Using Your Personal Phone for Business Calls... is Bad Business

Jenn Marie

Having a personal phone is one of the benefits of modern-day technology, and it’s a good one! Gone are the days of sharing a family telephone or traveling somewhere to use a payphone. People today can bring their phone with them everywhere they go!

While this is certainly progress, it has also blurred the lines that separate personal time from business hours. Smith.ai’s personalized telephone answering service offers a solution to this problem.

You Need to Separate Business from Pleasure

When you are running a business, your focus is on many things. In addition to your regular duties, a call about a financial issue, potential sales lead, or an unexpected project delay, probably deserves your immediate attention. Unfortunately, when your personal phone is your business phone, you may easily receive a call from a client...followed by one from your family. Making that immediate context switch in the calls you take is not only distracting, but it’s also counterproductive.

Business calls should be kept separate from personal calls — literally. Just like you would create a business bank account, you should also have a business phone number. This isn’t just good practice; it also has the benefits of simplifying record-keeping by removing non-business related texts, and voicemails.

When Does the Day End?

One huge problem with using your personal phone for business calls is that it can cause your workday to stretch longer than intended. When you are using a personal phone, you are less likely to turn it off at the end of the business day. This means that even if you are done working, the person calling may not be. Instead, they expect you to help them. Unless you know who is calling, you may instinctively answer the phone, causing your day to get a lot longer.

There are ways you could figure out who is calling ahead of time. Many phones offer VIP features and settings that allow you to set custom ringtones.

However, you could still face the additional problems of:

  • Missing important calls while traveling or offline — sending them to voicemail instead of getting the information you may need about a project, or missing a valuable new lead
  • Needing to learn more features, such as Priority Calling, VIP lists, and Do Not Disturb mode, to keep calls from disturbing you during non-business hours.
  • Accidentally calling business contacts after hours. It happens!
  • Missing important personal calls from family because you are busy with a client

These things didn’t use to be problems. Before mobile technology, personal callers received a telephone answering service while people were at work and business callers were also forced to leave messages after working hours. However, when your personal phone is your business phone, how do you control when business callers should leave a message and when personal calls should get ignored? It’s not easy, and it takes up your time and attention.

A Telephone Answering Service for Today’s Society

While most of us can see the problems caused by being always “on call," we’re definitely not going to return to the pre-mobile phone days. As a result, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of either maintaining two phones or having one and selectively screening each call. For many busy professionals that choose to use one phone, knowing which call to take is a task in itself. Combine that with the other challenges that come from using your personal phone for business and it easy to see how your phone can lead to frustration.

Here is where Smith.ai offers a simple solution:

Instead of investing in a separate phone, sign up for our virtual receptionist service and receive a brand new number to use for your business.  

Your business callers are greeted 24/7 by professional receptionists who screen your calls, transfer the ones you want to talk to, and take messages for those you do not. We do the things your telephone answering service cannot, such as identify spam calls, gather information from potential leads, and schedule appointments. It is a service that can help any professional sort business calls from personal calls, without carrying two phones in their pocket or making their day filled with distractions.

Jenn Marie

I began my writing and marketing career in 1993 for Taw Caw Little League, a community organization managed by my father at the time. At a young age, I learned the importance of well-written brochures, newsletters, and programs as well as the many challenges of running a fundraising concession stand.

But the unlimited supply of candy made it all worthwhile.

My childhood exposure to community development grew into an adult love of community service. As a young adult, I spent multiple years involved in full time community service through both Xavier University’s United Way Service Fellows program and National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps. During these times, I worked with young children and teens as an educator on literacy, sexual health, and HIV prevention.Helping others through communication was quickly becoming my passion.

Although active on the Internet since 1997, I first began working online in 2002 for Dell Computers. I was responsible for teaching people how to shop online, and it was a job I took very seriously.Upon graduation, I was hired by Microsoft, at the dawn of the Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing boom. I completed three Microsoft certifications within a few months, vastly increasing my technical aptitude and sales skills.In 2010, I began leveraging the internet for projects that combined my journalism, customer service, and sales background. During that time, I completed writing projects for  a variety of internet marketing firms as well as established websites such as Avvo.com and Groupon.  I also worked part-time for Amazon.com as a virtual customer service agent.I’d built a career off of the internet, and was now ready to build my own business.I left Amazon in 2014 to build my business full time. A few months later, I founded Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing, LLC  with a team of four freelancers. Since then, we have scaled up and down to meet client demand for  content writing, blog posting, and social media management services.

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