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Why I've Stopped Using The Phone

Why I've Stopped Using The Phone

As the telephone has increasingly become redundant in my business, we no longer answer it. 

While we used to have a real answering service whereby someone personally answered the phone and would then send me a message to progress the call, I decided to dispense with that service for various reasons. Now we just use a standard answerphone message.

I thought long and hard before making this change. Would clients be inconvenienced by it? However, clients rarely need to speak to me and tend to email. So, it seemed easy enough, if a client did want to speak to me, to arrange it by email first.

This is especially so given that I hardly ever use the phone anyway. I prefer to have a Zoom or Teams meeting so I can meet people face-to-face.

How my team should answer our calls was a big part of their training in the past. There was a specific script for the person answering the phone, and I also had one for the marketer or paralegal who would ring enquirers back to get more information. I didn’t want to be the one who had to progress calls once the answering service had taken a caller’s details. 

One reason I decided to make a change and stop answering the phone is that there were so many calls from people trying to sell us something or to get a job or work experience. 

As for prospect enquiries, although we have some excellent clients who were initially prospects ringing the office, there’s also a large number of enquiries that never lead to business.

Many prospects ask for help with issues we wouldn’t take on, such as misuse of their data or copying of a kind that is next to impossible to put a stop to. One example that comes to mind is a caller who complained that a competitor was using their brand colours. It would have been impossible to do anything about that.

The trouble with IP is that people need educating. And yet so many businesses are taking ill-advised steps, such as doing their own trademark registration work. Then when they encounter an unexpected issue that makes them realise that trademark registration is far from a simple form filling exercise, they ring round seeking advice on how to address the issue. Some have no intention of engaging a lawyer.

It often felt like people were simply trying to pick my brain, which is why I’d engaged a marketer to call people back and get more details before deciding whether to speak to someone myself.

So, after much thought and deliberation, I decided it would save a lot of time and money, to simply abandon our expensive Cloud BT service, and dispense with the call answering service. Instead, we’d use a simple answer phone message inviting callers to leave a message along with their email address. 

The email address is vital because it does away with the need to try and catch people by phone, only to have no answer or to have to leave a message and face a constant back and forth just to get hold of someone. Far easier to be able to send a quick email to fix a time to speak or to just send people further information to progress their enquiry.

If they’re looking for a service we can help with, such as trademark registration, I’d prefer to send price information so they can have a good look at the details first. Then if they’d like to chat we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

And if they need help with something we don’t provide, having their email address means I can just send a quick email to let them know,

This approach may lose us some valuable leads but I reckon it’s worth it because it frees up a lot of my time. So, if you ring do please leave a full message giving your best email address. Alternatively, just use our enquiry form here 

What about you? What do you do about your phone? I’d love to know. Use [email protected] to email me.