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  #11  
Old 02-12-2000, 04:01 PM
jeffclc
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I have to admit it that I hate awnsering machines. MOst of my customers are long time customers, and they know how and when to get ahold of me. I tell them that I leave the house at 7a.m. and that they should have no problems calling in thearly morning hours. I know that some are not up then. The thing that I hate is when someone calls at 11:00p.m. I am long asleep by then. Again, most of my customers know this, and don't call.<p>I have an awnsering machine that I can check remotely. I will usually check it around lunch time, and again when I get home. If I know that I am going to be working or out late, I will call and check it around dinner time. This gives me a window of 4-5 hours to return a call. I do not think that that is an unreasonable time. <p>I do have a cellular phone, but I only give the number out to select clients. They also know not to call me for simple matters( We are going out of town for 3 weeks, so don't leave a bill in the door). <p>With cellular costs as low as they are, I had thoughts of a cellular only phone. The thing that I didn't like about this was that it would require me to have the number from another area code for the cell phone. People like to call locally.<p>Another thing that has really(I think) worked to my advantage is the first 3 numbers of my phone number. It is one of the origional numbers from my town. In recent years, many new exchanges have popped up, and people may not be familiar with the area that the number represents. With mine, most people automaticlly assoiate the number with the exchange.<p>I have probally missed some oppertunities because of people nit leaving messages. That is OK with me. In this busy day and age, people have to accept this as a fact of life. <p>I had not thought of the call forewarding idea. Like previously said, caller ID on the cell phone is a must, you need to weed out the salesmen. <p>I have one little old lady customer that is so set in her ways that she will not leave a message on a machine, she tries and tries to catch me. She tells me that I should hire a secretary to awnser the phone. I explained that I would have to charge a lot more to cut a yard to pay for a secretry. She also complains that I am so hard to get a hold of. If she would simply leave a message, I could talk with her in a few hours. <p>
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2000, 09:35 PM
yardsmith yardsmith is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 626
lots of good points- where was the forum when alot of us started years ago? It doesn't matter, cause I didn't have a computer until 2 yrs. ago anyways.<br>I am a 1-2 man operation & in the busy season the last thing I have time for is to answer all the calls I get- I'd never get anything done! Most people know my work is out in the field, so I'm not at home waitng by the phone.<br>I do like the idea of call forwarding, but usually my wife is at home & takes the info down for me. One thing I have learned the hard way is that I have lost more jobs than I wanted to by not being prompt with immediate follow-up. Once you agree to go out & bid a job, get out there & RETURN the call with your bid! Sometimes I got lazy & waited or get sidetracked & forget to return a bid, & lost it. Live & learn.<br>Thanks for the info guys;I think (hope) we'll all be working smarter this year.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
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