I have worked as a Receptionist or some form of Admininstrative Assistant since the age of 13. During those years, there has been some behaviors from co-workers and the public that I find irritating.
Behaviors that make one scratch their head and say "What?" with bewilderment. Below are a few issues I feel that needs to be addressed and corrected.
Chapter One: Phone Etiquette
From the moment we speak, our parents have taught us the proper way to speak to one another with respect. To communicate in a way that it leaves both parties understanding the subject of the conversation. Now, I don't know if its because we as a nation now live in a technological world, but phone etiquette is dead. It no longer exists and as someone who works in an office where speaking on the phone is 90% of the job, it is a pet peeve that desperately needs to be addressed. Let's take that moment shall we:
Why is this hard? I mean, it's really not. I grew up in a Caribbean household (Antiguan), where when entering someone's home you are to say "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night". Just try and say "Hi" in a traditional Caribbean home and they stare at you with disgust and such disrespect. They literally make you feel worthless.
This greeting naturally makes sense when approaching a desk at an office or calling one on the phone. You've never met the man or women behind the desk or phone before. You didn't wake up beside them this morning. So what makes you think it's appropriate to vomit a whole life story about why you can't pay your rent or why you believe you should get better seats to an event you've been a member of for "X" amount of years before saying "Good Morning, my name is ...."
Keep It Short and Sweet
People who work at the front desk see and hear from over hundreds of people a day. The purpose of our job is to provide you with appropriate information needed to complete your goal. Depending on the inquiry, a call or interaction with the front desk should take no longer than five minutes (this is not including holding on the line, while we place other calls on hold so that we can give you our undivided attention *fake smile* ).
If we are able to provide you a phone number, an address or even a basic breakdown of your history in three seconds, why can't you provide us with why your calling in that same amount of time? "Oh, but I need you to know the background story behind my call." No. No, we don't. Nor do we care. The amount of money I am paid to answer calls is not enough to sit through this impromptu therapy session.
All I need from you is the "Who" and "What" or "Why" of your call. Eventually, we will get to the other "W's" in the family.
Side note: Don't call for information and not be prepared. You called me. Have a pen and paper or your notepad app open and ready to go. Please!
Choose Your Conversation
Too many times have I taken a call or been approached by someone who is having their own conversation on their cellphones. The result of that scenario is either being hung up on or being blatantly ignored until your ready to be helped. Don't have a side conversation while on the phone with me. Either your focus is on me answering any of your questions or the dinner plans you've been trying to schedule for days now. It's rude. You expect me to give you 100% attention, then I'm gonna need yours.
So when you call us, don't put us on hold. I'm not your friend. I'm not a family member. What makes you think its okay to call an office and ask them to hold, while you do whatever it is you gotta do? There is a rapid fire of calls coming in and you think I have the patience to wait while you do, whatever before you can speak to me? NO! That's not happening. This also rings true to when we have to talk to you about your delinquent status on a loan, to schedule/reschedule an appointment or to keep you updated about a recent activity on your account. DO NOT PUT US ON HOLD. We won't be offended if you ask us "Can you call at a later time" or "I'll call you back." We prefer it because we'll note the attempt, so when you receive an unfavorable letter about the said conversation, you can't say "I was never told".
OH, MY GOD. I hate getting called and all I hear is:
I hope these rules were an eye opener and one that you involve in your daily interaction with your front desk or customer service representative. It makes our lives easier and the conversation go so much smoother.
Just an introvert sharing her thoughts and interest with the world