Do you use a mobile phone for business? Is it the only number listed on your business card or is it one of many?
If so I would like to think that the information I am about to share might make you rethink. Having asked people for their opinions about the use of mobile phones in a business environment, the following shares some of these views. As well as pointing out some pretty obvious downfalls of using a mobile phone for business.
Now don’t get me wrong mobile phones are great and the advent of new technology means mobile phone can be a brilliant tool in business. You can use it as a GPS device, respond to your Email, access the internet and keep up in the world of social media. Who knows you might even be reading this blog post from your phone!
A Practical Solution or Not?
However there are some problems. If you only have a mobile phone number listed as your contact number for your business, for some it raises issues. From a purely practical point of view using a mobile can be tricky. If you are away from your landline phone, you are probably engaged in another activity, perhaps a meeting or performing task for a client so probably unable to answer your mobile phone. It may also be unsafe to do so especially if you are driving, even if ‘hands free.’ If you are out of the office and can answer your mobile phone, it is unlikely you will be able to look up details a caller needs. It is also unlikely that you are able to make coherent notes, so that you can return the call later.
Understandably you may think that using a mobile prevents people from having to use voicemail. If your phone is in a bad signal area or you cannot answer, the issue you were trying to avoid rears its head again. Callers are forced to listen to that dreary monotonous voicemail recording.
Professional or Not?
Consider also; how professional it is to speak to a client or indeed a prospect when you have little signal and the sound quality is poor. Worse still if the call is dropped.
Factor in also that the public perception of a business operating with just a mobile number is fairly gloomy. Having asked a variety of people it throws up lost of issues of trust and experience. Clearly the trust factor is huge and for many the thought of paying a company who operate with only a mobile number is a big cause for concern. Questions such as ‘will they be there tomorrow, or if something goes wrong?’ start to crop up.
In fact someone I discussed this matter with told me that if you accept credit card payments the merchant services provider requires the business to have a landline. Another I spoke to said simply that they found the practice screamed, home office, and unreliable.’ Also making the point that these numbers as well as 0845 or other non geographic numbres can be pointed enywhere. Others also commented that calling a mobile phone from a landline is or at least perceived to still be expensive by many.
If many numbers are listed you do risk sending callers of on a bit of a treasure hunt to be able to contact you, dialling number after number with no success can at best be annoying and at worst why should your customers have to ‘hunt’ for you?
Damaging to the Business and Brand?
So the image and branding of you and your business may also be put on the backfoot if you are only displaying a mobile phone number or indeed a list of numbers.
We may be biased but wouldn’t it be better to advertise / display just a landline number, and have it answered efficiently and professionally each and every time someone calls your business? There are other solutions but we think that http://answer-it.co.uk fits the bill and judging by our testimonials so do many of our clients.