You’re actually calling someone instead of texting, emailing, Snapchatting, or Facebooking. You might be calling about work, play, or to tell the neighbors that you’ve had PLENTY of zucchini and you REALLY don’t need anymore. Whoever you’re calling seems to answer – but they don’t even say hello. Are our phone manners that bad these days?
No, we are all adjusting to using the new phone system: VoIP. Which means? Voice-over Internet Protocol. There are many advantages to using a VoIP system, but there are also two problems we’ve noticed that we can solve by working together: pause before saying hello and acknowledge the awkward. But first, here’s a short explanation of VoIP.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP is quickly integrating with, and sometimes replacing, our Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) . Instead of your voice traveling in analog over the phone line running through the old oak tree in your front yard, it is now translated into tiny packets of digital information and sent zooming through your internet data lines. Because VoIP is more complicated, there is an added delay that can be very noticeable during conversations with lots of back and forth between individuals speaking.
Problem 1: The Missing “Hello”
We’ve all called someone, have known they answered their phone, but haven’t heard them say “Hello.” They DID say hello, but didn’t give their phone quite enough time to connect and so their greeting went unheard. When you answer your phone, pause for a second before saying hello. This allows your phone time to fully connect and will ensure that your incredibly polite and cheerful greeting doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. To even better ensure you are heard when answering add a bit more to your standard greeting. For example: “Hello, this is Long John Silver speaking…”
Problem 2: Unintended Interruptions
After you’ve paused and then said hello, the following conversation is sometimes punctuated by unintended interruptions. This is caused by increased delays occasionally experienced by users who think they are speaking into the conversational open spaces, but instead hear their partner’s words just as their own words leave their mouth. We can solve this issue by simply acknowledging the awkward. Neither of us are being rude on purpose, we’re just dealing with an annoying delay in the system.
Now that you know how to deal with the two more common and frustrating issues of VoIP-based systems, you can make the world a better place to begin, and continue, conversations. And you can do it all without asking that annoying question, “can you hear me now?”