We have become a cell phone society – they are everywhere and so many people have them. It’s no surprise then that people who want to contact us will use their cell phone to call us on our cell phone – but they aren’t always successful in reaching us.
Cell phones can help us with our business – that’s probably one of the reasons most of us have one. Sure, they help us stay in touch with our family and close friends, but they have a very important business function. We can’t always be next to our desk phone so we must have a cell phone if want people to be able to contact us to discuss modifications to their homes or discuss other types of business with us.
Nevertheless, for cell phones to serve us well in our business, there are three things (and probably more) that are important to observe. First, we must make it a practice to answer our cell phone unless we are in a meeting or otherwise engaged in an important conversation that should not be interrupted. Of course, our cell phone needs to be turned on and have the ringer enabled in order to hear it ringing. In vibration or silent mode, it is too easy to miss an important call.
Not answering a cell call is not much different than not even having a phone for people to reach us. They can leave a voice message? That’s true, but that’s the second point to remember about cell phone usage. Make sure that we have recorded a personal message in our own voice and that we identify who we are and that we invite people to leave a message for us.
Without that personal identification, people may not know if they have reached us perhaps they think they may have misdialed and they will hang up without leaving a message. Too many people use a generic message or one that just tells the caller what number they have dialed. This doesn’t help the caller if they haven’t memorized our number or it’s not our voice they hear. Someone may not want to leave a message if they aren’t sure that they have dialed us, and they can’t be sure without hearing our voice or company name on the announcement.
The third tip is the way we publicize our cell phone number. Many people just list it (along with one or more other numbers) on their business card or email signature without identifying it as a cell phone or mobile phone number. Generally, when two or more numbers are listed, the last one is the cell phone number, but there is no way to tell for sure without some indication (the word “cell” or “mobile” or the letter “C” or “M,” for instance).
Let’s help the public and our strategic partners reach us easily and work on being available to speak with them when they call – or making a very clear announcement so they will be encouraged to leave a message.