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Technology can be a bad thing for business

by Therese on March 30, 2008

in Random Thoughts, Rants

nocellphone.jpgYes, you read that right…technology can be a bad thing for a business owner…if it’s not used properly. Specifically, I’m talking about cell phones.

Pet sitters and dog walkers don’t sit around in their offices very often – at least that’s the goal! They’re mostly out and about taking care of pets, and meeting new clients. And, thankfully, because of cell phones, being on the run doesn’t have to mean missing calls like it used to. They can be a real asset to a business owner whose business is mobile.
Cell phones can be a real detriment too.

A few days ago I had a guy come to my house to give me an estimate on some work I need done. It had nothing to do with pets, but it does have something to do with a cell phone. As we were talking and I was pointing out what needed to be done, his cell phone rang. He looked at his phone and at first I thought, “OK, he’s just looking but not going to answer it.” I was wrong! He answered the darn thing, which meant I was essentially put on hold…as he stood in MY house…he put me on hold for some unknown caller.

There was no, “excuse me I’ve been waiting for this call” or “this is an emergency and I need to take it” … nothing! He simply stopped talking to me and answered his phone. (I would have understood an urgent call.)

He obviously didn’t realize his little call was the kiss of death as far as getting the job was concerned! Oh well.

The chit-chat only lasted a couple minutes, he hung up, and then went back to our conversation as if nothing happened. No apology, no acknowledgment of the interruption…nothing whatsoever. Is that like…Rude…with a capital R or what?!

He gave me the estimate but it didn’t matter at that point. I was so absolutely insulted by his actions that there’s no way I’d hire him. I’ve hired the guy who seemed genuinely interested in getting the job…and didn’t answer his cell phone while he was here!

I firmly believe that consultations with a potential client should be just that…consultations with the client…not a free for all where a ringing phone takes priority. Whether it’s a pet sitter meeting a client, a home remodeling person giving an estimate, or some other type of meeting, the client (or potential client) should be the priority during that time. If the business owner is truly interested in gaining that person’s business that means putting them first – and possibly even turning the cell phone off.

Personally, I think people get too addicted to the ring of their phone and dismiss what’s right in front of them in order to answer it. I see it with people talking on their phones in stores, in the movie theater, while driving, and obviously…in business meetings. Use one at the wrong time, and it could just cost you some business…just like it did the guy who didn’t get mine!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie Johnson March 31, 2008 at 7:51 am

Good for you (taking your business elsewhere). I agree that people are addicted to their cell phones.


jan March 31, 2008 at 10:25 am

I SO agree with you.

I can’t believe how incredibly rude people are with cell phones. I was at a dinner party where someone was text messaging at the table.

A couple of months ago I went with a friend and a real estate agent to look for a house for her to buy. The real estate agent took two calls while showing us through houses. We thought he was trying to impress us with how important he was, but we just thought he was rude and stupid.


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