Why Texting in Business Might be Counterproductive

Why I Miss Phone Calls and Wish Text Would Die

It’s funny how nearly every elementary school graduate can tell you the name of the person credited with the invention of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell), but few can tell you the name of the person credited with the invention of the telegraph (Samuel Morse). The reason is because the telephone was considered advanced technology; it was one thing to send electrical pulses that could be decoded into text, but quite another to send an actual human voice over communication lines.

Communication

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

Fast forward to 2013, when it seems the opposite is true. Though the ability to send the human voice wirelessly should certainly be considered a greater technological feat than sending simple text, the number of text messages sent and received today far outpace the number of phone calls. Americans 18 to 29 send and receive an average of 88 texts per day, compared to just 17 phone calls. And a full one-third of poll respondents say they prefer texting to calling – a figure that is likely to grow in coming years.

Texting for Business is not more Convenient

And I hate it. Users tout texting as more convenient. They say it gives them more control over what they communicate, when they communicate and if they communicate at all. I say it removes personalization from communication. This is fine if, say, you’re a 13-year-old junior high student texting back and forth with your friends – the ones you see every day anyway.

But in a world when texting has permeated even business, the lack of personal interaction, the inability to hear and understand vocal fluctuations, and the perceived freedom to text at any time leaves ample opportunity for communication breakdowns.  And those breakdowns result in mistakes.

Why Texting in Business Might be Counterproductive

I hate when clients text me. There are always follow-up questions, or explanations to offer. And doing so via text seems so impersonal it borders on rude. Moreover, people who text don’t stop at five o’clock; they’ll send texts while my family is out to dinner, at midnight, at four in the morning.

Maybe I’m old school, but I’d much rather my clients call me during working hours when we can have a dynamic conversation that actually produces positive and actionable results. Phone calls build report and relationships. They lend themselves to solid business partnerships and can help you grow your business via real networking. And, they leave no lingering questions about how to proceed with a project. When you take the time to pick up the phone, you’re fostering customer loyalty, communicating more efficiently, and ultimately making it easier to give customers what they want and deserve.

I can accomplish in a one-minute phone call what would take 15 minutes of back-and-forth text messaging to achieve. And so can everyone else. When productivity is paramount, how could text messaging ever be considered a viable means of business communication?

About Brian Morris

Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. Follow Brian on Twitter @PsPrint .