(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)
In the digital age, one might assume the importance of the fixed line Phone to go downhill. That is true for the US. In the US, Preliminary results from the July–December 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow. Two in every five American homes (41.0%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the second half of 2013.There’s a generally positive correlation between wealth and the usage of fixed line phones in the US and we should expect it to fade out!
So you might say, what’s your point? The point I am trying to make is, the same thing is not happening in Asia, at least not in China.
The decline in the developed world is expected, but the number of fixed line phones per capita and mobile phones per capita keep rising in China. That is because
- China is becoming more affluent and therefore more people are able to afford phones.
- The Chinese love the phone.
Why do Chinese prefer the use of phone over other modes of communication?
Instantaneous: One of the main reasons why picking up the phone and calling someone is better than sending an email is the fact that any issues can be dealt with faster and more efficiently. Emails can often land in an inbox and remain unopened or non-actioned until after the date that any action needed to be taken has passed. On a call, all information can be relayed, and answers or conclusions can be made and actioned there and then, without having to wait for replies.
Less room for misunderstanding: Another key reason why a phone call is better than an email is that key information and content can remain in context, whereas misunderstandings can often occur in emails. If the subject matter of a conversation is of a complicated, technical, or particularly sensitive nature, an email can often lead to unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding, leading to long and drawn out email exchanges. Simply picking up the telephone and dial ling those that need to be involved can eliminate any room for misunderstanding.
Phone Number is Identity: In the digital age, a fixed line phone is a luxury, and because of that only the most functional and profitable business can afford a fixed line phone. Without a fixed line phone, it means your business is new, not profitable and not trustworthy. If you cannot afford a phone, you are not trustworthy.
Phone is Power: You can test your powers over the phone. When replying to an email, the person at the other end could be travelling, in a car, playing with his kids, having sex… You simply cannot control his life with email or instant messaging software. However, with the help of a phone, if you can reach him, you can intrude into his private life easily, or disrupt him from doing what he wants to do. If you want to keep your husband from meeting pretty girls, call him, make his phone ring like an alarm, call every five minutes until he picks up. Causing embarrassment for the other party is a great way to force him into a conversation with you. You simply cannot cause annoyance or harm with email or other instant messaging systems. Without annoyance, threat or impending harm, one cannot get things done in China.
Phone is Detective: By calling someone at a business, an immediate response is expected. If there is no response from the other end, you might suspect they are non existent, or just too busy. By calling the other party, you can tell whether they are actually working or not. If no one picks up the phone, it could mean that the business is fake or dysfunctional. On the contrary, if they pick up the phone too fast and too politely, you can tell the other party has the weaker hand, and your can take the upper hand in any negotiation.
So whats about Phone Numbers?
So what is it about Phone Numbers?
This is a photo of a shop in Hong Kong selling mobile phone numbers. The Chinese here are obsessed with phone numbers and are willing to pay with an ounce of pure gold for a phone number, actually more than one ounce since the best phone numbers cost multiple ounces of gold. For more about telephone number investment, please visit http://www.popnumber.com/