With the development of additional communication platforms such as social media, digital apps and live chats businesses have a right to consider whether voice communications are a dying form of communications.
When surveyed by Ofcom, 64% of SMEs stated their business could not carry on without a fixed-line phone, while 52% said the same of mobile communications. Therefore, the thought that voice communications could be dying is a worrying concept for many businesses. However, when looking at the technology available for making calls maybe it is not a case of the voice communications dying, but the way in which we make those calls.
Just like the way we listen to music, or we read newspapers, the way in which customers communicate with a business will inevitably shift over time. So, technologies such as Skype, and messenger apps such as WhatsApp and iChat can be seen as evolutions of the traditional phone call. Relying more on VoIP infrastructures than a traditional PTSN line. When looking at various reports, the use of conference calling facilities, and other communication platforms are definitely on the rise – though this can be related to the rise in the gig economy. More and more SMEs are hiring freelancers, or remote employees, to handle customer enquires and deal with communications all without the use of a fixed line. This gig economy gives SMEs more flexibility in their business and does require a more flexible approach for consumers to interact with them. Many businesses are seeing this gig economy as the way forward for businesses, reducing their location based costs and allowing them to offer a 24hr service where previously they haven’t been able to.
This new working method could signal the end of the traditional fixed line voice communications, but voice communications, in general, will still be the most used form of communication for businesses – whether through a fixed line or VoIP system. There will always be a proportion of people who prefer to speak on a traditional phone handset, finding it easier when dealing with a business to directly interact with another human being. It is far easier to convey a message via a phone call and explain it than via text message, or a messenger app – quicker too when you stop and wonder how many chat windows 1 representative may be dealing with at once.
Voice calls have been around for so long, and ingrained in society that for them to truly die out it would take two to three generations before that even began to happen. What is, and will continue to change is the technology in which we make those voice calls, with may businesses switching to VoIP systems rather than a fixed line communication system they have been using.
Therefore, business do not need to worry about voice communications dying, but should consider assessing their phone system, and determine if it is suitable for the evolution of phone calls. Adopting new technologies to make better use of voice communications.