$480/Hr to Cure Gen Z’s ‘Phone Phobia’


Young blonde woman using a smartphone typing a message looking stressed and nervous with her hands on mouth biting nails. | Image by Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

The youngest among us, Generation Z, grew up with the smartphone. However, few, if any, learned how to make an actual phone call.

After noticing the rise in “phone phobia,” Mary Jane Copps started her consultancy firm, The Phone Lady, which specializes in teaching phone etiquette and communication skills.

In recent years, demand for her services has skyrocketed. Since 2006, The Phone Lady has trained over 15,000 individuals, their website states.

An hour of one-on-one coaching costs $480, a 30-minute webinar costs $365 and daily corporate workshops cost $3,500, according to Business Insider.

Although Gen Z members — often referred to as Zoomers — are savvy texters, Copps says that “Gen Z never had [telephone communication] skills given to them” because they were not required to use a landline.

By 2015, most households did not have a landline telephone, according to The Conversation.

“Now we have several generations that were never taught anything about talking on the phone, and people have removed phones from their homes,” Copps continued.

Because many younger Millennials and Zoomers never learned to talk on the telephone, they feel anxiety when placing or receiving a phone call and avoid them altogether. Sometimes, phone-related anxiety, dubbed “telephobia,” can cause physical symptoms such as sweating, anxiety attacks, dizziness, and/or shortness of breath.

Moreover, telephobia extends beyond younger employees. In a 2019 UK study, over half of all workers claimed to have phone anxiety — including 40% of baby boomers.

Companies have responded to workers’ phone hesitancy and begun eschewing telephone customer service altogether.

Just last month, Frontier Airlines became one of many companies to slash their telephone customer service lines and replace them with a 24-hour live chat on their website. Moreover, artificial intelligence chatbots such as ChatGPT may one day replace human chat customer service jobs altogether.

Despite the trend away from telephone customer service, Copps argues that telephone skills remain integral to business success.

“You can’t build a relationship by email because it’s not back and forth and you’re not hearing each other’s tone of voice,” affirmed Copps.

Furthermore, a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Wall Street Journal showed that although customers agree calling a company is a hassle, 43% of customers prefer talking to a customer-service rep rather than texting with chatbots or sorting through FAQs.

For those suffering from telephobia, Copps recommends starting small by calling a family member or challenging a person not to text for the next three days. After learning to hold telephone conversations with loved ones, many relearn and overcome their phone anxiety, Copps explained.

“Sharing ideas, thoughts and information, in real-time, sparks innovation and builds strong, long-lasting relationships,” Copps said.

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25 days ago

What a rip off and scam artist. Seriously. Talk about taking advantage of the vulnerable. Did this person once work for the mafia or perhaps politicians cause she acts like it! It’s sickening to hear the way she takes advantage of people

Reply to  J S
25 days ago

If the problem is resolved within an hour, then this consultant may save companies a lot of time and hassle with dissatisfied telephone calls.