Author Topic: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...  (Read 2292 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2225
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 01:33:59 PM »
Quote
If your boss wants all phone calls answered no matter what, then maybe he should hire someone to specifically just answer the phones in an area away from in coming clients.

Should...but won't.  In situations like this management doesn't care what anyone thinks they "should" do, particularly if it involves hiring/paying additional staff.  They want employees to multi-task.

However, clients and customers have the power to vote with their feet, so to speak, and take their business elsewhere.


Tea Drinker

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1401
  • Now part of Team Land Crab
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 02:26:49 PM »
If I were the customer in front of you, I'd be tempted to pull out my cell phone, dial the office number, and see whether they put the first telephone call on hold to talk to me. If they did, I'd try to go ahead with the check-in, or give them my credit card number to pay for the day's bill, or what-have you.

But you can't do that, though you might be able to wink and say "sorry, but we've been told to always deal with telephone calls, even if we're already talking to someone." And you can definitely say "I'm sorry, that's the policy I've been given. If you'd like to fill out this comment card, maybe they'll change the policy."
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2156
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 02:29:14 PM »
IMO, in a business situation, a customer in front of you always trumps the phone ringing.

In most situations I'd agree. But in the case of a vet's office, where the person on the phone might be someone whose dog has just been run over versus someone at the desk who's only paying a bill or picking up medication or arranging their next appointment? No.

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 801
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 03:05:24 PM »
IMO, in a business situation, a customer in front of you always trumps the phone ringing.

In most situations I'd agree. But in the case of a vet's office, where the person on the phone might be someone whose dog has just been run over versus someone at the desk who's only paying a bill or picking up medication or arranging their next appointment? No.

I am in agreement that the phone should be answered in case of emergency, BUT the policy goes further than that. The policy ALSO requires that she finish NON-emergency business on the phone even if it has interrupted the person already standing there.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30826
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 03:10:13 PM »
If I were the customer in front of you, I'd be tempted to pull out my cell phone, dial the office number, and see whether they put the first telephone call on hold to talk to me.

I remember hearing about some reporter that was covering a trial/arrest/lunching/something in the South; he was from the NYTimes. He had traveled down and was standing there with the huge crowd of reporters from everywhere trying to get an answer from the sheriff, and getting nowhere.

So he walked over to a payphone and called the office and identified himself. He could hear the sheriff say to the crowd, "Excuse me boys, I have to go to the phone, a reporter from the NYTimes is calling."

The phone call was given greater importance.

ShadowLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2871
  • My mind is like a steel trap-illegal in 13 states.
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 04:46:01 PM »
When working at second job (retail clerk), I answered a phone in front of a customer, who got so annoyed they complained to manager.  Manager then afterwards came to me and specified customer in front of you is more important than anyone calling.

I realize at a vet's office you can't do that as well, but maybe answer phone like my dr's office does, "Is this an emergency?"   If it is not, can you say "hold on a minute", and then put phone down on desk, and continue to deal with client in front of you, who hopefully knowing that you have a phone call to get to, does their business with you quickly. 

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Talking to someone, then the phone rings...
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 04:54:47 PM »
IMO, in a business situation, a customer in front of you always trumps the phone ringing.

In most situations I'd agree. But in the case of a vet's office, where the person on the phone might be someone whose dog has just been run over versus someone at the desk who's only paying a bill or picking up medication or arranging their next appointment? No.

I am in agreement that the phone should be answered in case of emergency, BUT the policy goes further than that. The policy ALSO requires that she finish NON-emergency business on the phone even if it has interrupted the person already standing there.

Yeah, that's just not a good way to do business.

Perpetua, I agree with you.  I didn't consider medical situations as part of "business" situations.