Why Voice is Vital to Keep Empathy in the Workplace

Long gone are the days where phones were the only means of communication for colleagues and customers. Today, organizations use a multitude of different ways to stay in touch, such as email, web chat, video calls, social media, and messaging.

With some options being more productive, cost-effective, and even automatable, organizations are increasingly ditching traditional voice. While this might cut costs and boost productivity, there is a bigger price to pay. More specifically, we’re talking about empathy…

What happened to voice calling?

With modern video calling and instant messaging not around until the mid-noughties, voice calling was the go-to remote communication choice for several decades. Sure, you could send an email. But if you wanted something sorting fast, it was always best to pick up the phone.

That’s changed somewhat in recent years – with a few factors at play. For one, instant messaging and video calling technology became readily available and much improved.

Over the years, digital transformation has seen organizations switch to more productive communication methods, such as web chat. That was accelerated during the pandemic, with the rise of collaboration software like Microsoft Teams. With web chat tools built in, it was only natural that they replaced voice calling for a number of requirements.

There’s also been a significant rise in remote or hybrid working – again amplified during the pandemic – which saw traditional meetings replaced by video calls. As video calls became the norm, so too did opening up your video calling software instead of picking up the phone.

It’s good to talk

To be clear, web chat and video calling are incredible tools for modern organizations. The former can boost productivity, keeping communication concise and on-point while allowing employees to multi-task. The latter improves collaboration by facilitating file-sharing, screen-sharing, and simulating the in-person meeting experience.

What they can’t do, however, is replace voice calling completely. Voice calling is something of a mid-way point between quick non-personal messaging and full-frontal video calling. It’s a familiar format for both colleagues and customers, which allows you to explain yourself better than webchat but without the mental fatigue that can come from too much video calling.

Most importantly, it enables empathy. This all-too-often-ignored emotion is more important than ever at the moment. Whether it’s colleagues still adapting to hybrid working or customers adapting to a remote service, empathy is critical to delivering a great experience where people feel understood and at ease.

That leads to some more tangible benefits. Empathy among colleagues has been found to improve creativity, boost engagement and even decrease staff turnover. It’s equally powerful between staff and customers. A 2020 study found that cognitive empathy – the ability to see the world from a customer’s perspective – improves service quality and increases sales volumes.

Modern voice calling solutions

While voice calling provides more empathy than its counterparts, it doesn’t come without its own hurdles. Or at least it didn’t used to. One of the reasons organizations are moving away from voice is that they’re stuck with legacy systems where voice calls are subpar in a number of ways:

  • Unable to integrate with modern solutions like Microsoft Teams
  • Expensive to deploy at multiple sites
  • Difficult to manage and support in multiple countries
  • Lack of features like queue calling and call routing
  • Lack of monitoring and analytics

That’s where a modern solution can help. While new technologies for collaboration, messaging and video have been developed, voice calling has undergone its own transformation. Nowadays, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect a traditional voice calling experience without the problems of yesteryear.

At Aura, we provide global SIP services in 78 countries to achieve exactly that. With our help, you can upgrade your legacy phone system with a flexible, scalable consumption-based model. Enjoy high quality calls instantly with management and reporting through an innovative panel. That’s all topped off with local numbers and multi-currency support in one comprehensive contract.

Contact us today to discuss your voice calling requirements, and to learn how Aura can keep that much needed empathy alive in your workplace.

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