If you want to really reach Millennials, you should get on the same channel they’re on and start texting them.