Today, as customers, we interact with our service providers through multiple channels including the web, email, text, letter and, of course, face-to-face. However, if we exclude retail shopping, it is likely that our first ‘human’ interaction with our service provider is by telephone. How our call is answered and how our needs are met within the first few moments of a call being answered have a major impact on the impression we form of the organisation. Impressions formed at this time can endure and can often influence our future behaviour. If our first impressions are favourable, we are inclined to be less critical of occasional lapses in service delivery, giving the service provider the benefit of the doubt. If we are not impressed by this first encounter, however, his can lead to a much more critical appraisal of service delivery with, sometimes, unfortunate consequences for the organisation.
Even for those in non-commercial organisations, such as local authorities or health providers, there could also be some unintended consequences of a poor ‘first point of contact’. Your customers may not receive all the information they need, so they make wrong choices or turn up to appointments at the wrong time. Alternatively, their poor customer experience may lead to a defensive or aggressive attitude to towards staff. This might make it more difficult for the organisation to provide the care they need, resulting in wasted time, money and staff resilience.
This puts the role of the telephone receptionist in stark relief. Getting it right first time offers the possibility of a positive ongoing relationship with that customer.
This half-day workshop aims to provide participants with: