There are tons of different ways to communicate with people these days. At work, we live on email and Slack. Quick chats with friends happen over text. Creepy solicitations can happen on any number of social media platforms. But even with all of the different options available to us, there are still some things that need the personal touch of the human voice to be effective. Whether you like talking on the phone or not, here are some instances where a phone call is absolutely necessary.
1. Order a Pizza
There may be some naysayers out there, but I’m still of the opinion that it’s way faster to order a pizza over the phone. Calling Domino’s requires that you remember one thing: your name … and maybe your address. If you order a pizza online, you have to remember your username and password, which you probably don’t commit to memory like you do your bank pin, so you have to try every variation of usernames and passwords you’ve had since you were 13.
2. Share Good News
There are only two acceptable ways to tell a loved one that you’re getting married, getting a promotion, graduating, having a baby, etc.: in person or over the phone. If you’ve ever sent this text, “Mom, he proposed!” you owe your mother an apology.
3. Catch up with an Old Friend
Email and text are great. But when it comes to reconnecting with an old friend, a voice call is the only way to go. It’s crazy how tone and inflection can bring back tons of memories and make an otherwise commonplace conversation meaningful and totally hilarious.
4. Ask to be Bailed out of Jail 😉
Last time I checked, they don’t give you one tweet from jail. While nobody wants to make or receive this call, you sure are thankful for phones when the opportunity presents itself.
5. Ask a Question About an Important Purchase
When you’re about to spend a pretty penny on something, you want to make sure you have all the facts straight. Whether you’re booking a vacation or buying life insurance, you’re going to have questions that are unique to your situation. In these situations, the easiest thing to do is just pick up the phone.
6. Make a dinner reservation
Sure, a lot of restaurants do online reservations. But sometimes it’s easier to just pick up the phone, especially if you have any special requests. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t choose a restaurant until you’re in the car, and online forms and driving do not mix.
7. Communicate with Grandparents … or Small Children
Grammy wants to hear your voice! Even if your grandparents are totally tech savvy with thousands of Twitter followers, they want to have a real conversation with their favorite grandchild. And for those tiny humans who don’t know their ABCs yet, the best way to get hilarious stories from them is over the phone. And let’s be serious, these are the most significant conversations we have.
8. Get a Problem with a Purchase Resolved
According to marketingcharts.com, 45% of respondents believe that calling a company is the most effective way to get their problem solved. Instead of sending an email without knowing when or if anyone will respond to you, jump on the phone and talk to a real human.
9. Clear up Confusion
You’re having a text conversation when you realize your incoming texts are not being proofread, and autocorrect has taken over. While you’d like to think you can interpret, “I’m sacred me strangers,” it’s beyond your translation abilities. Time to pick up the phone and find out what the conversation is actually about.
10. Get in Youch with a Local Business
Maybe you want to check inventory or just get store hours. Either way, the most convenient way to get in touch with a local business when you’re on the go, is to call them. With click to call buttons on most of Google’s local listings, it literally takes the tap of one button to get your question answered and get on with your day.
11. Ask for a Big Favor
If you’re asking someone to housesit or watch your kids for a few days or loan you money, it’s probably better to do that over the phone. You’ll probably have to explain some things and they’ll have questions, so just get everything taken care of with one call.
12. Ask Someone Out
Again, some people may disagree with me on this. It may be a generational thing, but if you’re going to ask someone out on a real date, a phone call is in order. Especially if it’s a blind date.
13. Share a Crazy Experience
You just parked your car in a shady neighborhood and some random dude got in the passenger seat and said, “So, where are we going?” Now after your use your pepper spray for the first time or clear up the misunderstanding with said random dude, you need to give your best friend a call and tell her how you were almost murdered/how some guy mistook your car for his friend’s.
14. Make a Doctor Appointment
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather call a doctor than deal with terrible healthcare websites. And sometimes you need to ask the question, “This doctor really can remove a third nipple, right?”
15. Call your Lawyer
Whether it’s your one call from jail or you need help with a contract, conversations about complicated legal procedures are best handled over the phone or in person. Has anyone really prepared a will or living trust completely online?
Whether you agree with every item on this list or not, it’s clear there are certain things that are done way better over the phone. So the next time you go to text or send an email or PM, think “should this be done over the phone?” Feel free to reference this post when propriety is in question.