Sunday, 9 October 2011

The phone greeting: To speak or not to speak?

In these fast times an agent operating a 60+ room property by themselves is common place.  Often we face dealing with call volumes approaching 50+ calls an hour as well as attending to our numerous other duties.  Answer all calls within two rings, take messages accurately, translate a document in to Spanish and help a coworker or guest collate sixty copies of a report all at the same time.  Sound familiar?  Then you are most likely a front desk agent, in the administration business or at least have been at some point in your career. 

Am I complaining here? Not in the least. In fact I take pride in being able to handle one of the most stressful jobs the world has to offer!  But the name of the game here is working smart not hard.

So a midst all the chaos how can we make our jobs easier?  Well here is the classic example of how we are trained to do our jobs.  The phone speech goes like this "Good afternoon thank you for calling the Blog Spot Hotel. This is Agent Sparks speaking how may I help you?" say it to yourself four times in a row. Seems rather long winded doesn't it?  Now say it again another 10 times.  It is exhausting.  Now imagine saying this speech forty times an hour for eight hours a day up to six days a week fifty two weeks a year.  It is unbearable.
So how can we work smarter in this situation?  Simply cut down the speech.  There is no need to be long-winded.  Chances are the guest calling knows where they are calling.  That cuts out the property identification line.  The guest is aware that whomever answers the phone is there to serve them so let us cut that line out as well.  Finally, most people do not care about the name of whom is serving them on the other line so we can nix the introductions. If the guests wants to know whom they are speaking with you can bet your ass they will ask.  When we cut the filler crap out what is left is simple and concise, "Good afternoon guest services.".  A warm and efficient greeting that is both direct and easy to say.  I've found in my experience using both greeting templates that the person on the other end will cut you off mid way through your forced introduction with their demand or question.  Like we all don't have enough problems with data privacy in the twenty-first century without revealing our workplace and first name to the unwashed masses that call us on a regular basis.  

So what does it all boil down to? The quick and efficient greeting saves thousands of dollars in man hours every year, increases productivity and keeps our employees information private.  Again, people don't want the speech.  They want fast results. 90% of my calls do not care who they are calling and already know the location of the number they have just dialed.  Let's all save some time and cut the speech down to what it should be; an efficient greeting not a compressed life story.


  1. Good advice mate, I used to answer phone calls for a hotel and I know what you mean. Keep it up

  2. one grunt is all thats required