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Hang up the telephone hotlines—go digital!

Scott Lane ( is Founder and CEO of Speeki, based in Hong Kong.

Since Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first patent for the telephone in 1876, telephones have proved to be a vital and popular way to communicate. That is until recently.

Since the digital age began, each subsequent generation has become increasingly reliant on this technology and more averse to spoken words. If you want to move funds, you now use your banking app instead of calling the bank, and rarely do we call a friend or a colleague without messaging them first. And what would we do without instant access to news, social media, and business applications on our mobile devices?

Yet with all these advances in communication technology, some companies are still emotionally tied to telephone hotlines.

By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials.[1] Recent studies show that the millennial generation prefers text-based communications over phone calls, so they can receive, contemplate, and reply to messages at their leisure. They see phone calls as disruptive and intrusive to their day-to-day plans. Digitally written communication provides the ability for one to think over their words, so it is simply a more comfortable and precise form of communication. Further, the 2019 Global Business Ethics Survey conducted by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative highlighted that telephone hotlines were the least popular channel—used by only 6% of people that reported misconduct.[2]

When we consider all of this, it is clear why this method has seen a steady decline in use over the last decade.

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