Why we cut our phone lines and voted for unavailability.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



Today we terminated our PBX and phone line contracts. You won't find our phone number from directories, or even from our web site. We don't have one.

"Make people available wherever they are" have been touted by teleoperator sales. And companies have invested to latest and greatest availability solutions. We included.

At the same time, many corporate citizens choose the go opposite direction: be unavailable.

Everyone who makes purchase decisions, or can be seen as one, spends too much time fencing off telesales like a cow flies. Every sales call is a interruption that distrupts you from achieving what you should be achieving.

We tend to tolerate such an interruption, as you never know who might call. A new customer, we may hope.

But we have never experienced such a miracle.

Instead we receive many sales calls every day. Selling this or that. From here, India, UK, US, wherever... Some talented, some not so. Relevant, hardly never. And if I am not available, they call our switchboard, and then it's the team who is interrupted. Unfair to them.

I cannot recall when a cold call had lead to a purchase later on.

We studied our CRM and PBX logs, and found that no lead was ever called first. There was always something else going on with the lead before the initial call. And when they called, they called someone's mobile found from email signature. Never land line.

So we end this interruption. We do not want to be available to cold callers. Thus we cut our phone lines.

  • Do we abandon phone altogether? No, there is still a app for that in our "phones". Mobile numbers can be found from our email signatures.
  • What about customers, how do they reach you? Our support hotline is listed on the app and emails, but we do not list it on our web site.
  • Do you abandon new customers? No. We never receive calls out of blue. They have downloaded an e-book, been in a seminar and received email from my or others. When they call, they use the number in the email. That's direct and mobile.
  • I am a sales man, can I still call you? Yes, if you make a contact thru other channels, we respond and you get direct number from us. We are happy to talk with anyone who really have something meaningful to offer us. We hire directly, and only people who apply directly to us, so please do not sell us outsourcing, resourcing, investments...

We like to take the opportunity and apologize our PBX cloud vendor, Cuuma, who was the collateral damage of this. You have been great, and we would definitely like to discuss with you if we ever need a PBX, and can happily recommend you to others. We thought for a while to set up a automated voice response menu to our switch. It's easy with Cuuma. "Select 1 if you are selling, 2 for support...". And then submenus for common categories of products offered with canned responses, and possibly a infinite loop of waiting messages so familiar from customer service hotlines. But we considered that as unhuman treatment. So we just cut the wires.