telephone on the way out blog

13 Sep Traditional Phone Usage is on the Way Out

“Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you.”

– Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, on the first ever telephone, 1876.

The telephone has taken on many forms since Mr. Graham Bell’s days, but has never undergone a more profound transformation than in the 21st century. And we haven’t even hit the two-decade mark! More than ever, we are glued to our mobile devices, yet phone usage is in rapid decline.

In January 2016, Pew Research Center announced they would increase the percentage of survey respondents interviewed on cell phones from 65 to 75 percent to sufficiently represent the nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults who have ditched their landlines. With our primary mode of communication quite literally in hand at all times, we’ve never been more reachable. Why, then, are we so hard to reach?

Poor Phone Quality and Design

Similar to the way a poorly designed mobile site may lead a prospect to postpone—or abandon—a purchase until reaching a desktop computer, the call quality on today’s mobile devices may have those who relinquished their landlines making a run for the nearest Radio Shack. With a signal that is transmitted by radio waves to the nearest cell tower—wherever that may be—and design emphasis on handheld compatibility for text, email, web, and apps, talking on a mobile phone is neither clear nor comfortable.

Thinking of Leaving a Message after the Beep? Don’t.

In an effort to simplify work and boost productivity, Coca Cola recently opted to eliminate voicemail from the phones of its employees—and only 6 percent kept it when given the choice. With companies like JPMorgan following suit, voicemail is quickly joining the ranks of the rotary, pay phone, and beeper before it, lending to the notion that the telephone itself may not be far behind.

It may come as no surprise that the voicemail effect is becoming increasingly prevalent in an age where millennials—for whom instant messaging, texting and social media were staples of their childhood and young adulthood—are estimated to comprise nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population. But certain social anxieties may be a contributing factor. According to Business Insider, millennials tend to avoid making calls for fear of coming off as presumptuous and distracting to the receiver. Written communication, with the inherent ability to craft a carefully planned, comprehensive message, is becoming ever more the preferred method of contact.

Evolution of a Solution

This infographic illustrates the reality of “the landline’s great decline” and simultaneous rise of the mobile phone. As human nature shifts and digital channels continue to emerge into preferred methods of communication, businesses must follow suit. At Moxie, we’ve made it our goal to remain ahead of the technological curve, so that our customers can do the same. Check out our full suite of digital solutions here, tap the bell on the right, or give us a call (but only if you’re into that sort of thing).