Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today's program has been cancelled due to temporary bad mood

As I explained to Bearette yesterday, Wednesday found me trapped in a soul-sucking vortex of telephone hell.

This seems to happen to me a lot, have you noticed?

I offer this as a public service:

1) When the phone rings, pick it up as promptly as possible. Try not to drop the receiver multiple times, or hold it against your chest as you giggle and finish telling your co-worker about the drunken sex you had last night.

2) SUPER BONUS TIP: During business hours, do not let unanswered calls go to a message that says, “Please call back during business hours.”

3) When you answer the phone, please identify yourself and the office or department you’re representing. The person on the other end of the line may have been transferred and have no idea who she is talking to (see #4b).

4) After the caller states her need, please use some form of verbal communication to indicate that you understand the issue. A few acceptable examples are, Okay, I understand, or I would be happy to help you with that. When you're on the phone, saying nothing after someone has asked you a question is the equivalent of giving her a blank stare. Of course, if you and the caller share the gift of telepathy, it’s okay not to speak.

4a) If you discover that you cannot answer the caller’s question, it is not good customer service to say, “I have no idea.” or “That’s not my department.” Trust me, no customer is interested in what you CAN’T do. Please scrape together your remaining brain cells and think, think hard, about who would be able to help your caller.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not simply grunt, “Justaminute” and then dump the call on someone else. Explain to the caller that you cannot help her, but you will transfer her to someone who can. Tell her the name of the person, and give her the telephone number in case she gets disconnected. If you want to achieve Customer Service Superstardom, explain the question/problem to your co-worker before you transfer the caller. Who knows? You could be saving the caller from explaining her problem to TEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE. She will love you if you save her from that. Trust me.

Also? Speaking with your co-worker before transferring the call also prevents your caller from ending up in voice mail hell, where a cheery voice announces that Suzanne is on maternity leave for the next four months and will not be checking her messages. Beep.

That’s it. That’s how to provide good customer service on the phone. Of course, some of you will find your phones ringing today and discover that your mind has gone blank. In case of such emergency, all you have to remember is

5) The Golden Rule.

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Blogger Zen Master said...

Great Post!

I was in phone hell since last Friday. Thankfully it finally ended yesterday with a threat.

I had been trying to get a prescription refilled and in the process became a medical assistant and a pharmacy tech! OY!

If I were smart, I would have made the threat on Friday and it would have been over. Instead I was in phone automation limbo and telephone tag hell.

Sorry for the rant...the wound is still fresh. LOL

11:59 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

You really get the worst of them, don't you?

2:35 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

My most irritating calls are ones I make to the cable company or, ironically, the PHONE company. What's particularly annoying is when the cable person transfers my call to an outside vendor who has no idea who I am, what my problem is or WHO TRANSFERRED THE CALL TO HIM!?!? They break all of your rules except maybe the drunken sex one.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Oooh, let me guess, you called Comcast, right?

That stinks. I hope you're close(r) to getting your problem resolved.

3:01 PM  

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