It is amazing how much communication now bypasses the good old telephone. The fax came in, then mobiles followed by text messages simply because of an error by the mobile phone companies. They tried to get us all into WAP next, but nobody ever figured that out (if you say you did, you must be a real nerd, so I would keep it quiet Jamie). Then came email, and Blackberry, and social networks and Twitter. And now I find people have whole conversations by email (and I am as bad as anyone else) and if you pick up the telephone they are very surprised.
Yet the telephone is still essential and most companies handle it abysmally. We have voicemails, call centres, try the mobile, anything but talk with the person you want. We book appointments to have a telephone conversation – now how sad is that?
So in this digital world of written conversations, what to do with your telephone. I have to be careful as I feel I may just lose your attention now, because you say ‘get a phone in the office, one at home, plus a business one at home, and a mobile plus maybe a personal mobile’. Simple no? Well it could be, but there is a more interesting way to do this. The home phone stays as the home team needs it more than you do probably. Just don’t let the kids bankrupt you by calling their friends on their mobiles from it.
The office phone is a different question though. To my amazement most people still get in touch with BT or someone like that and order a phone with say X lines. And then they use their mobiles when they work from home. Now that is a waste to time and money. Go VOIP – no I do not mean SKYPE (though I use SKYPE a lot and love it) – I mean VOIP.
My office phone is VOIP and I can answer it at home as easily as at the office. Even when I am in Holland I answer my UK number as a local UK call, without any charge! In fact, colleagues can connect calls to me as if I was sitting next to them, we can have conference calls and all the other interesting things technology now enables, without the charges of connecting calls through and the high overheads. Oh, and we only have one line yet we all have our own number. Confused? No worries – let the technology do the walking.
Now I am not going to explain how it all works as I would like you to read my blogs next week also. Just accept for now that if you have a BT system, or pretty much any other system in your office, you can do better, cheaper and more.
I fell in love with VOIP a few years ago – if you want to know more, contact me. The detail is not for this blog.