The New Extra Mile: A Phone Call to Action

This week, something delightful happened out of something seemingly routine. After expecting some collateral from a copywriting client and not hearing back, I e-mailed a couple times to get a status update, but to no avail. Worried that perhaps my client hadn't been receiving my e-mail, I decided to place a call instead. Not on my mobile while in transit and not through Skype, but just a good old-fashioned, at-my-desk landline call. Little did I know this small action would make such a big impact.

My client was overjoyed that I'd taken the time to call. He gave me an answer then thanked me profusely, expressing his sincere appreciation, as though I had gone the extra mile. Considering that we've all become so accustomed to e-mailing, texting, Skyping and DM'ing as our main form of communication, I suppose the phone can be considered the new extra mile. We forget how effective, not to mention easy, it is to make a call.


I admit that till this week, I thought shooting an e-mail over was the best way to get a quick answer, but since inboxes can be teeming and tone can be misread from time to time and spam filters can kick messages with attachments to digital Siberia, a phone call may be the clear winner (provided the person answers and you don't start playing tag). Plus, when you're on the phone (or on a Skype video chat, for that matter), you can tell when someone is being empathetic, when they're genuinely excited over a project or when they're multitasking as they're talking. Phone calls lead to a better grasp of your current customer or client relations.

As my whipsmart colleague Allen Mogol says, "the phone call has become the new handwritten note." Sure, we can effectively thank someone in a Twitter mention or in a thoughtful e-mail but think back to the last time you received a handwritten thank you via snail mail. Did it stand out? Of course it did — because it's rare. Phone calls are now thought of the same way. Elegant, unexpected and greatly appreciated.

How do you make good use of your phone? Comment below to let me know!



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