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When Text Messaging & Cell Phone Calls Drive Away Customers

by Mary Emma Allen on August 17th, 2008


Text messaging and cell phone calls have their place in business, but there can be times when they drive away customers.  They’re part of our modern technical world and can be an assistance in business.

However….there is a time and place!

This is something you must be aware of and enlighten any employees.  When a customer is talking to you, he/she doesn’t want you distracted by text messaging or a call on the call phone. 

While one customer was talking with a clerk in the electronics department of a store desiring information about a specific product, he realized he wasn’t receiving the young man’s full attention.  Then he noticed the clerk glancing periodically at his hand.

“Are you text messaging?”

“Ah…ah. Yes.”

“While you’re talking with me?  How can you do that?”

So the clerk showed him how he one-handedly keyed a message, received another, read it at a quick glance, and answered it…..all while he supposedly was waiting on the customer.  The call had nothing to do with the business at hand.

A Cell Phone Distraction

Another time, while this same customer was inquiring about clothing in another store, the clerk received a call on her cell phone. 

“Oh, okay, I’ll be right there, ” she said.

Then she told the customer she had to go help another clerk in another part of the store.  She called to a nearby clerk and said, “If he finds something he wants to buy, you can help him.”  Then she left.  (Admittedly, this supposedly was about store business, but she left a dissatisfied customer.)

In both cases, the employers/business owners lost two customers, two sales, and any future sales.

Learn cell phone and text messaging etiquette yourself and be sure your employees are aware that customers are the lifeline of the business…not their text messaging buddies.

Have you had cell phone/text messaging experiences that have caused you to go elsewhere with your business?

(Amazon image)

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tags: cell phone, cell phone etiquette, , , Technology, text messaging, text messaging etiquette

POSTED IN: Customer Service, Marketing, Personal Experience, Technology

1 opinion for When Text Messaging & Cell Phone Calls Drive Away Customers

  • Vancouver real estate agent
    Aug 19, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Dear Mary. I agree with every single word you wrote here. Text messaging and calling is the problem in
    most cases when negotiating with a customer and I find it quite annoying. I work as a Vancouver condos realtor and sometimes I wish
    I didn’ t experience such behaviour of some customers. To name a bright example, one customer called
    four times during our meeting (!!!) but as a professional I overlooked it and continued in the vision of
    successful deal. Unfortunately for the customer, there was no deal and not even any further cooperation
    between the two of us.

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