Why Don’t People Answer The Phone Anymore?


Nowadays, when you call someone, you’re more likely to get their voicemail than a cheery voice saying “Hello.” Phone calls used to be the primary way of communicating with everyone from your best friend to your doctor. In recent years, they’ve become less and less common. Not only are people not talking on the phone, they’re not answering calls at all. Here are some of the reasons why.

Disruptive and Time Consuming

A phone call interrupts what you are doing, and whether you’re at work or at home, it’s distracting. A call can also be time consuming. You don’t know whether the call will take one minute or twenty. This is an inconvenience and prevents you from getting other things done. Also, it can be hard to refocus after a call. People have adopted the philosophy that if the call is important, the caller will leave a message or send a text message instead.

Not that Private

It is often hard to have a private conversation over the phone. While no one can see who you are talking to, they can still hear your entire end of the conversation. When you are around others, you have to whisper or find a more private area to have the conversation. The lack of privacy is a huge inconvenience for many people and leads to unanswered calls, especially while in public.

Spam Calls

Telemarketers have long been an annoyance, but the problem is getting worse. It is estimated that more than 3 billion “robocalls” with prerecorded messages, are made each month. Of these, many are telemarketers, but an even larger number are scams. With the adoption of phone number spoofing, scammers have managed to trick people into picking up calls that appear to be from a local number. As a result, people choose not to answer calls that aren’t from their contacts or a number they recognize.

More Options

Phone calls revolutionized the way people communicate. Communication with people both near and far was at your fingertips. Email eventually came along, followed by messaging. We were first introduced to messaging through online instant messengers, and then, through text messaging on cell phones. As technology rapidly advanced and smart phones were introduced, messaging apps that ran off of data or Wi-Fi became a thing and made communicating with people in other countries even easier. Video chat also made face-to-face communication possible through the web or phones. Social media also revolutionized communication, with 38% of mobile data usage now being spent on social media platforms. An online post can reach an endless number of people who can interact with it. With all these options available, phone calls have faded into the background.

Consumers Prefer Messaging

The biggest reason why people aren’t answering phone calls is that they prefer messaging. Messaging is now the most popular form of communication for most age groups. Daily, there are 22 billion texts sent and an additional 60 billion messages sent via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It’s easy to understand why messaging has become so popular. Messaging is easier and takes much less time than phone calls. Messages have much higher response rate and 95% of them will be read within 3 minutes of being received. Messages have become a way of communicating globally. Messaging apps use data or Wi-Fi to send and receive messages, making it free to communicate with anyone regardless of where they are located. Phone calls can no longer compete.

Messaging offers a unique communication opportunity for businesses. Most businesses still use email and phone calls as their primary communication channels. But even businesses aren’t answering the phone like they used to, and email open rates are at an all-time low. Research shows that integrating messaging into a business’s communication strategy will pay off. A recent study shows that 89% of consumers want the option to use messaging to communicate with a business.

This is where Peoplocity’s two-way messaging platform comes in. Businesses can send messages to individual customers, all customers or subgroups of customers based on defined demographics. The messaging platform allows customers to message businesses to ask questions, get help and give feedback. With the growing preference to communicate through messaging, Peoplocity is the perfect tool for businesses to get ahead of this trend. Find out more here.

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