By Amy Bradshaw

What is it really like to call your office? Are your phones being answered promptly, consistently and with enthusiasm? I frequently call various businesses and I am continually amazed by the lack of time and energy placed in phone skills training and the quality of recorded messages.  Just this morning I called my pest control company and after four rings my call was answered by a stressed-out lady that quickly said, “Joe’s Pest Control, hold please”.  Hum, ok, what is that noise? Oh, it’s music, blaring through a broken speaker, nice. And the song is on repeat, even better. Now I’m beginning to wonder if I really need to schedule an appointment or maybe it’s time to find a new pest control company, one that I can schedule with online.

“Are you still there” she asks? Yes, I would like to make an appointment. “Oh, O.K. can you hold please?” Just as I was about to hang up, Genevie picked up, thanked me for holding and asked what type of appointment I wanted to schedule. Finally, after being on the line 5 minutes, I was able to make an appointment.

Now as I wait for the next week and half to pass before my house is sprayed, I wonder, what is it going to be like trying to pay them? Hopefully Genevie will answer.

When was the last time you called your office as a consumer from a line your employees will not recognize on the caller ID?  When was the last time effort was applied to training and advancing front desk customer service skills? Treatment Coordinators, Marketing Coordinators, Clinicians, are often sent to seminars and specialized training sessions, but what about the person answering your phone? Well, while you contemplate that, here is a brief questionnaire that will help you determine where you are, and where you would like to be.