Wednesday, March 08, 2006
What a difference a receptionist can make to your business.
The first call went like this. (The names are changed to protect the guilty)
Reception: ABC Company
GT: Jeff White please
Reception: May I ask who is calling?
Reception (noticeable change in tone): Who is calling?
GT: George Torok
Reception: Where are you calling from?
GT: Burlington (my city)
Reception: Are you a friend of Mr. White?
GT: No. But he should recognize my name. (We have met more than once and he knows my name)
Reception: He is out of the office right now.
GT (a little annoyed): So why did you grill me? Why not tell me that upfront?
Reception: (very defensive) I didn’t know if it was important and if I should put it through to his cell phone.
GT: You could’ve asked me first thing and I would’ve told you that I would be happy to leave him a voice message.
Reception: (did not sound convincing) Well, I am sorry if I offended you. Would you like to speak to his assistant?
GT: Yes, that would be fine. (Why didn’t she ask me that upfront?)
Of course – the real issue is not how annoying the receptionist was. The question is: did the CEO encourage the receptionist to be that way – either by his instruction or ignorance.
Contrast that with:
Reception: XYZ Company
GT: Roger Black
Reception: He is in a meeting until 10:30. Would you like to leave a message on his voice mail?
GT: Yes, please.
Wow! Fast, friendly and efficient.
PS: The telephone is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Listen to how your business sounds on the phone.