Mobile Vs Landline: What do self-employed individuals prefer?

A new survey investigating business owners and freelancers’ habits and attitudes when it comes to using personal mobiles for work shows that over two-thirds of self-employed people use their personal number instead of setting up a business one.

The research, carried out by Moneypenny, also highlighted the phone etiquette of business owners and freelancers when it comes to answering work calls, particularly whilst using their personal mobile.

An outstanding 77% of business owners and freelancers said they continuously have used their own mobile phone number for both business and personal use. Many, however, do not consider the negative impact this could potentially have on their professional personas and the effect too, could have on their customers.

Further 19% of business owners and freelancers admitted to using their personal mobile for work, but this only being within the first months or year of setting up a business.

Study: Over Three-Quarters of Self Employed People Use Personal Mobiles for Business

With all the time and effort freelancers and business owners will dedicate to their work and so, missing important calls can sometimes have a harmful effect. Whether that be a missed call from a new client or an existing customer, being unable to answer calls as a business owner can really knock you back. The survey revealed that an astonishing 93% admitted to finding themselves in a situation where they were unable to answer a work call.

40% of the business owners and freelancers that participated in the study confirmed that this was at least a weekly occurrence and 17% were finding themselves in such a situation at least twice a week. Furthermore, 13% found that this happened at least three times a week and 7% more than five times a week.

The survey revealed that an astonishing 93% admitted to finding themselves in a situation where they were unable to answer a work call.

Moneypenny study discovered that over half of those who use their personal mobile number for work, were asked to provide a landline number and then had to explain that they do not have one in operation.

The survey revealed that 3 in 5 business owners aged between 18 and 44 have experienced this, whereas just 1 in 5 of those ages 45 and over faced this issue.

Gender also had an impact on this, the survey highlighted that 5% more of women chose to use their personal mobile numbers for work in comparison to men.

Phone etiquette is a must, and a main consideration when speaking to clients and customers

It is massively important for not only your reputation, but for your business’. Answering a phone call in a professional manner will allow you secure a good first impression with potential clients and customers. With this considered, 31% of freelancers and business owners admitted that they do not state their business’ name upon answering a work call.

Interestingly, the findings further indicated that the younger the individual is, the more common it would be for them to change the way they answer a business call. 82% of those aged 18 to 24 revealed they will make a conscious effort to answer the phone in a professional way. Whereas just 16% of those aged 45 and over would do the same.

In addition to this younger people also admitted to changing their voicemail greeting to ensure that the name of the business was mentioned.

Surprisingly, the data revealed that a significant number of business owners would have their friends or family members answering work phone calls on their behalf. An astounding 48% admitted to doing so. This was considerably more amongst men rather than women, with 55% of men and 40% of women confirming to having been in such a situation.

However, there are many benefits to using a landline over a mobile phone for business, one of those being the ability to separate your work and personal life. This is something self-employed individuals do in fact struggle with. Positively, the study found that 71% of participants agreed to having separate phones as this ensured they could achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Preparation is key! Having a phone dedicated to work will immediately prepare you for the phone calls that you’re about to receive. However, if you use your personal mobile number for both personal and work calls, there is a chance you could get caught off guard when answering an unrecognised number.

To summarise, there are both major advantages and disadvantages to using your personal phone number for both work and your personal life. This is ultimately your decision, and what you consider working best for you, and your business.

But if you do decide you’d rather continue using your personal mobile for business calls, Moneypenny share some top tips on how to make sure you manage your calls in an efficient and professional way:

When answering a business call, ensure you always answer with a friendly and welcoming tone of voice. It is equally important to also begin the call with a warm greeting such as “good morning” or “good afternoon”, followed by the stating of your name and the name of the business.

Remember to answer any incoming calls as promptly as possible, if you are unable to answer, make sure that you return a missed call as soon as you can. If you found yourself in the situation where you needed to put the caller on hold, do ask them first if this is okay with them, if not arrange a suitable time to rearrange the call. If you do rearrange a time to call them back, do so as soon as possible.

Whilst speaking with someone over the phone take notes. Keeping a record of the people you converse with over the phone will ensure you do not forget any important details. Noting down the name of the caller, their contact details and where they are calling from will ensure you have the correct information if you needed to get in touch with them in the future.

If you are setting up a voicemail for work, always maintain your professionalism by ensuring anyone leaving a message will be greeted by both your name and business name. If you are going on holiday for instance, let your callers know you are away, and you will respond once you return to work.

And finally, if you find yourself in the situation where a family member or a friend needs to take a call on your behalf, ensure that they would answer the phone exactly how you would. Briefing them quickly beforehand will avoid any important details being missed.

Joanna Swash, Global CEO of Moneypenny, said: “Whether you choose to have a landline number or not, the most important factor is the way you manage and conduct your calls.

“Answering the phone in a positive, polite and friendly manner will make the biggest impact on your customers and potential customers. Always state your name and the name of your business when answering calls and if you say you’ll ring back, be sure to do so”.
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