Do you feel an impending sense of doom when your phone rings? Do you breathe a sigh of relief when someone says, “I’ll just text you instead?” Do you feel your heart pounding in your throat when you are forced to make a phone call? If you answered “yes,” you might be just one of many introverts who hate talking on the phone.
So, why do some introverts avoid phone calls like the plague?
They’re intrusive and disruptive
When you get a phone call, not only does it loudly interrupt your focus with an obnoxious ringtone, but it also forces you to stop what you’re doing since taking a call makes it difficult to multi-task. Plus, many modern offices have open-concept spaces, so it’s challenging for employees to take phone calls at their desks without disrupting fellow teammates.
There’s a lot more pressure on the phone
When you’re on the phone, there’s a lot of pressure to craft the perfect response. You don’t have time to hem and haw, which means you need to think and speak quickly. For some, this can be anxiety inducing. Extroverts tend to process everything verbally and in the moment. Introverts, on the other hand, usually prefer to process internally.
They have their own customs and etiquette
Phone calls come with their own set of customs and etiquette: formal greetings and farewells, accompanied by small talk and pleasantries that can frustrate introverts. And then there’s the issue of small talk – something that energizes extroverts but can leave introverts mentally drained.
They force a quick decision
To answer or not to answer, that is the question. If you answer, you may feel some anxiety and stress. If you ignore, you’ll feel as though you’re being dishonest and will be left wondering what the call was about. Neither option leaves you feeling good.
You lose visual and physical cues
Studies show 55 percent of all communication is nonverbal. If social interaction already makes you nervous, trying to decipher what someone is saying without those visual cues can be terrifying. Even texting provides more cues than a phone call – you can exchange photos, emojis, voice memos, etc. In contrast, a phone call seems very one-dimensional.
You don’t know what to expect
Surprises can be stressful for introverts, so answering an unplanned phone call from an unknown number often feels like a nightmare. Will this be bad news? Good news? A conflict? Small talk? There’s no way to know what to expect prior to that phone ringing. And once you pick up, it’s difficult to hang up whenever you please. You have to find a graceful time to exit the conversation or resolve the issue.
Phone calls take longer
You know how annoyed you get when a meeting could have just been an email? That’s how people feel when a phone call could have just been a text. With a text, you avoid all of the unnecessary, time-consuming small talk and greetings and get right to the point.
So, what can your business take away from this? The first step would be to follow our advice on how to reach unresponsive customers who don’t answer the phone. Our biggest tip would be to send a text before you call to set expectations. Let your customer know if it’s going to be a quick, one-minute call or something longer. If it’s going to be longer, we suggest texting them to schedule a time that works best for them. In your text, give them a little bit of context as to what the phone call will be about, so they’re not filing in the gaps themselves. This will help ensure your introverted customers aren’t caught off guard and come away from your conversations feeling good.
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