This article explains why I am no longer accepting work related texting to my personal phone. If you have gotten my autoresponder, please read over this to better understand my position.
First, let me say that I understand texting is convenient for many of you and so I’m sorry if this policy is a hardship. It has taken me a lot of time to finally decide to take these steps as I do know that some people do a lot of business over text. There are several issues which arise when using texts to communicate with me and they are outlined below:
- The information does not go through scheduling at the office. This means that the staff at the office is unaware that I’ve been contacted about a new task and many times that results in it not getting put on the office schedule. This often results in the task being forgotten about and not completed, resulting in an unhappy customer experience. Our office workflow is designed to manage our technician schedules and follow up to make sure tasks are handled.
- The nature of my job is that much of it is done typing on a computer. When I receive a text, I have to stop the job at hand, check the text, and respond accordingly. This is unfair to the person who I am currently working with. For me, texting is a much slower form of communication and one that requires 100% concentration – meaning I cannot do another task while I’m texting. This is different from phone calls, where I can be talking with you while I’m working on your computer. For texting, it completely stops the work being performed.
- My personality is such that when I hear a text notification, it will bother me until I respond to it. This is a major distraction when I’m performing work that requires a good deal of concentration.
- I receive notifications for server issues over text. These notifications may come in at any time 24 hours a day which means I must have my phone on and unmuted at all times so I can respond to these emergencies. I’ve found that people no longer have any boundaries and will text me when the thought comes to them. Often, this is in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping. These texts wake me up, and I find it difficult to go back to sleep. I must reserve phone notifications for emergencies only.
- “My printer isn’t working. What can I do?” – That’s a 8 word text from a customer warranting a novel from me. What do customers really think I can do to respond to this? I need more information and the directions most likely are going to be very long and possibly technical which they may not be able to follow anyway. For a technical problem of something not working, a text is not the appropriate avenue for communication.
With these points in mind, I ask that when contacting me, you do so using a voice phone call. If I’m not available, please leave a voicemail so that I can process your call as soon as I’m able. In general, I do not return “missed calls”. If you do not leave a voicemail, I assume that you were able to contact one of our other staff members to get your issue resolved. If you are not able to call, please email me and I will respond as soon as I’m able. My cell phone voicemail is routed through our company phone system, so if you do get my voicemail, you can hit * to get the main greeting and be connected to a staff member who can help immediately.
Thank you for you understanding. This policy is something I’ve put into place to make sure I do not miss calls and requests and to make sure I’m as efficient as possible about getting the work done.