Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank you for calling...

Sometimes people actually call the Journal to ask questions, make comments or tell me I am a blabbering idiot. Actually, nobody has called me a blabbering idiot over the phone, thank goodness.

Most of the calls are about stories or to purchase pictures. I do need more calls from people wishing to buy ads or make donations, but that is another blog.

I felt the need to point out the phone number listed for the Journal is really…MY CELL PHONE!

I am not at the level where I can have an office with a dedicated business phone. But that dedicated business phone would be difficult to carry with me, unless I forwarded the calls and…never mind. And I don’t have any employees.

So, as I was writing, my cell phone doubles as the Journal’s phone. Please don’t tell Verizon! They are hitting me hard enough as it is.

Anyway, I do get calls at times. I have not gotten into the habit of answering the phone in a professional way such as: Good morning! (or afternoon or evening) Thank you for calling the Journal! This is Craig, how may I be of service?” Maybe that is why I don’t get calls to buy ads or make donations.

That would be said in as perky of a voice as I could muster. Yeah, I know, my voice wouldn’t sound all that perky. I have a friend who know longer calls because I am no longer his boss who says I sound like Hank Hill from King of the Hill. I disagree BTW (see, I actually know one text term!)

I do need to remember to try and sound more professional in case an unknown caller rings me up. Now, I usually mutter a “hello” into the phone, which usually causes the following reaction.

“(a few seconds of silence)…Uh, I was trying to reach the Journal.” They are probably thinking they woke somebody up from a nap, which sometimes is just what happened.

After I realize this is a business call, I try to sound professional. “This is Craig,” I say, because that IS my name.

“Oh…,” they say and then tell me what they called to discuss or to cuss.

If I didn’t hate the auto phone answerer, I could get one of those. This is what it would say, in case you were interested.

“Hello, thank you for calling the LeFlore County Journal,” that would be my opening. So the caller doesn’t think they are talking to Hank Hill, I would use somebody with a professional voice, like the guy who does the promos for all the movies. Or the English sounding woman at First National’s ATM at Poteau.

I wouldn’t give an option for them to hear the message in Spanish or English. If they want to call me, by gosh, speak English or hire a translator.

“Sorry, we can’t answer your call at this time.” I probably could but if I have enough money to buy an automated phone answerer, I’d have to make it worthwhile.

“Hit one if you want information about the Journal. Punch two (the button, not people) if you would like to place an ad. If you actually want to talk to a living person, your estimated wait time is heck if I know.

“To leave a message, hit four and leave your name, phone number, a short message as to why I should use precious moments of my day to return your call and marital status, if you are a female.”

[A short disclaimer! I would not enquire about the marital status. That was a joke! No, it wasn’t all that funny but sounded that way when I wrote it.]

Then again, maybe I should stick to what I have and try to answer the phone in a more professional way.

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