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Old 05-01-2018, 07:20 PM
 
Location: DC area
82 posts, read 59,971 times
Reputation: 134

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aslowdodge View Post
Exactly. The older people take too much time and you are too busy to accommodate them so let them go elsewhere. You obviously don't want their business so do both parties a favor and have them patronize another business.
I'm an older person and texting is very slow for me whereas a phone call is faster. If I have multiple questions I can get quicker answers at one time instead of a chain of texts back and forth.
I never text. It's much more efficient to talk on the phone.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:45 PM
 
1,773 posts, read 2,069,768 times
Reputation: 4026
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaneuf View Post
I never text. It's much more efficient to talk on the phone.
Agree.

If the matter requires a "yes" or "no", or "$900" or "500", it's more efficient to text. Cuts out the need for ancillary chatter.

If the matter cannot be settled with a binary answer ("$900" vs. "$500", "here is the quotation for your previously specified work, to which we previously agreed", "Do you want fries with that?"), then I'm afraid you are stuck in the analogue world, where shades of gray are up for discussion. Here, a conversation is more efficient.

Most matters in life, and in business, involve shades of gray.

At least that has been my experience - YMMV.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:59 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,043 posts, read 15,663,808 times
Reputation: 28804
I agree that for your older customers, texting takes longer. We aren't keyboard artist and the act of typing out the words can be slow and laborious, much more complicated than making a call. I can say in two minutes what it takes five minutes to type, and as noted if it needs to be a two way discussion it can take much, much longer and gets to be very inefficient.

I think you should consider that phone calls need to be a part of your business.

To encourage texting you can make the calls a limited option. Tell your customers that you are only available by phone from five to six pm, or seven to seven thirty am on tuesdays and thursdays, or whatever floats your boat. Tell them that if they would like a quicker response they should feel free to text you whenever is convenient for them, explain that reading your texts is something you can do when you aren't in a position to take a phone call.

If part of your job involves travel time could you do hands free phone calls while driving?

If your customers have computer access could you set up website portal for them to fill out a form or make a
more detailed request? My daughter's mom and pop apt complex does that for their tenants and it seems to work well.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:03 AM
 
7,809 posts, read 3,664,012 times
Reputation: 22235
Wow, what wonderful customer service!

If I were in Branson I certainly would want to know your real name and business so I could avoid ever giving you any of my business.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: the troubles you have managing your business are OF NO CONCERN to your customers.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:03 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
3,074 posts, read 2,932,756 times
Reputation: 4535
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaneuf View Post
I never text. It's much more efficient to talk on the phone.
I agree, but then I am not tethered to my cell phone. I'll likely respond to an email before a text because I just won't see the text until I look at the phone. I also live where there is no reliable cell signal. So if you want info from me, use the telephone for its intended purpose.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Formerly Pleasanton Ca, now in Marietta Ga
7,155 posts, read 4,984,610 times
Reputation: 9830
I don't know if the op relies on repeat business or not, but in today's world it is all about building relationships and the customer experience.
If those older people don't like working with the op because it's inconvenient or they feel he doesn't value or respect them, unless he is the only one they can get that service from, they will likely move on.
Also if the op relies on any word of mouth or reviews, his business could take a horrible hit. If you get one bad thing said about you, it takes about 20 people saying great things about you to offset it.

I will also add that some people have texted me and it doesn't show up for hours.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,553 posts, read 19,383,757 times
Reputation: 46643
Quote:
Originally Posted by aslowdodge View Post
Exactly. The older people take too much time and you are too busy to accommodate them so let them go elsewhere. You obviously don't want their business so do both parties a favor and have them patronize another business.
I'm an older person and texting is very slow for me whereas a phone call is faster. If I have multiple questions I can get quicker answers at one time instead of a chain of texts back and forth.
I agree.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
728 posts, read 408,120 times
Reputation: 2870
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I own a company and some of my clients are older (over 65). My company is very demanding and fast paced. Time is *always* of the essence and there is never enough of it. When I need to get some information from my owners I text them. Because the nature of my work is physically demanding and again, time is of the essence, making a phone call is not the most efficient way to communicate. Texting is perfect. It's short, sweet, to the point and allows me to check my texts when I have a second to do so, rather than taking precious WORK TIME out to make a long, laborious phone call.

Older people, even those with cell phones, do not seem comfortable texting. They would much rather call me and spend FOREVER on the phone going into, long, drawn-out, unnecessarily detailed explanations of things. Sometimes I want to scream..."Get to the point".

If I am especially busy, I will be unable to answer the phone at the INSTANT that they call. Of course, they will *always* leave a voice mail and go into painful detail about whatever it is they want to talk about. My favorite messages are the ones that say. Please call me. Then they can't understand why it took me three days to find enough time to call.

How do I get older people to "get with it?" What it is it about older people that they have absolutely no sense of urgency about anything? I don't have all day for them to explain some big long convoluted story that ends with, "Would you check to see if the sink is leaking?"
Post too long, DNR

Get to the point quicker and I will read.

Good luck, Rg
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
53,055 posts, read 41,683,845 times
Reputation: 73911
OK true story from the past coupla weeks.

I got a call from my former employer - I was the sales manager there and while I was in sales and marketing with that company, we won numerous local, state, national, and international marketing awards, and we grew from a ranking of about 300 out of 400 offices, to #2 out of 600 offices internationally. Not trying to brag but honestly, we were a marketing machine and I was a big part of that machine. I do know sales and marketing!

Anyway, so I haven't worked there in about ten years but I consider that office and the owner and many of the employees to be lifetime friends, and we're often in touch, so it was no surprise to me to get a call - but the content of the call was surprising.

Apparently they are having issues with their outside sales people, because apparently they have the OPPOSITE approach to what mine was. Mine was "Don't send a text or email when you can send a personal letter or note, don't send a personal letter when you can make a personal phone call, and don't make a phone call when you can visit in person instead." Now it's completely flipped - all in an effort to minimize actual in person and human interaction. There are numerous marketing attempts, but all with the intent of actually avoiding as much "real" interaction as possible. And guess what - this approach doesn't build relationships that result in long term business.

So they asked me if I would meet with the new staff and tell them how we did it "back in the day," (ten years ago). I can hardly wait! They are going to be SHOCKED at my advice which will be to do as much as they can to develop personal interaction with clients - preferably face to face, but if not that, real phone calls and only if that fails, then texts or emails. I mean, I see the need for electronic communication, but in my opinion, businesses need to use both.

My oldest daughter will often text me, and that's fine - I'll text her back too. But if we get into a "text conversation," she knows I will reach saturation point pretty quickly and text her this: "Apparently you're holding a phone in your hand. I'm holding one in my hand too. We can actually talk to each other using our voices on these things! Call me when you can talk." And she will - sometimes immediately and sometimes later - but I just love hearing her voice.

I enjoy using texting for quick, simple answers but I HATE drawn out text interactions. HATE THEM.

It's my opinion that a good business will meet the needs and desires of it's customer base WHERE THEY ARE - yes, you can encourage customers to use different forms of communication but it's my professional opinion that a company should NEVER insist on customers communicating in one particular mode.

AT and T tried to "train me" to use paperless billing and in fact, in order to save a little money, I went that route. About 8 months into it I realized they were billing (and deducting) my bill every three weeks instead of once a month and they owed me about $1000 for that and a couple of other recurring (and ridiculous) charges that I would have caught if I'd continued receiving a paper bill. They were lucky to retain my business after that, but it was only on the condition that I receive paper bills. This doesn't make them all that happy but I don't care. If they want my business (including company business) they will continue to bill me in the manner that I prefer, not what's easiest for them. I'm the customer. It's my money I'm choosing to spend with them.

Just food for thought, OP.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
5,881 posts, read 2,569,584 times
Reputation: 10738
It's all about a phenomenon I call Intergenerational Discontinuity. There are two generations living simultaneously, that do not share a mutually comprehensible language. At that point, the cultural values break down, because one generation can no longer use language to pass along accumulated knowledge or wisdom or lore to a following culture, which must then reinvent wheel.
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