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Tips on cellphone, SMS etiquette

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Cellphones are part of our every day business communications. They promote efficient communications but can prove to be an irritation if they are used inconsiderately.

“We need to look carefully at our current use of cellphones and find ways of being more considerate of others in our working environment," says Dr Pieter Streicher, MD of BulkSMS.com. "The increase in cellphone usage for work and private calls or messaging is becoming a source of irritation and psychological stress within, and outside, the workplace."
According to Dr Streicher we need a cellphone etiquette tailored for business people on the move. He suggests that SMS messaging can be used in several ways in fostering this cellphone etiquette (or “metiquette”):
* When a cellphone call is replaced by an SMS message, it is less intrusive as it gives the recipient an opportunity to reply or call back when convenient.
* Request callers to SMS the required details after the call.
* Instead of leaving a voicemail message send an SMS. SMS removes the need to write down details while listening to messages. Furthermore, scrolling through SMS messages is much quicker than listening to many voicemail messages.
* Change your voicemail greetings to include: “Don’t leave a message, rather SMS me”.
* SMS is an unobtrusive way of getting hold of a person as there is no immediate compulsion to reply to the SMS. If a cellphone is turned off, the SMS will be delivered shortly after it is switched on.
* SMS has made it possible for companies to send regular and instantaneous update on a business process directly a customer’s cellphone.
* There are regulations prescribing opt-in and opt-out procedures via SMS. Businesses contravening these codes of conduct for commercial messages can be fined by the regulatory authority. To opt-out from unwanted commercial SMS messages, a consumer should be able to reply with the word “Stop”. Visit www.waspa.org.za for more details.
* Use a desktop SMS messaging solution that supports the sending and receiving of personalised individual and bulk messages. This allows you to customise your communications and track conversations with your consumers, clients or suppliers.