Watch What You Say As Others Are Listening

Angry businessman on the phone

The post below was written a couple of years ago, but I felt it was worth repeating since I had a similar experience earlier this week when I was calling a company for some help with a product.  I know that call centers are busy places, but employees who work there need to realize that customers and potential customers can hear what is going on in the background when calling.  This week I heard someone talking about their date that went sour over the weekend, although I felt bad for this person (because she apparently was hurting) it was inappropriate information for customers of her company to hear.  This time I did let the representative that I was speaking with know that I could hear what was going on in the background and she apologized for it. Hopefully, she will make this known to her coworkers and supervisors.

Just a reminder….

The other day I made a call to a vendor to order a few supplies for our medical practice.  When a representative came on the phone to help me she seemed a little distracted, taking a bit longer to get our account information up and I thought to myself “maybe she is new at the job.”

As I started to give her order numbers I could hear someone talking in the background, and it was quite loud.  I noticed again, that the representative was distracted and now I felt I knew why, as this voice in the background was getting louder.

I finished my order and as the representative was finishing up on her end the person in the background became very loud and what she was saying could be heard clear as a bell.  She was complaining about someone whom she had apparently had an encounter with and it didn’t sound like it went well.

I was amazed at what I was hearing as this person was not happy and her attitude was pretty snappy as she said “I don’t care what they needed, we didn’t have the product and she was rude!”  Wow, loud and clear her voice traveled into the phone that her co-worker was talking to me on, and what other customers also got in on this outburst?

When the representative started talking to me again to finish up the call, I really wanted to ask her what was going on, but decided not to, and then later thought I probably should have told her what I heard so they would have known how this sounded to their customers and possibly they could have learned a lesson from it.

I know that I certainly learned a valuable lesson from it and shared it right away with my employees, letting them know that people are listening to what is going on in the background when they are on the phone with people in our office.  We really need to keep this thought in our mind as we hear the phone ring in the office.  When the phone rings we should immediately do a “sound check” to what is happening around us making sure each person is aware that we are conducting business over the phone.  What our clients hear sets the stage for what they think about our place of business.

I know that there are things that happen each day as we encounter our patients, clients and customers that might not go well, but we need to remember that we are professionals and if you need to “blow a little hot wind” make sure you are out of ear shot of any patron who is in your place of business or who may hear you over the phone.

“When at work, think before you speak out loud, and take inventory of who might hear you” ~ T.C. Totaro

 

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