The phone rang.
“Hi Shirley, it’s Reception. Are you guys extending over the long weekend?”
I had no idea who Reception was, nor to what she was referring.
I had to ask her, “Reception. Reception from where?”
She didn’t give me the answer I was looking for.
“Are you guys extending over the long weekend?” she repeated.
My mind was racing.
What reception? What about the long weekend?
Then it suddenly dawned on me. She was the receptionist at the caravan park we were staying at.
I was working onsite at a client’s premises and normally wouldn’t have even answered the phone, however I had forgotten to turn it to silent.
I realised she must have thought that I was sitting around in the caravan park and of course I would know who and what Reception was.
Wow! Talk about lack of communication and automatic listening. I was making up all sorts of things in my mind to explain this situation.
I couldn’t help but think that a little (or a lot) of phone technique or scripting was needed.
How about something like, “Good morning, I’m Julia calling from Your Favourite Caravan Park. I’m ringing to confirm whether you are planning on extending your stay to include the long weekend.”
If she had introduced herself, the company and reason for the call, it would have prevented my negative reaction, anxiety, confusion and anger.
Your customer doesn’t always know who you are or why you are calling. Your customer doesn’t always understand what you’re talking about or trying to communicate.
Here’s your action for this week:
- Discuss how you would have reacted if you received the introduction I did from Reception?
- Discuss how your Receptionist would have handled the call?
- Review your policies and procedures and make sure you have your standard scripts documented.
- Train and support your people.
Your business’ reputation is far more valuable than simply being referred to as “Reception”.