Meadow CreekNews

Cell Phones Make a Bad Impression

Filed under Office Space & Virtual Offices on April 23, 2009

My cell phone let’s me watch TV, view movies, email, surf the internet, take pictures and an untold number of other things I’m sure I have no use for, but it isn’t worth a darn for communicating.
For one thing, if we’re going to be married to a cell phone 24/7 we want it to be unobtrusive, namely small. Small means that once you put the phone to your ear, the end of it doesn’t reach much past your ear lobe. That puts quite a distance between your mouth and the microphone. Under ideal circumstances, through the miracles of modern science, your voice can often be heard clearly and without interference in a laboratory environment. That of course assumes the laboratory is not in a dead zone like my house. It is inconceivable that with more cell towers over powering the landscape than political signs in November that there is a square foot in this country that can’t receive a cell signal. But sadly, there is. The more important issue is the total lack of fundamental etiquette in cell phone usage, particularly as it pertains to business.

When I am speaking to someone and their cell phone rings, they’ve lost me. Even if they don’t take the call, I am usually treated to a painful electronic rendition of their favorite song. Ring tones more obnoxious than you can imagine are always considered cute by their owners much like yipping dogs. If they take the call and only tell the caller they’ll call them back, I’m still lost. I’ve just been told that our conversation isn’t important enough for them to turn off their cell. The movie theater yes, but me no. If they take the call and start a conversation I’ve simply been put in my place. I have no value to this person. Even when I get a quick glance from them with an expression that seems to say “Look at me, I’m always available to my customers.” All his or her customers except me at this particular moment.

I am also put off when I call someone and I get them on their cell. Such calls are most often accompanied, in crystal clear clarity and high volume, the sounds of traffic, dogs asking to go out, babies needing a change, children needing anything and everything and spouses unhappy about their better half’s lack of concern for any of the afore mentioned problems. Somewhere in all that there is the garbled sound of what I assume is the answerer’s voice. The person at the other end of the phone cannot possibly fully engaged in a conversation with me nor me with them.

I do want to hear a voice at the other end of a line when I place a business call. Even if it is not an emergency, there is something reassuring to find that I’m not dealing with a one-person show or that an actual human knows that I have called and I don’t have to wonder about if and when the caller is going to check their voicemail. Using your cell phone as a single point of business contact is like using Starbucks as your conference room; yes you can do it, but it’s really lame. Clients want to do business with professionals, when they have conversations with you, they want your full and complete attention, they don’t want to have to ask you to repeat yourself constantly because they can’t hear or understand you and they most certainly don’t want you to interupt a conversation you are having with them to take a call.

Most answering services are incredibly transparent. A different voice answering all the time, the background noise of a hundred other operators answering calls and a disinterested tone of voice that does more harm than good for the reputation of your business. Humerlis can provide a solution for this problem facing most small businesses and professionals. We can be your virtual office and help your business grow!

Richard Gabel

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