Why The lowest Paid Employee Could Have More Influence Than The President

 I called the “customer line” instead of the ‘back line” of a new client yesterday. What I heard horrified me. I’m 100% certain its costing them money in many different ways. The person answering the phone was overly distracted and had no way of knowing if the person I wanted to talk to was even on-site. I asked a friend to call them a little later and their experience was much the same. My friend was of the opinion my client needed a new person on the phone. I dug a little deeper. The companies initial training plan was to give the receptionist/admin an anchor and ask them to swim. This plan is used far more often than most want to admit!
     The real issue that has to be dealt with is training, standards and follow up. Typically the lowest paid person in an office is the one answering the phone. This person is the first voice representing the company callers hear. For many of these staff members their entire training program boils down to “Here is the phone. When it rings answer it!” That completes all the training you will have now good luck!  Heck, these team members often aren’t even invited to attend the staff meeting/complaint sessions the company has! This happens when we fail to inspect what we expect.
     Just imagine your favorite NFL team designating the center as the lowest paid and least valuable member of the starting line-up. The center touches the football more than the quarterback who is typically the highest paid member of the team. The logic defies explanation and yet it exists. I often hear the argument “if I spend money training them I’m afraid they’ll leave” and the most useful response to that is “if you don’t train them I’m afraid they’ll stay” and that is a far greater risk.
     Little hinges swing big doors is a phrase I’ve said for years. An untrained, overworked and forgotten receptionist/admin may be the best example yet and one that consistently proves the point. When your home is for sale you spend time and money to improve your homes curb appeal to entice them to look deeper. For many businesses the person answering the phone is their curb appeal.  
 If I you want to talk let me know at www.speakwithsteven.com      

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