Answering The Call

All it took was one simple call to set in motion a debate over telephone etiquette which has engaged the nation.  The call in question took place in a Sainsbury’s supermarket where a checkout worker refused to serve a customer who was talking on the phone.  The result is a debate which has reached as high as the Deputy Prime Minister.

In fact speaking in a radio phone in Nick Clegg said that whilst he understood why Sainsbury’s had apologised he had a “sneaking sympathy” for the checkout worker.  But the incident has raised the profile of mobile phones and the way in which we rush to answer their call.

Way back in time if we wanted to speak to someone we called at their home or business and waited while a member of the staff “ascertained if the person was in”.  There was a complex set of rules and etiquette set around priorities and availability and these were generally understood and obeyed by all.  Then came the telephone and its intrusion into our homes and businesses made it harder to ignore the call. 

The siren call of the telephone was bad enough but at least being out of the office or away from home was a legitimate excuse. Then came the mobile and suddenly being out of the office no longer counted as a reason not to answer or make that important call.  24/7 took over from the 9-5 and work/life balance took on a whole new meaning.  So much so that in 2011 Ofcom revealed that 70% of business owners and executives who fly off on holiday still expect to stay in touch via phone. 

Of course you could just refuse to answer the call but inbuilt politeness allied to an unwillingness to miss important communications make that option unfeasible for many.  So if you do want to stay in touch when you are out of the office what are your options?  Straight divert may be the answer in this country but if you are abroad then you may opt for a service such as the Callagenix Calling Spain package. This seamlessly transfers calls to mobile or landline in over twenty countries; helping people to stay in touch whether they are on holiday or working abroad. 

But what if you are on the side of the debate which believes that you should have some “off phone” time but still need to take that one important call when you are away?  That’s where additional services such as caller pre-announcing step in, enabling you to accept the calls you cannot afford to miss whilst switching the rest to another number or to answerphone.  Even better, caller recognition will automatically recognise and transfer calls along pre-set pathways so when your phone rings you know it is the one you have been waiting for.

Always on call or deserving of some down time?  The choice is up to you but by carefully choosing the right mix of business telephony services at least you can be in control of your calls’ destiny.

Written by Alison