Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Ringing Phone – Friend or Foe?

In our office, we have never had a receptionist and our automated voicemail system is typically only turned on after regular business hours.  Everyone who works here is expected to answer calls when they’re in the office, and all calls are to be answered by the third ring. 

As you can imagine, it gets chaotic at times.  It can also make it hard to concentrate when you’re trying to focus on a complicated project.  As a staff, we have talked about this a lot.  The conversation always comes back to two essential points.

First, there is no cheaper or easier market research than hearing directly from your members about their latest and most pressing concerns.  I am always learning something new from these conversations that helps me better understand how to address their needs, and develop ideas for new services.

Secondly, as an association (in our case, we work for multiple associations), we need to remember that our primary function is to serve our members.  We all get pulled in multiple directions every day.  But as a membership organization, everything else is second to meeting our members’ needs.  We try to remind each other that a bigger problem than incessantly ringing phones would be no ringing phones.

How does your workplace handle calls?  What works best and what hasn’t worked for you?

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