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Why We Broke Up With Inefficient and Time-Sucking Phone Calls (And Why We Think You Should, Too!)

Camille Tintle | 16 October, 2020

            Why We Broke Up With Inefficient and Time-Sucking Phone Calls (And Why We Think You Should, Too!)


Recently our agency implemented a change in policy that is becoming more and more popular, especially in the era of COVID -- requiring communication to be exclusively online. While this may be viewed as a radical policy by some, the overall response has been extremely positive and we have been encouraged by the respect and adherence to this policy change that our clients are extending to us. Our clients are thriving and busy business owners themselves who appreciate efficiency and crystal clear communication.

While some people’s gut instinct is to “hop on a call,” for us, it’s always been to send an email. Over our 7+ years of working in the Facebook advertising space, we found phone calls to be a total productivity killer and (mostly) a waste of time. Additionally, our work requires a clear paper trail to reference back to, and our service deals directly with text communication in the ads so we NEED to see it in text (not audibly).

You may be wondering that surely there must be an exception to this rule? Yes, there is. But it’s not hopping on a phone call. ;) If a unique situation arises and a longer explanation is needed with visuals, our team will make videos with our favorite screen-recorder, Screencastify. This has proven to be a very effective AND efficient way to communicate when an email just doesn’t quite fit-the-bill which, to be honest, is a rare occasion.

You might be surprised to realize that we are not the only professionals who feel this way. (Can we get a “praise hands emoji?”). As pressures rise and work days get longer, more and more busy professionals are searching for ways they can keep their sanity and find more margin in their lives.

In fact, this recent and insightful article outlining the wry observations of Taylor Offer might say it best:

“Taylor spent the day working alongside an overly stressed friend employed by a large company. The friend had about eight meetings sprinkled throughout the day. Taylor eloquently explained that after listening to the meetings, he realized most of them could’ve been streamlined with emails or PDFs. Minutes of small talk, reading through presentations and waiting for everyone to join the call could’ve been spent doing actual work.... If only he didn't have meetings all day, he could have done his work in a few hours and been done by noon, with no stress…,’ Taylor wrote. ‘Am I the only one who doesn't think all these meetings are so necessary?’”

Many busy professionals don’t take the time to stop and consider how disruptive phone calls really are to their everyday life. For example, if we scheduled a call every time we were asked, we would be left with very little time in our schedule to do what we do best—managing winning Facebook campaigns and doing it well to ensure our client’s revenue multiples. Repeatedly disrupting our workday in order to participate in a phone call that is better handled over email—(which is often far more efficient)—can add up to a lot of lost time from ad campaign management, which is not only a disservice to ourselves, but also our clients.

Before you write this idea off as NOT being possible for you, consider this. MANY business fields are not only able to thrive with online-only communication, but are actually prime opportunities to switch to this model. If you are in the field of online (basically) anything, you can likely make the switch with ease! Some examples are (but are not limited to), online stores, ANY online profession (such as graphic design, web development, SEO, coding, any writing jobs, marketing, social media management, etc). This obviously doesn't apply to all businesses and professions, but again we want to stress how this is extremely possible for any field with a strong digital presence.

We realize this idea may not be popular with all and not everyone prefers email or online communication. BUT the reality is that online communication is absolutely necessary in today's business world so you NEED to be proficient at it. Opposite to contrary belief, phone calls are NOT necessary and you can get away without doing phone calls (not the other way around). If you're dealing with people in different time zones or work hours or busy schedules, it can be extremely challenging to sync up your schedules for a call that could take weeks to schedule, when the reality is that you could simply type out your response at the time that works for YOU and in a timely manner (NOT weeks away!). How many times have you tried to schedule a meeting or call only to pinpoint the best time for both (or all) parties is a week or more away? Then you get on the call and realize this could have been handled much faster and more easily a week ago if you had used an alternate method of communication, (like email!). 🤦🏼‍♀️ In this way, phone calls tend to delay communication and halt our productivity unnecessarily to the point that it feels like we're stuck back in the 20th century.

For those of you who are up in arms and thinking this is a crazy idea, consider this: many big time entrepreneurs and successful tech execs have brazenly shared that this is their policy as well. Mark Cuban has been famously quoted as telling Thrive Global in 2016: "No meetings or phone calls…Everything is email." In the same interview he elaborates when asked about his email preference saying, “Love it. Live on it. Saves me hours and hours every day. No meetings. No phone calls. All because of email. I set my schedule.” How many busy business owners and professionals can relate to this sentiment? Isn’t that what we all need? More margin in our lives and the ability to save hours every day and be in control of our own schedule rather than bending to everyone else’s agenda at every whim? Perhaps saying no to phone calls is what the modern-day business world is missing. Elon Musk shares similar sentiments and has been quoted as saying regarding meetings and phone calls, “It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

Time is money. Eliminating unnecessary and disruptive phone calls from your workday will end up giving you more time to do what you do best-- ultimately putting more money into your pocket along with more sanity and desperately needed margin into your life. We hope that it is easy to see why email is the preferred communication for our agency and why this is a trend in the modern-day business world that we don’t see going away any time soon. Welcome to the future!

It’s your turn! We’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Do you agree? Have you made the plunge to moving exclusively to online communication only? If not, what's stopping you from doing so? If this sounds like a game changer for you too, we encourage you to skip the YEARS it took us to implement this policy in full and start today. It CAN be done and we (as well as Mark and Elon!) are proof of it. You'll be ahead of the curve and will quickly notice how much more productive, efficient and happy (and less stressed!) you are.

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