One of my pet peeves is when I call a business and I feel like I am “bothering” the person who answered the telephone. Isn’t their job to answer the phone? It’s bad enough that a lot of times you have to first listen to a computer generated voice and then go through a series of punching numbers before you can actually talk to a “real person”. We have a home based business and one thing I try to always do is answer the phone as quickly as possible. I also put a smile on my face before I answer the phone. By doing that, you end up sounding cheerful and happy to the person on the other end of the line. Granted, sometimes I don’t feel cheerful, but that is not their problem. They are calling us because they are either an existing customer or a potential customer, so with that being said, they are also paying my wages. If they either don’t hear a “real person” on the phone, or hear a grumpy person, they may just take their business elsewhere. Let that happen too many times and pretty soon you aren’t needed on your job.
In the past, I have had several experiences where a customer has called to voice a complaint. When I picked up the phone, they started ranting and raving about how unhappy they are because of “whatever”. I learned that the best thing you can do is to let them vent their feelings and show compassion for the situation they are in. I don’t interrupt them when they are venting. The majority of the time when I have handled complaint calls in this manner, the caller ends up apologizing to me for their behavior, and explaining that it was really something else that set them off. I also found that by letting them vent, and being compassionate to their concerns, you can usually find a happy medium to resolve the issue.
In the event you get “bill collector” calls, avoiding the call is probably the worst thing to do. If I owe money to someone and can’t pay the whole bill at once, by explaining my situation to them, I can usually work out some type of payment plan that is satisfactory to them. But, the key is that you need to hold up your end of the “bargain”. Like it’s said, you need to “walk your talk”. If you don’t, you begin to lose your credibility.