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Jenny Eaton

A Genie Fledges

Some lessons learnt ...

Posted on: 07/10/2011   By: Jenny Eaton


I'm not sure what the benchmark was - and I haven't really sat a test - but I have, nevertheless, been let loose on the clients. Or rather I should say the clients of our clients. And what have I learnt? Well to be honest, lots ...

i'm finally being allowed to fly!

i'm finally being allowed to fly!

Most specifically about when I am making a telephone call. Like most people, I have never really given much thought to making a telephone call to a company. And, like most people, I despise dealing with call centres. But from now on, I may have more patience with those people who spend their lives answering the telephone.

  • Never Hang Up First ...

    This is one of those unbreakable rules. One that has been practically beaten into me (a turn of phrase, I promise - Jacqui and the other Genies have been very non violent when it comes to trying to impart knowledge!). But, so they tell me, you never know what you might miss if you hang up first. About a third of callers will end the conversation and then remember something they meant to ask, or something new will occur to them. Sometimes it's a crucial piece of information which needs recording and if you hang up first you miss it.

    It all sounds very simple doesn't it? But on occasion it is also very painful. You see once we've finished a call, we move onto the next thing, and so when we replace the receiver it can be in an absent-minded, haphazard fashion. What is painful about that? Well if you are wearing a headset and abiding by the Never Hang Up First rule, your ear drums can be subjected to the most awful racket as the caller hangs up and sometimes for longer than you would like.

  • Focus People Focus ...

    I know that I have been a perpetrator of this one. As a single mum I have mastered the art of multi-tasking. These days it is so rare for me to be at home during office hours that when I am I have to make all my phone calls in one hit. Often this means my son is at my feet, clamouring to talk on the phone (he does love to talk bless him!) or screaming because he's hungry. Alternatively I am trying to make the best use of my time and I am trying to batch cook for the freezer, whilst sorting out my tax bill over the phone! And until now it has never worried me.

    I never realised how difficult it can be for someone to decipher the relevant information from all my banging and shouting. Or that precious time is wasted as I absentmindedly search for a piece of information because I haven't got it to hand. From the other side, I have experienced a number of callers who get a little annoyed when I've misheard their name or address. But there truly is an art to discarding the irrelevant background noise and focussing only on one voice and taking the information down accurately.

  • I may not be the person you were calling, but I am still a person ...

    I have taken a number of calls from people who behave as if we are an answering machine. When they realise that they have not gotten through to the person they wanted to talk to, they simply wish to blurt out the information and expect us to take it down accurately and precisely without the need to clarify it. The worst offenders will proclaim "Oh just leave it, I am very busy" when you ask them to repeat something.

    This adds insult to injury because surely if you had gotten through to the right person you'd have spared them more than 30 seconds - come on; credit us with a little respect. After all, we're only trying to do our jobs - the information we're asking for is the information we're requested to ask for by the very person you wanted to speak to in the first place!

  • So what I've learnt is ...

    To change the way I deal with people over the phone. I had to speak to a call centre the other day and I found myself hiding in a quiet corner, speaking slowly and clearly, even over pronouncing the words and allowing the person on the other end to ask all their questions. And when I had finished, I terminated the call on the handset rather than simply placing it on the base station like I would normally.

I laughed afterwards when I realised what I'd done. But I guess it's no different than the plumber discarding grease into the bin rather than rinsing it down the plug after clearing out a particularly nasty blockage under a customers kitchen sink!

Until next time ...

JENNY EATON



More about Jenny Eaton ...

I love playing with words and I have dreamed of being a writer since I was a child. With a romantic idea of scribbling away in a cold attic room with my trusty fountain pen. I have always dabbled, but until now it’s not come to much.

When I started with The Office Genie it was to provide me with a part time income to support my writing. Over time though I have developed into the Marketing Genie on a full time basis. I love it, I get to play with words all day as I try to share the dream and the passion that Jacqui has turned into The Office Genie. My work involves blogging, letter writing, email writing, web copy writing, e-book writing, campaign planning, strategy planning, social media interactions – it’s like I write and talk all day every day, my parent would say it’s the ideal job for me!

My first blog posts were about my day to day life as a Genie but they are growing into sharing my view of the business world. I am passionate about helping small businesses be the best that they can be, standing out from their competition in the small things that come together to give an impression of great service – to find out how we can help you should call me on the number below.

Telephone:

+44 (0) 1604 529170

Website:

http://www.theofficegenie.co.uk


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