In honor of the 137th anniversary of the first phone call, today’s post is dedicated to five ways phones have enhanced business communication. RingCentral surveyed nearly 2,000 people and found some interesting facts about how the phone impacts businesses. I’ve used this survey to come up with today’s Friday Five post. Check out five significant ways the phone enhances business communication:

1) Allows Us to Send and Receive Calls

One of the more obvious benefits the phone has afforded businesses is the ability to send and receive important calls. From land lines to mobile devices companies of all shapes and sizes use phones on a daily basis for business purposes. Making sales calls, answering customer service issues, closing business deals, and ordering office supplies are just a few examples of the many communications the phone allows us to engage in with ease.

Here are some interesting facts discovered during the RingCentral survey:

  • March 10, 1876 the first telephone call was made
  • The first phone book was issued in 1878
  • Only 5% of people have used a phone booth or a pay phone in the past year
  • 63% of people over 40 still use the phone book to look up numbers at home and in the office
  • 61% of people under 40 report never using a phone book, in any circumstance
  • 69% of people under 40 already use a mobile phone as their home phone
  • 60% of people list four separate phone numbers on their business cards
  • 32% of people told us they hate when they are sent to voice mail

Check out the RingCentral infographic to see more interesting facts.

2) Text Messaging

Over the past several years the use of text messaging for business has increased significantly. In fact, according to the International Telecommunications Union, 200,000 text messages were sent every second in 2012. While it may be a fairly new method for business communication it’s gaining traction. Text messages allow businesses to have short, quick and immediate conversations from almost anywhere. You might be surprised at how often today’s businesses takes advantage of text messaging:

  • 79% of adults use texting for businesses (according to International Telecommunications Union)
  • 41% of people under 25 hate when people don’t pick up the phone after you have just texted them

RingCentral now offers the first business SMS service.

3) Send Faxes

The fax machine was invented by Alexander Bain in 1843 BEFORE the first phone came out. The fax has changed significantly over the years from Alexander Bain’s machine that scanned a flat metal surface using a stylus mounted on a pendulum, to faxes such as RingCentral’s fax which allows businesses to send a fax directly from a mobile device. Thanks to today’s high-tech phones businesses can more easily send and receive faxes from anywhere.

4) Instant Access to the Internet

The first cellular phone was introduced in 1984. Over the last 29 years the mobile phone has advanced significantly. Today’s cell phone provides businesses easy access to the World Wide Web anytime from anywhere. Being able to connect to the internet via a phone means businesses can access email, conduct research, communicate via social media, and much more.

5) Business Applications

With mobile phones comes mobile apps. There are countless mobile applications designed with the business in mind. In fact, last Friday’s post was dedicated entirely to mobile apps that enhance business productivity. Thanks to the phone even the small businesses has access to affordable and highly effective applications to make business more efficient.

How has the phone helped your business thrive?