New business edge idea – JUST ANSWER THE BLOODY PHONE!

STEP out of the BOX
March 26, 2010
Being “PC” is killing us!
March 22, 2011

I received an e-mail from a client the other day. She wanted to know if I had any ideas for cool and fun messages to be left on the company phones and call centres queuing facility. Something that would perhaps leave a customer less irate when the call was finally answered. My response was as usual, polite, diplomatic and politically correct!

Here’s the idea – answer the bloody phone! Answer the phone within 3 to 5 rings like any service driven, caring company. That will make me smile! In fact if a real person was to actually answer a phone I would probably not know what to do.

Do these people really believe that they are fooling us when they give us those stupid options? Press 1 for the service department (no such place exists), press 2 for accounts, etc. This is just a cheap ploy to keep you busy because they are horribly understaffed and incompetent. After holding and being transferred from Dopey to Grumpy and back again, you’re looking for the options like, Press 1 if you want to swear at someone, 2 if you want to slap someone, 3 to …

I called a company the other day to wish someone a happy birthday. They had no number option for that so I was left on hold and nothing happened.

Ever been asked to key in your account or ID number? Only to be asked again for your account and ID number when the person finally answers the phone.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tried to speak to someone, whose first language, forget that, their fifth language wasn’t English. I tried for 12 minutes to order a pizza from a well-known Pizza brand only to have the phone put down on the counter by this rocket scientist who then began to talk about me to her colleagues. I was called by the owner a few weeks later after a casual complaint to a big shot in the group, only to be told “I’ve tried everything!”

Here’s something you might wanna try – MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Get it? Be there yourself and mind your own business. Stop bloody expanding and opening new branches, sites and departments. Stop being greedy! Only when the first store, department or outlet is running perfectly, open another. Even then, mind your own business.

Speaking of owners and managers, ever tried to speak to a manager, MD, or CEO? They just cannot and will not take your call. They say a fish rots from the head down!

What about the people who answer the phone and then for some reason cannot help you?

My best are the rocket scientists who have absolutely no logical brain and no matter how you try and explain your situation – it’s like talking to Robert Mugabe about gay rights.

I love it when I ask for someone and then the “salary collector”, tells me, “he’s not in yet!” Don’t people realise that that reply just leaves the impression that the person is late for work again, I have to just smile.

From asking the wrong questions, hanging up too soon, answering too late, using incorrect (no) telephone manner, being unable to help, being unable to action or escalate, being put through to the wrong person (for the third time after explaining your situation to each person), and a new epidemic, the phone actually rings for over two minutes before it is answered.

I called a major motor vehicle and motorcycle manufacturer two weeks ago. The phone rang, for over two minutes, was answered with a casual, “hello” (as if she was answering her personal cell phone) then she proceeded to cut me off, twice. I finally got through to the sales manager and wished him a happy birthday. The company spends millions, literally millions of Rand, every year trying to generate new business, in other words to get the telephone to ring – it does, and then, disaster!

Did You Know?

  • 7/10, yes 70% of people will not do business with your company because of the way they were treated on the telephone.
  • 90% of most of our client contacts are done on the phone.
  • Every single person must attend and be trained in telephone skills.
  • Phone operators should be highly intelligent people who are trained and empowered.

Try something new

  • Get a real person to answer the phone within 3 to 5 rings,
  • A real person to direct your call,
  • A real person to handle the call who is competent, capable, empowered and who cares and takes pride in their jobs.

Now that’s my opinion!

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