End of the line for telephone numbers?
A few years ago, if you didn’t have a fax machine you weren’t considered to be a real company.
Nowadays the equivalent is not having a proper website, (preferably built on WordPress of course) or social media presence etc.
The primary method for people contacting you or your company is still by using a telephone number – in my case it’s usually to cold call me, but that’s another post, another time.
Like going to the post office to buy a stamp, or sending out/ paying in cheques, compared to a couple of years ago, how often do you call people on their landline numbers? Do you even know your own company telephone number? What’s your wife/ husband/ partner’s number? There’s a good possibility that you haven’t dialled the actual number for a while?
I recently cancelled my Skype Number and reverted to the free options simply because I rarely used Skype as a landline to make or receive calls. At home we haven’t used the landline for around 3 years (but still have to pay for it or we’ll be charged extra for the other services we use – again, another post, another day!)
With the proliferation of online IDs and being ‘always on’ moves us into the realm of websites where instead of having to know the website’s IP address, 193.186.XXX.whatever … we can go directly using what is commonly known as a domain name – pointandstare.com for example.
Communications platforms are also making our lives easier – if you want to look me up on Google Plus you can, if you want, type in https://plus.google.com/105475484427213195749 or, better still try https://plus.google.com/+LeeRickler on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=25854815 or https://www.linkedin.com/in/leerickler – there’s also a plethora of mobile apps – Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Who’s Down … – where you’re instantly connected to your contacts as soon as you install the app so you don’t even need to know their details.
Similarly, the default was to display your company phone number high and proud on the top right of your website – now phone numbers are still displayed but also crowded out by Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook icons.
Even with payments, you no longer even need bank details – simply use something like the PayPal Me service from PayPal or just click the link in your suppliers online invoice and payments can be made direct.
The time came a few months ago where I needed some more business cards made (i use them a lot when out networking) – the old ones had the usual name, email, phone etc – the new ones just have the company name and logo – that’s it.
If you need to find my details, it’s easy – just Google Me.
I envisage that within a few years we will no longer be calling phone numbers but everyone will be on an ID or company name – the problem is, will telcos adapt, is their tech up to the task or will they be the ones getting left behind?