This really happened. And even though this one instance may not seem like a big deal, consider the cumulative effect.
One of our team members, Jessica, called a medium-sized medical facility just to ask if they provide a particular service.
After replying with a curt "Hold on," the receptionist transferred Jessica to a doctor's extension. Yes, a doctor.
But the doctor wasn't available, so after her voicemail message began playing, Jessica hung up, without the answer she needed.
How Many Mistakes Did You Count During That Brief Encounter?
Here's what we noticed, and why you may want to handle your incoming calls a bit differently.
1) The receptionist's reply of "hold on" was simply inexcusable. It was rude, dismissive, and showed no regard for Jessica's value as a potential customer. When you need to transfer a caller to another person, let the caller know why and to whom she'll be speaking. Then, ask the caller for permission to make the transfer.
2) The receptionist could not answer a basic question about her company's services. As a result, she had to forward the call to a doctor, someone whose time is far better spent with other matters. And if the receptionist knows the services the facility offers, she might be able to schedule appointments on the spot, ensuring that callers don't take their business elsewhere.
3) Because Jessica didn't get the answer she needed, she had to call another provider. The first facility she called lost her business - maybe forever - all because of a mismanaged phone call.
Don't you wonder how many times each day that receptionist alienates callers? Interrupts doctors? Loses a potential lifelong revenue stream? And just as scary: management may never even realize how much she's costing the company.
Starting to see the huge negative impact poor phone skills and manners can have on a business?
You may spend a lot of marketing money to get people to call. Don't let any interest in your brand be destroyed by careless or unskilled employees who are manning your telephones.