I know this has been run in another section, but I'd really like to hear from the business people. I'm thinking of answering all my incoming calls with a cell phone while working. I'd also be interested in a phone in the truck WITH a cell phone, if there is such a thing. The idea is that I could put an antenna on the truck that would have to improve reception. Poor reception or dropped calls would be a HUGE problem (and why I haven't used a cell phone for incoming calls yet).
I've been down that road Dave. Tried an aswering service, that got expensive. They gave a set amount of calls per month, and then they charged me for every call after that, whether it was a customer, or "junk calls", people trying to sell you stuff.
I finally had them forwarded to my cell phone. That works the best for me. I have alot of return business so I got to know my customers numbers pretty quickly. I don't know where you are at, but between Ny and Phila, Verizon worked the best for me. Coverage is almost everywhere I need to be. The cell phone "type" is the most important, along with coverage. Cingular and nextel were out of the question for me.
I use a cell exclusively, no land line, and answer all my calls in the field. It is a major hassle but I manage to get a ton of work done despite all the interruptions. I don't know why, but the calls tend to come waves. Ten minutes on the phone and 45 minutes of work. I carry two or three pens in my tool pouch at all times. If I'm up in the attic, I'll write names and numbers on the back of my hand until I get down and transfer them to the appointment book. I look like an idiot with ink all over my arm (business tattoos) but it works for me.
Verizon, has a phone, with a memo button, when the customer calls, get all the return call,info on the memo, then let the customer know, you will return the call shortly, the button feature is great, no looking for pens or paper, works best, when in the truck or in an attic.
I agree with Pat@Amber. I just started buisness 8 months ago in SF Bay area and am staying very busy taking calls on a cell phone or an hour later on voicemail. It is very impressive to the clients, especially when the are just running through the phone book. If you are busy at the moment check your voicemail when you go to the truck. I've found Verizon the most reliable in my area with best coverage and hardly ever a dropped call.