We all hear that many times during the day. It’s a pain but sometimes it literally is a case of not being able to provide an answer there and then. In itself that is not a problem.
Where it IS a problem is when you don’t get the return phone call.
Personally never mind it being unprofessional to not return a call, I think it is simply rude. Often it can result in a loss of business too. For example:
Recently I was approached by a potential MHM supplier. We’d done business before. The supplier was keen to provide his services again so we agreed a meeting. I have an existing supplier but I have to look at all avenues. Sadly, and these things happen, the potential supplier had to cancel and said he’d get back to me with an alternative date the following day. No problem.
But the next day came and went without a call.
So did the day after.
Therefore I called his mobile and left a message for him to call me back. He didn’t. The following day I called again and whilst he answered he wasn’t at that precise point able to offer an alternative date. But he would call me back “this afternoon” You guessed it, he didn’t. The next day I left another message to call me. He didn’t.
Skip forward to the next week and he finally called me to re-arrange the meeting.
It did occur to me whilst all this was going on that I might not be a significant account to him (only paid him £200 a month previously) but that is £2,400 a year. Its also £2,400 worth of business he won’t be getting off me. I declined the meeting. As I pointed out to him this was not because I was being difficult or vengeful or even showing my irritation.
It was solely because, to me, his lack of manners and his haphazard approach to dealing with a customer had not inspired any confidence on the future delivery of his service. A service incidentally that not only I use but all of my clients could potentially use in the future.
All because, and to quote him directly, “I haven’t had the time all week to stop and return your call” I resisted the temptation to point out that was his problem and not mine. I also resisted the temptation to point out his comment made me feel my £2,400 a year wasn’t worth it to him. I’d have actually preferred a call saying a £2,400 per annum contract wasn’t big enough for him. I would have respected that even.
I mentioned this tale to a family member last evening who happens to be a Regional Sales Manager for a large local company. He was truly horrified. Indeed he advised if one of his sales team had done something like that, they would have been invited to consider their future elsewhere (Ok – he put it somewhat stronger really!) I have to agree.
Not returning a phone call is very unprofessional and can very easily lead to a loss of business.
It is also very rude.