In the world of B2B communication, answering the phone when clients call has always been a value for us at Taylor Digital. It’s a simple, yet defining quality of our culture. The first time one of our new clients called and I answered the phone, it was so silent on the other end of the line that I thought we got disconnected.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t expect an actual human to answer,” he said.
Apparently, breathing and thinking people answering the phone for companies and organizations is a lost art. Instead of personal responses, the growing trend among B2B companies involves an automated service to which you “press 1” for more information regarding sales, “press 2” to be transferred to the marketing department and so on. But perhaps the real sting is when you are actually transferred, it usually goes to voicemail. Sometimes, even a voicemail isn’t enough to get to speak to someone on the phone. Instead of getting a call back, people often opt for an email, a text message, or some other form of digital communication currency.
The Automation Future
Studies show that the digital future involves many automated services, including algorithms that could complete the hiring process without any human interaction. According to Pew Internet, Americans are more likely to express worry (67%) than optimism (22%) about the future of new automations. Concerns run the gamut from loneliness to economic worries, but one underlying assumption resonates: automated services will widen the divide that already exists in our culture.
Today’s social climate is one of disconnection and segmentation. The world has become polarized on issues of politics and ideologies while many of our daily tasks have already been automated. And while often helpful, the automation, plus the segmentation in addition to the inherent characteristics of social networks, creates an environment where it is easy to live, talk and disagree in silos. Because social media has become the news network for many, we often learn about tragedies, politics, wars and natural disasters first via the Internet. It’s our natural instinct to respond on that same forum, but often we forget that real people are reading what we are saying, and a real person is responding, whether we like it or not.
And while digital communication is the norm, our company takes pride in defying it. Not only do we believe that being available to our clients is great customer service, but we think it goes much deeper than that. We believe that there is something to be said for personal connection.
So what then, is the Taylor Digital difference? Why would we go out of our way to answer the phone, to re-invite a form of communication that takes effort and confrontation at times, that invites others into our workflow, our days and our own personality quirks?
Because we actually like talking to people and learning their stories. Personal connection makes all the difference.
It would be easy to limit our communication solely to the digital space since we are, in fact, a digital agency. But this would be short-sighted of us, and possibly press us to abandon a truth about the Internet that we stand firm on: the Internet is a valuable and strong tool that can be used for good and create a real and lasting impact on our world, but only because it is telling a story of real people doing real things. We know that every one of our clients’ businesses emanated from authentic people with dreams and a desire to create something new to change the world for the better. The Internet is only as powerful as the people behind it.
To this end, we answer the phone. It is a Taylor Digital value that sets us apart in which we strive to always protect and nourish the human aspect of what we do. It is our belief that it is humanity that drives the Internet, that influences our development ideas, marketing strategies and custom applications. Our commitment as an agency is that we offer digital strategies to real dreams so that real people can live their best lives.