Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Is Your Receptionist Killing Your Business?

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?

GT: Sure

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.

George Torok

PS: The telephone is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Listen to how your business sounds on the phone.

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