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Do You really Know What Impression Your Service is Giving to the Caller on "The Other End?"
Michael Boone & Associates Newsletter
Do you really know what impression your service is giving to the caller on "the other end"? September, 2005
The person on your end of the phone line clearly sets the tone for the person calling. How important can that be?
I have a friend who owns a small manufacturing plant and he told me this story:
Early in the war in Iraq, the Defense Department found it needed some critical supplies in a hurry. My friend was contacted, learned that a no-bid contract was available with a very tight timeframe. His technical and manufacturing people assured him the requirements were feasible as long as manpower was available when and where needed.
His H. R. people urged him to consider short and mid- range temporary staffing to avoid the obvious problems of lay-off’s, unemployment claims, cobra etc. were they to consider hiring regular full time people.
My friend assured his contact in Washington that his company was prepared to meet the commitment in every detail. With the contract secured, he sought help in selecting the most qualified staffing firm to meet the unique and demanding staffing requirements.
Comfortable with his choice of a staffing firm, he decided to call the president of that firm personally; and here’s how the conversation went”
Friend: Hello, is John Jones in please?
Receptionist: He is in, but he’s not taking calls presently. Could I give him a message?
Friend: What time do you think he will be taking calls?
Receptionist: I really don’t know. He just got to the office (it’s 2:00 p.m.) and he’ll want to catch up his paperwork first.
Friend: Might he have an “urgent” code or a cell phone that I could call?
Receptionist: He doesn’t have an urgent code and we don’t give out his cell phone number.What’s this regarding anyway?
Friend: I had really wanted to speak with him personally. I was just calling to see if your ompany could put together a staff of oh, say about 75 to 100 people for a project that will last indefinitely; but I can see Mr. Jones is far too busy to bother with my call
How could a quality firm, highly respected in the industry find itself vulnerable to such a disastrous situation? Certainly, even if the president of this company could finally rescue the valuable contract, he would still need to go back to the basics and improve his company’s communication system - with emphasis on the power of the telephone.
Since every member of the office staff will occasionally be called upon to answer an incoming call, every person would need to be reminded of the high price the company pays for a mishandled call. They would need to be reminded that every single call in a staffing office is an important call! An ordinary call handled in a caring, friendly and professional manner can make an impression on the caller that could result in future business - or a uniquely qualified employee.
It makes so much sense to treat all calls with equal respect so why is there an occasional breakdown? To make those breakdowns extremely rare, what techniques do you think you could employ? For starters, try this idea that some companies employ - make every ring of the phone trigger an alert response: Ring, Ring ---- smile ---- answer phone. Ring, Ring ----Smile at a nearby mirror - and grade your performance, 1 to 10. Always, Always aim for a 10!!!!!!
When you pick up that telephone, to the caller you are the company. It takes less than a second to make an impression that may not be erased for a lifetime.