SME owners look for mobile phone alternatives following stricter driving penalties

Small businesses are urged to understand new government policies surrounding driving whilst using a mobile phone.

Small business owners are increasingly looking for ways to handle their calls following the introduction of the Department for Transport’s new policy on mobile phone usage, says Moneypenny.

From 1st March 2017 drivers caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel will see penalties double to six penalty points on their license and a £200 fine. As such, the telephone answering service has seen a surge of enquiries into alternatives to answering their mobile phones.

The company says that small businesses owners’ reliance on their mobile phones could put them at greater risk of incidents or penalties due to pressure to check their devices while behind the wheel.

Nick Marsden, managing director of IT company Sort-It.biz, says, ‘It’s easy to say that a ‘call can wait’, but for small business owners like me, not answering a call carries the risk of losing work. Also, people are averse to leaving voicemails. Of course it’s good business practice to have a real person answer the phone whenever possible, but not at the expense of road safety.

‘Even taking a call on a hands-free set still means that you can’t take down proper details when you’re driving, so we’re left in a dilemma. There was a real gap in the market for a solution to this problem, and I’m pleased to see there are now solid alternatives to risking points and fines, or worse still, lives.’

Learn the new policy

Moneypenny adds that in the face of the Department for Transport’s new policy on mobile phone usage, it has seen a surge on enquiries from small business owners and sole traders. The company added that this increase in interest is the reason why it has developed a new product, Mobile answering, to specifically help small business owners who rely on both travelling by car and answering their customers’ calls.

The service follows recent research by Moneypenny revealing that 69 per cent of people refuse to leave voicemail messages and prefer to hang up if their call goes unanswered.

Ed Reeves, co-founder and director of Moneypenny explains, ‘We understand that small business owners can’t afford to lose business. A missed call can equate to a missed business opportunity as the majority of people hang up at a voicemail greeting. This is why we developed a solution. With the Moneypenny App we ensure that no business is lost and that there are no distractions whilst driving.’

The new service combines an app, whereby the user controls which calls go through to them and which are answered by a Moneypenny PA. Customer and client enquiries are answered by a friendly Moneypenny PA and friends and family go to voicemail like at present.

The voicemail is then transcribed and appears on the phone App and by text so if the user is in a meeting or not able to listen to the message they can easily read it. The service is just £30 per month and customers are not tied into a contract. It also takes just three minutes to get it set up.

Further reading on mobile phone use

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