Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Over the years my cell phone has evolved with technology from a bag phone that was strictly limited to 30 minutes a month to a I-Phone that has more computing power in it than the entire defense system of the US in the 60's. With that evolution has sadly came a change in phone etiquette that has not been an improvement like technology but a slide.

At a recent trade show I was aghast to hear a contractor talking with a customer while standing at a urinal and frequently calling contractors who now receive calls on cell phones I hear dining conversations, check out chatter, wind noise from an open window in a truck zooming to it's next destination, or a blaring background radio, and yes the ultimate breach of phone etiquette was talking to a contractor while at a customers home who was obviously irate with the contractor and some type of service performed. My call might have been a welcomed break to the contractor but it certainly did nothing to soothe an already tense situation.

In our haste to see that a customer does not get a voice mail we feel the urge to answer the phone when ever and where ever, but we need to keep in mind that our pursuit of professionalism by answering the phone maybe self destructive if the customer perceives they are an interruption to another task we are involved in, and believe me they are less than impressed with the sound of a flushing toilet in the background!

So the next time the cell phone rings and it may be a customer remember our image starts with what the customer hears. Perhaps there are times it may be best to let that call go to voice mail and return it as soon as possible but in a more conducive place to carrying on a business call. Cell phones have evolved for the better, let's make sure our etiquette keeps pace!

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