I received a number of responses to my editorial about technician image around the world. Some of the responses were by email, but the majority were old-fashioned phone calls to my cell phone. It was great to talk to those of you that called.
Whenever a phone rings, I have to answer it. Typically, I never check the number on the caller ID. It was how I was raised and how I was trained when I started working. Some people are amazed when I actually answer the phone.
When I grew up, it was ingrained that if a phone is ringing, you pick it up. It was also that way at most of the businesses I worked at. If you missed a call, you missed an opportunity. I am still that way.
I hate to say it, but the phone call is a dying form of communication. Even with more phone numbers issued, the act of speaking into a phone is a lost art with some people. For them, it is easier to send a text message, instant message or post something on social media.
I can remember just 20 years ago when cell phones were becoming more popular, it was generally understood that you called the home number first and only call the cell phone if you had permission. For even telemarketers, cell phones were off limits. Today, the cell phone number is the first number you call, and telemarketers consider your mobile number fair game.
What is really killing voice calls is the spam or robocall. In 2018, it was estimated that 29% of calls made were spam calls. This year they are estimating it will be as high as 40%. These calls are usually fraudulent scams offering to lower your credit card interest rates or they claim they are the IRS. In the past, these just came out of a few area codes. Today, they can spoof a phone number so it looks like a person in your neighborhood.
It has taken its toll on people. Some people hate the ringing of the phone, some see it as an interruption to their screen time.
For a shop owner or service writer, phone apathy and spamming is a huge problem. If you are trying to reach a customer for approval over the phone, people not answering the phone is more than an inconvenience. Nothing is worse than a car clogging up a bay while you wait for the customer to get back to you.
But, customers have changed. Some customers now expect a text or an email. There are even built-in texting and email functions built into some customer management software. When they drop off their vehicle, ask them what is the best way to communicate.
For me, I will almost always pick up the phone at (330) 554-6764.