What Was That You Said?

Ear trumpet

Surely it isn’t too much to expect if employees are to be dealing with customers on the phone that they are given some training, instead of which what one is often faced with is an almost unintelligible gabble. My most recent experience of this was trying to purchase travel insurance. I have a minor medical condition which is not covered by run of the mill insurance, so I phone up just to make sure that what I am buying is suitable. One girl I spoke to had a very strong accent, but this was not the trouble – it was the speed at which she spoke. When I asked her to repeat something she actually laughed and spoke in a ridiculously slow way. Thankfully I did not want the insurance from the firm for which she worked.  I got the same kind of response from a young man at another firm. Often the person opens the conversation with, “My name is -” said at such a rate that the listener has no idea what the name is and how often are we told to make sure we get the name of the person to whom we have spoken? In response the customer is expected to speak clearly.

In my opinion it is downright bad manners for people to speak this way on the phone and extremely ignorant. How many of us have messages left while we are out that have to be listened to several times before any sense is made of it. Frequently the number is gabbled and, on occasions, I have listened to messages at least six times in order to get the number. A few months ago I got one message which turned out to be important, but after I had listened to it several times and got half a dozen others to listen I was no further forward about who was ringing me, what the person’s name was and we could make out only part of the phone number.

Come on employers!  A phone call is often the first introduction to a firm, so why not make sure a good impression is made!


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