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The Gatekeeper

Quite often I find myself looking for blog content and struggle.

Recently I was challenged again and then bingo! It just came to me.

Who is the face of your business? The person that answers the phone? Their job is to greet your customers/suppliers, prospects. Have you checked recently to find out for yourself if they are presenting a smiling greeting when they answer the phone.

In my business I call at least 30 business owners a week. There are varied answering techniques and yes some are “great: and some are “goodness me why did this person bother to come to work today?”

When I worked at the NAB we were told what to say when we answer the phone (Yes in 1988 our customer’s called branches direct). It was all part of our performance measurement.

I remember very clearly in 1992 the bank issued a directive of what all branch staff must say upon answering a call. Ready?

Good morning/afternoon National Australia Bank Moonee Ponds Vanessa speaking how may I help you?

13 words – oh it was tough. We got used to it though and our customers loved it.

Now some examples of my recent gatekeeper challenges:

Calling for Mr X – and who are you?

Calling to speak to Mr X – what’s it about? and the classic, almost fell off my chair moment:

Calling to speak to Mr X – are you from the tax office?

Really? Does the ATO call regularly? If I was a supplier I’d pull the pin on credit right now.

So, who answers the phone at your business?

Do they greet customers with a smile? Are they courteous? I know we live with dreaded Telemarketer calls however we can still be polite and ensure we present a professional face even, if it is over the phone.

My suggestion, Mystery shop; you may be pleasantly surprised or you may be horrified!

Worth a look though!!

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