We all agree—Smartphones have indeed changed the way we live our lives and how we do business. If anything, it changed what we consider today as rude and inappropriate when it comes to Smartphone usage. Just because what was once considered as bad etiquette have now become “the new normal” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right.
Because believe it or not, business etiquette can make or break your business. There’s no point in offering good products or services if you don’t treat your customers as well as other people right. Like they say, “people do business with people they like”. And to stay in the game, your business should get things right—starting with how you use your Smartphone.
Americans obsessed with Smartphones?
To say the least, Americans are fixated with their Smartphones and other mobile devices. A survey by one of the leading VoIP providers in the US even says that Smartphones now competes with sex or having intimate relationships as the top thing most business professionals can’t live without.
And to illustrate this unhealthy obsession with Smartphones: Security app d eveloper Lookout published the Mobile Mindset Study last year, which says that 60% of Smartphone owners can’t go on an hour without checking their phone. Most of them admit to checking their device during meals, while driving, during religious services, and even on the toilet.
Meanwhile, 58% of mobile workers now co-sleep with their Smartphones, also the first thing they check upon waking up. Most of them even obsessively wake up during the night to check their phone, says a survey by mobile service provider iPass. Moreover, 13% of professionals are guilty of checking their Smartphones during business meetings.
No wonder Smartphone usage has also caused friction in our personal lives, with partners, family, friends and co-workers. So, imagine how a client would deal with all these?
Smartphone etiquette 101
- Put it in silent mode or turn it off. Admit it: you too will be annoyed by a Smartphone ringer wailing during a business meeting or briefing, especially if you’re the one presiding. Nothing can be as distracting as a ringing phone in a quiet room filled with people exerting efforts to concentrate or listen. Put your phone on mute or vibrate. But if you really can’t resist, it’s best to turn it off instead.
- Turn off your Bluetooth. We get it; today’s the age of wireless connections. But honestly, that pulsing blue light can be distracting for the one you’re talking too. Maybe you can save anything you need to do with your Bluetooth for later.
- Get a professional ringtone. If you’ve already made the mistake of not putting your Smartphone to silent mode or turning it off before an important business function, don’t make it worse by having an attention-seeking ringtone. It’ll only aggravate other people’s annoyance, we tell you. And yes, lose that annoying ringback too.
- Get a wristwatch. We know that you can check the time on your phone. But before you know it, you’ll be checking the text message that just came in or your email too. To avoid the usual temptation, get a wristwatch instead. This can keep you on time as well.
- Lower your voice when you’re on the phone. One study says that the average person tends to speak three times louder while on the phone. Lower down your voice, lest you want others to overhear you.
- Resist the temptation of checking your messages. In this age, we’ve developed the paranoia of perceiving every single text message as urgent. Maybe it is. But it’s disrespectful too. You wouldn’t want others to feel invisible or unnoticeable, would you?
- Lose anything that flashes. You may think it’s cute but those flashy Smartphone accessories or cases are nothing short of unprofessional. Always go for the simple, sleek and sophisticated.
Become a wise user of smartphones.