Finally Getting The Message

, , | Right | July 10, 2019

(Although I manage accounts for a specific group of customers, my official title on our office website is “Administrative Assistant.” I often get phone calls that should have gone to other departments because people see my title and call me directly instead of our main phone line. As a result, I get calls like this way too often:)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name]! How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need to check on my file. I’m the one who complained about that car dealership, because I went there and they tried to cheat me and when they told me they couldn’t help me, I contacted your office—“

Me: *desperately interrupting before they get ten minutes into their story* “Okay, sure! Your file would actually be handled by [Coworker from a different department]. I can transfer you over to his phone! Hold on for just a moment.”

(I look up the number I need and transfer the call. Not twenty seconds later, the same customer calls me back.)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name]! How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I just called and no one answered. I need to check on my file, because the dealership tried to cheat me, and I was told you all were supposed to be able to help people—“

Me: *desperately interrupting again* “All right, [Coworker] is going to be the one to speak with. He’s in charge of your file.”

Caller: “But he didn’t answer his phone!”

Me: “He could be away from his desk? In a meeting, perhaps?”

Caller: “Well, when will he be back?”

Me: “I really couldn’t say; he’s in a different department than I am. But I could transfer you back to his phone, and if he doesn’t pick up, you can leave him a voicemail…”

Caller: *suddenly pleasant, as if they’ve never heard of the ability to leave someone a message before* “Oh! Oh, could you? That sounds great! Can you do that for me?”

(And I transferred their call… again… exactly the same way I’d done it two minutes before. I know leaving a voicemail is not always preferable, but repeatedly calling the wrong department is not going to fix your problem!)

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