Time to read 4 minutes
I sit in the home office, listening to my husband's work mobile vibrate, his personal mobile ping and he’s there with a headset on plugged into another zoom call. This telecommunication set-up is due to the current lockdown situation. Oh wait, I forgot. My desk phone that is normally situated in the office is now sitting next to my home router ready and waiting for me to answer it – Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring.
It’s the constant distraction of yet another electronic beeping tone that disturbs me from my current report writing task. And they say emails are a distraction. I beg to differ. Why is it that the phone always seems to ring at the most inopportune moment? It’s the time that I have the bright idea that I am desperately tapping out on the keyboard in the hope to impress the boss. It’s disappeared – the shrill tone of the telephone has stopped me in my tracks.
I go to answer it and of course am already on the backfoot. I’m distracted by another beep from my husband’s personal mobile, I can hear the kettle about to launch into full boil downstairs and the kids are supposed to be at the table attempting some home schooling but instead have asked Alexa to play the latest song by … who was that? I’ve never heard of them.
But I take a breath, I answer the phone. Only to find the line is crackly, the person on the other end has a heavy accent, or is that simply a cold? Their background noise sounds oh so familiar to mine. It’s at this point that I realise I have missed the caller’s name, what they were calling about, and who they wanted to talk to. “Sorry, can you repeat that, the line is poor”, I say in my politest telephone manner.
It’s that classic mistake of not stopping what I am doing. Not giving the caller my full attention. My undivided attention. With so many distractions ongoing I haven’t answered the phone with the right mindset. Pause. Take a breath. Ask the caller to repeat their name. Reach for my notepad and pen. I’ll get the right details down now I have focused myself on the task at hand.
So, whilst I might have picked up the phone with not quite the right attention to detail. I can start to improve my standing.
- I’ll focus in on what the enquiry is
- I’ll ask who they wanted to reach
- I’ll check where they are calling from
- I’ll ensure I have a return contact number for them or an email address
- I’ll ensure I get details of the most appropriate time to return the call
- I’ll make the caller feel like their call is important to me. It was important enough that they picked up the phone to talk to us, so the least I can do is provide them with the focus and attention that they deserve
- I’ll take responsibility
So, I promise, if you dial Scott Bradbury, whilst there might be distractions haranguing my household as soon as I answer that phone, I’ll give you my undivided attention. I’ll take responsibility and I’m here ready and waiting for that familiar ring tone.
The Scott Bradbury WATCH & GO ‘One to Watch’ video for July is ‘Taking Accurate Telephone Messages’. This short video illustrates how accurate and complete telephone messages convey professionalism and result in timely, positive outcomes. The video comes with a handy downloadable learning guide summary. To see the video and the guide, along with the full WATCH & GO video library, please call +44 (0)1638 723590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You are welcome to have a free trial. www.watchandgovideos.co.uk
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