A few years back, a telephone was but a luxury to be found mainly in offices and homes or really important people as well as the post office for the rest of the public. It was very costly to make a call even to the next town in the same country and so all calls were often about serious issues no chitchat.
However, all that has changed rather so fast that many forget the misery that we went through before the mobile phone revolution happened. Mobile phones first also appeared as these expensive gadgets that were a reserve for the wealthy. They were such a status symbol that many clipped them onto their belts as if to remind onlookers of their privileged status.
Today, almost everyone has a mobile phone and it has evolved beyond just being a gadget used by two people to communicate. Phones especially those considered smart phones (iPhone, Blackberry, HTC, etc) are capable of hundreds of applications other than the traditional voice call. In this era mobile phones have become so reliable since many even use them for internet access.
It is therefore sad that many companies still don’t know the basic etiquette that comes with phone usage. Many times when a customer approaches a company for a service he/she is required to leave telephone contact details so that the company can reach them in case of a new development concerning their case.
However, it is unfortunate to note that for many this is just a ritual whose significance rarely goes beyond the action of recording the customers’ telephone number. I was a victim of such a case recently. I booked with a bus company for a journey and after getting my name and passport number, the attendant asked for my telephone number.
The idea usually is that in case you are late to board the bus, the company can call and find out if you are on your way so they can wait for you or simply leave without you. So I went home and an hour to the time of departure I arrived at the bus terminal and sat quietly.
When it was five minutes to time, I walked to the bus that was parked and asked if it was the one I was supposed to board only to be told that the one had booked for was not making the journey and that I had been put on another bus scheduled to depart a whole 5 hours later!
What I could not really understand is why for God’s sake they had taken down my telephone but did not see the need to call me and inform me of this abrupt change. Why do you ask for my number when you cannot see the logic of calling me when my scheduled departure is altered?
I know this happened to many other people with different companies but there is nothing that represents disrespect more than this. It is a big shame if a company does not see the logic behind making a call to a client who is paying money to use its services. In case you never call your customers please do not bother asking for their contacts. Otherwise be respectful and make that call. It will save your business.