Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Telephone Etiquette

They need to teach a class in Telephone Etiquette. Seriously. Every week, we are given more and more cases of how people don’t know how to use a telephone in a manner that allows a business to give them the best service possible.

First you have the Hang-Up’ers. People who call, get the answering machine, hang up and call and call again. Over and over. In small salons, such as ours, we can’t budget someone to sit and just answer the phone all day long. If we did that, we would have to raise the prices that you pay to pay for the receptionist. No one likes raised prices. We utilize an answering machine while we are with clients, because every client deserves 100% of our attention. They don’t need their service interrupted every five minutes with a phone call. We return calls promptly. Leave a message and let us call you back. It’s a win-win, you get our undivided attention on the phone.

Next you have the Hang-Up’ers, Come on Over’s. Now, if we are with a client and can’t answer the phone, what makes you think that it’s a good idea to show up in person? You are interrupting someone’s service. Would you like someone to interrupt your service?  Leave a message and let us call you back when we can give YOU 100% of our attention.

Next you have the Mumblers. We have had messages, where we have had to play them over and over, play them for other people to listen to. We can’t understand you. Please do not mumble, speak clearly and for goodness sakes don’t say your phone number like you have one second to live and if you go over your head is going to explode. Say the area code, pause, first three numbers, pause, then say the last four numbers. It’s very easy to do and makes it easier for those trying to write down your number to understand it without having to play the message 10 times getting one number each time we listen.

Finally, you have the people in the Witness Protection Program. These people aren’t giving any information in their message as to who the hell they are. True story, I once received a message that said.
"Hey Rhonda, I need to get a gift certificate for a bridal shower tomorrow. Call me."
SERIOUSLY! No name, no number and caller ID said PRIVATE. Guess who didn’t get a gift certificate to give as a shower gift? Oh yeah and I am sure whoever this person was. was totally miffed that I didn’t call her back.

Daily, we get messages that either don’t give a name, so then we have to guess if we wrote the number down correctly and hope we are talking to the right person. Do you realize how stupid you feel when you have to say “This is Rhonda, returning a call from someone at this number, are you the person I need to speak with?” Worse is when we have you name, say Mary and no telephone number. Do you know how many Mary’s we know? We can’t rely on Caller ID because sometimes you have your number blocked like the example above and other times, we get 20 calls in between and have to guess what number it is. Then, we call a business, because you are calling from work and we ask for Mary, they then ask “which Mary?”. Yeah right, we know exactly what you are talking about, you see? You just made us have very poor phone etiquette now!

Stop the Tom Foolery with the phone, folks. It’s very simple. If you get an answering machine or reach voice mail, leave a message. Speak clearly and give your number in a slow manner. Make sure to leave your name and phone number. If you are calling from work and leaving in five minutes, for God sakes, give us another number to call.

This rant is about no one person in general and actually not about anything that happened recently, just the result of a conversation this weekend about how kids today don't know how to use the telephone.