Tuesday, November 30, 2010

calling into a business 101

I know it might come off as silly, but sometimes when people call into our law office I have to fight the urge to say what I really want to say. (Sounds horrible right?) The truth is (and I'm not bragging, I swear) but I feel I have a good amount of patience, so when clients (or hopeful to be clients) call in, it takes a lot for me to start to get pissy, but it happens. A lot.
I feel like there should be a 101 in calling a business and what proper etiquette is before they even pick up the phone to dial.
The rules would be something like this:

1-When calling, please know WHO you are trying to reach.
It sounds strange, but soooo many times people seem to have forgotten the name of the attorney they want to speak with (or have dealt with). While I understand a quick loss for the name, a pause the length of the movie Titanic is just awkward for us both.
Tips: have their card handy, so you have something to look at for those brief (or not so brief) brain farts. Or, try rehearsing in your mind what you want to say before you call, hey, I do it.

2-Remeber WHO you are talking to.
The wording is close to #1, but this item is very different! So many times when clients call in they are angry at the attorney or the opposing counsel or maybe even a secretary that didn't call back when she said she would. I get it, you're frustrated and because you're unable to talk to the person you happen to be mad at, you lash out at whoever answers the call. I get it, but I hate it. Many times the receptionist (like me!) or the secretaries have nothing to do with what's making you mad. Honestly, we are trying to help you out and get with the attornetys to help you, but sometimes it's just not possible to do in your timeframe. (No I'm not saying this is all your fault and you should just get over your anger). I understand your anger, I would be too. What I don't like is that you take it out on me or my co-workers. I'm human just like you and believe it or not, when you yell at me and tell me you think I suck at my job, I get my feelings hurt. So please, remember who it is you are talking to. However, if the person on the phone is being a complete jerk, your rudeness seems a bit justified.....just make sure their rudeness wasn't caused by you calling them a *$(&#$ or a @$#@#$
Tip: Don't call angry. It will end up only pissing off everyone and trust me, if someone's mad at you, they don't exactly want to jump to help you right away.

3-Don't belittle the staff.
Big surprise, but we don't actually like being called names. this goes hand in hand with #2, so please just calm down and don't call angry. Save your words for when no one is listening.
*Side note, even if the receptionist is only 23, please do NOT call her a little girl. Believe it or not, that is a bit demeaning.

Stay tuned for more don't and tips! :)


brittni said...

AHH! I know exactly what you're talking about. I used to get complaints all the time when I worked a similar job. I so badly wanted to say WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME!??! One time I did.. I didn't go over so well but it was so liberating. haha

Whimsical Woodland said...

I'm half tempted to print this out and hang it on my desk! I'm a secretary at an insurance agency, and I completely understand where you are coming from. I think we take a huge brunt of people's frustration, and we aren't even the one's making the big bucks!

Kaytee said...

I deal with those people all the time, and I know my boyfriend deals with them at Dunkin Donuts. He tells me the horror stories of people asking if they carry Newmans coffee and if they don't have a bagel, then why don't they go make one?

Any way a stupid person can get into your life, they will :)

Kayla said...

I can understand that! I work as a recerptionist at a Toyota service department and we get lots of mad people.....or just angry.....or rude...I totally feel you there....It would be nice if someone would come out with a book on calling a business etiquette....I wouldn't mind contributing to that one! :)

You just made me smile when I read these though.....


amylou said...

I work in a law office too Kellie! So get every word you are saying. In fact I've said these exact things before.
Oh and I HATE when old men call me hunny, or hun, or sweetheart!
I am in no way their sweetheart! UGH!
You took the words right out of my mouth girl!