Why Won’t Millennials Call Me?
This year, I had the opportunity to consult with a National Student Advertising Competition team about a similar project for Pizza Hut to increase the percentage of online orders. Same consensus. Their collective opinion, borne out by research with peers, is that they don't want to talk to anyone on the phone.
One reason Millennials cite for eschewing phone ordering is making sure that their order is correct. But in my decades of ordering food over the phone, I can count the incorrect orders I've gotten on one hand. There's something deeper than that.
Some of the published articles suggest that Millennials want to craft their messages carefully rather than have to engage in extemporaneous speech. Yet many of the voice phone-phobes I know are quite adept at casual conversation.
A codified use of punctuation allows texters to overcome the idea that non-personal communication fails to convey tone and emotion. Read what Jessica Bennett wrote in the Style section of the New York Times "When Your Punctuation Says It All (!)." She reports on a hierarchical use of question marks, exclamation points, and emojis to convey just the right amount of excitement or disdain.
Another group my students working on a research project for GrubHub related a comment from a focus group participant who said, "I'd be fine if I could just order online and have a drone drop off the food. That way I wouldn't need to have any human contact."
GrubHub capitalizes on this distaste for human phone contact in their 30-second "Flying Burrito" commercial: "GrubHub lets you order online for free from local restaurants without ever having to talk to another human being." It's interesting that the burrito in this spot seems to have a built-in delivery drone. The next big thing?