Since the rise of cell phone use in the workplace, this question has plagued people at all levels of management: Should you give your cell phone number out to your client? The quick answer seems like “Sure, why not?”. However, I urge you to think about this before you go ahead and give it out.
Here are five questions to ask yourself before you make this decision:
- Are you the sole owner of the cell phone? – Sometimes couples will share a common cell phone. If you’re not the only person who uses your cell phone I would strongly advise that you don’t give this number out. This is because you can’t be sure what kind of reception your client will receive when they call. For example, what if the person you share it with thinks it’s a telemarketer and is rude? Or what if they accidentally erase a message or hang up? Because of this, you need to make sure you are the only person with access to this phone if you decided to give the number out.
- Do you check your messages/answer it regularly? – This is another important point. If you don’t check your cell phone messages regularly or you don’t have it on most of the time, then you shouldn’t give your number out. Most likely, if your client is trying to reach you on your cell phone then it is an urgent matter (at least to them, which means it is to you too). You have to make sure that you answer it, or that you get back to them in a timely manner.
- Do you get good cell phone service at your office? – If your clients can’t reach you, then that number is no good to them. It also will just frustrate them to have a number that they can never reach you at during normal business hours. Make sure you have a strong signal during the business day, otherwise don’t bother giving them your number.
- Are you willing to be on call 24X7? – Once your client gets a hold of your cell phone number, I can guarantee that they will call you regardless of the hour or day of the week. Weekends, nights, you will get a call if they feel they need to contact you. You need to think about what this will mean to not only you, but to your family as well. This is a significant intrusion into their personal lives, and you should see what they think before making a decision.
- Does your company allow it? – This is the most important question of all. You must make sure that your company allows you to give your cell phone number to your clients. 99% of the time, this is no problem, but some companies do have a problem with this. Even if your company doesn’t, clear it with your boss first.
These are just five of the more common questions you could ask yourself, make sure to brainstorm for anything specific to your situation. The main thing to remember is this: This is a very important decision to make and it should not be made without a good amount of thought put into it.