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Poll: Do you generally give your customers your cell phone and/or home number?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:24
SITE STAFF
Jan 15, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you generally give your customers your cell phone and/or home number?".

This poll was originally submitted by Andrea Strada

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course Jan 15, 2009

Otherwise how are they sùpposed to contact me (email can be unreliable)?
I'm also currently using Skype to save on call charges, but only a couple of my clients are using it so far ...


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
French to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 15, 2009

... even though I don't like talking on the phone much. I see no harm in providing as many ways to contact me as possible. Thankfully most of my clients realise that I spend quite a lot of time at the library (hooked up to secure wi-fi) and that therefore email is a much more efficient way of reaching me than a telephone call.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes but... Jan 15, 2009

I give my home and cell numbers and email address to all my clients. The truth is, however, that they’re less likely to find me by phone than by email. I’m notorious for forgetting my cell phone at home when I go out, having the sound off (so even if someone calls I don’t hear it), or letting the battery rundown and not bothering to charge it and a long list of other mobile phone no-nos. I always tell my clients that the easiest way to find me is by email. I’m in front of my computer most of the day and, out of habit, I check my inbox first thing in the morning, before I go to bed and even on the weekend. Since the business world seems to run on a 24/7, everything’s urgent and I-want-it-now basis I’ve trained my clients to communicate with me by email. That way, they’re only contacting me during what I consider business hours (i.e., when I’m in front of the computer).

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Michał Szcześniewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:24
English to Polish
+ ...
mobile only Jan 15, 2009

I give my e-mail address, several IMs and mobile phone. I never ever give my home number to customers.

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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:24
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mobile, home phone, emails and IM's Jan 15, 2009

I give all the information to my clients and I don't have any problems with that. Besides, they rarely use the phone, normally they contact me via e-mail or IM.

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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:24
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank god I'm not the only one! Jan 15, 2009

John Cutler wrote:

I give my home and cell numbers and email address to all my clients. The truth is, however, that they’re less likely to find me by phone than by email. I’m notorious for forgetting my cell phone at home when I go out, having the sound off (so even if someone calls I don’t hear it), or letting the battery rundown and not bothering to charge it and a long list of other mobile phone no-nos. I always tell my clients that the easiest way to find me is by email. I’m in front of my computer most of the day and, out of habit, I check my inbox first thing in the morning, before I go to bed and even on the weekend. Since the business world seems to run on a 24/7, everything’s urgent and I-want-it-now basis I’ve trained my clients to communicate with me by email. That way, they’re only contacting me during what I consider business hours (i.e., when I’m in front of the computer).


I do sometimes give out my cell number. But I'm a bad cellphone user, and it's a prepaid phone to boot. I often forget to take it with me when I leave the house, and so to combat that I try to leave it in my purse or jacket pocket at all times. Which means that when I am home, which is 95% of the time, it's not within earshot!

So sometimes I wonder if I should just pretend I don't have one. Besides, if it's that urgent and I'm not available to answer my e-mail and/or home phone, I probably can't be of much assistance anyhow!

There was a discussion on a blog/forum for freelancers (with an audience of primarily IT and design professionals) about whether not having a separate business phone line appeared "unprofessional." The weight of consensus seemed to tilt toward viewing a separate phone line as an important part of one's professional image. I wonder whether there's any truth to that in this industry.


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Barbara Turchetto  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:24
Member (2008)
German to Italian
+ ...
ALWAYS!! Jan 15, 2009

I always give my cell phone number because it's the only way they can contact me! Of course I also give them my e-mail but it is easier if they call me before sending e-mails. I don't always work at home so I always tell them it's better if they contact me on my phone.

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Marcia Gascon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:24
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mobile, msn and Spype Jan 15, 2009

I always give my mobile, home phone, msn and Skype to my clients, and I don't have any problems at all. The most contact me via e-mail, msn or Skype, and the few contact me via mobile or home phone.

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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:24
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Like John Jan 15, 2009

I give my cell phone (my only phone) number to clients, but most of the time I'm best reached by email. If I'm away from my computer, it is likely that it is not a good time to call anyway - I might be on horseback, shopping, driving my car... Also I tend to forget my phone to my bag or something, and as I don't like to keep the ring tone loud, I often do not hear the incoming calls.

I do not like to speak on the phone at all, actually I almost fear having to call someone! About ten years ago, I started to cry when my boyfriend made me to order pizza by the phone for the first time...

[Edited at 2009-01-15 17:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-01-15 17:06 GMT]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No Jan 15, 2009

No, not as a general rule, because it's very rare for me to receive a phone call from a client. But if I'm sending my info to a new client I usually include the phones, even if they never use them. All my work contact is by e-mail and Skype, which is fine with me.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
French to English
+ ...
Sounds familiar... Jan 15, 2009

John Cutler wrote:

I give my home and cell numbers and email address to all my clients. The truth is, however, that they’re less likely to find me by phone than by email. I’m notorious for forgetting my cell phone at home when I go out, having the sound off (so even if someone calls I don’t hear it), or letting the battery rundown and not bothering to charge it and a long list of other mobile phone no-nos.


Oh dear, John, that sounds very familiar. My sons despair of getting in touch with me by mobile - it's either at the bottom of my bag, so I don't hear it if I'm in a crowded environment, or by the time I've taken my gloves off, put down the leads and extricated it from the depths of my pocket if I'm walking the dogs, it's gone off anyway! Far better to contact me by e-mail and most of my clients now seem to have cottoned on to that. Not that I've any objection to being 'phoned per se, but e-mail just seems more efficient - and cheaper- all round! In saying that, it is nice to be able to talk to clients every so often - you can get a very different impression from someone's voice than their e-mail style.


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
No Jan 15, 2009

I give them my professional phone number, which has been set up for that precise purpose.
And I have no cell phone.


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lillkakan
Local time: 03:24
English to Swedish
Yes, but I detest phones Jan 15, 2009

Niina Lahokoski wrote:
I do not like to speak on the phone at all, actually I almost fear having to call someone! About ten years ago, I started to cry when my boyfriend made me to order pizza by the phone for the first time...

[Edited at 2009-01-15 17:06 GMT]


I'm just like this as well! I provide clients with my phone, mobile and fax number but I always hope they will not call me. I have an anxiety disorder so when the phone rings I often don't answer. If I have an ongoing project or must leave the house right after delivering something, then I bring my cellphone and tell the client I will be available in case of emergencies (I'm only anxious, not stupid).

Most clients contact me by email anyway. I really detest those who call first and email later, I wish they would do the opposite. Some request IM and Skype alias too, but I usually refuse. I have had nothing but bad experiences from having clients on IM and have decided that IM is only for private communications.


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bookwormkt
Local time: 02:24
French to English
+ ...
I'm too new to this to generalise, so I said 'other'. Jan 15, 2009

I quoted for a first job and the lady asked for my phone number to talk to me. She was very nice and we spoke for a while, but I haven't heard back about the job.
I suppose talking gives a more personal contact.
In future I would probably let people have a phone number, as I have a day job where I can't check my emails.


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