Eight reasons to use the phone rather than email or messaging

A smiling business man sits at his desk making a phone call to a client

In the past 40 years, the number of methods of communication have increased significantly. Technology is continually developing new ways of keeping in touch - whether it be with family and friends or with those we work with and our suppliers and customers

Since the advent of email way back in 1971, numerous other methods of contacting customers have emerged. From Facetime and iMessage to team video calls, businesses are spoilt for choice. This can mean that it is easy to overlook the power of the humble phone call. So, what advantages does using the phone offer?

1. Telephone calls are more personal

While email and instant messages are often sent while the sender is multi-tasking, telephoning someone means taking time out of your day to stop and make the call. This shows more care, demonstrates more attention and better can demonstrate better customer service.

2. Phone calls are often faster

Messages can be conveyed more quickly over the phone than exchanging numerous messages via email or instant message. A phone call is also often the best approach when an immediate answer is needed.

3. Meaning can get lost in translation

It is easier to make sure your message has been understood first time when talking. How often have you found a message has become 'lost in translation' when sent via email or text? The meaning, urgency or nuances can get lost when conveyed by written words, because some things are just more effectively communicated verbally by phone. It is also possible to clarify something there and then.

4. Everybody has a phone

Almost 98% of people in the UK had a smartphone in 2023 and most people take their phone with them everywhere. This makes it easier to get hold of people - especially if it's urgent. Everyone knows how to answer the phone. That's not always the case with other methods. Some people will not be familiar with newer apps and technologies and it's impossible to know who is using what.

5. Telephones are simple

Using technology can sometimes be difficult. Many technologies rely on a stable internet connection, both parties having the same app, working equipment and technological know-how. Things can and do often go wrong - especially if you spend significant amounts of time working remotely. Providing you have mobile phone signal and data, you can simply dial the person you want to reach.

6. Phone calls are often more authoritative

In the same way that letters are seen to carry more authority, the traditional nature of a phone call generally means it holds more weight than an email or an instant message. If you want to communicate an official message, deliver it with your voice. A phone call is also more effective and sensitive when delivering bad or difficult news.

7. Video calls can be awkward

Sometimes being able to see the person you’re talking to is useful, but more often than not it’s a hindrance. Most of us will remember a time when we have been interrupted during a video call by our children, pets or life going on in the background. This can make working from home a little more difficult. It's just another thing to worry about. Facial expressions can also give our feelings things away.

8. Phone calls are now cheaper

Once upon a time, making calls using a landline was expensive - especially to national or overseas numbers. However, that's no longer the case. You can make cheap calls to hundreds of other countries for a reasonable price using VoIP (voice over internet protocol) technology. Mobile phone packages also often include unlimited minutes as part of the contract. 

Blog supplied by Ruth Barton on behalf of Call Happy.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.