More Telephone Insanity……

While Senior Executives go to meet with one another at exquisite restaurants for lunch, or on the golf course, no one is apparently left behind to manage the zoo.

There are endless books written on Management Style, and one wonders if any of the current batch of Senior Executives has actually read any of them. MBA schools are pumping out graduates who can read a Financial Statement and strategize on business approaches, many analyzing the past failures of companies which have met their demise, but the most important facet of good management is good people skills, and what used to be known as “ Managing by Walking Around” , or, “Leading by Example”.
Do any Senior Executives actually know who is working for them any more other than a handful of their closest minions??

Speak with Senior Individuals in many Fortune 500 Corporations, and learn that there is little if any interaction between the Senior Executives and lower level employees. This is utter insanity as they are actually the ones who truly know what is happening in the trenches, and are best positioned to make recommendations to improve problems.

How many Senior Executives have taken the time to call their OWN Company’s switchboard from an outside, anonymous phone, and try to navigate it without identifying themselves?? If they actually tried, they would be horrified at the way their staff speak to potential or existing clients. Increasingly, companies are dispensing totally with receptionists and decided that they no longer require humans to answer the phone, that voice response systems are the answer to everything.
Then, just to really prove the point, have their WIFE call from an outside, anonymous phone, NOT identify herself, and see if she can navigate the system, and just how rudely she is treated. NO, if there are actually are human receptionists, they DO NOT treat women as politely as men. We have tried the exercise repeatedly, a man is flirted with and usually passed through, a woman is rudely interrogated.

So, what happens if an outsider tries to call one of these companies about an emergency situation and does not know anyone in the company or have a direct phone number for someone?? They will be bounced around a voice response system, and ultimately the system will hang up on them as it is incapable of making a decision.

We recently called numerous pool companies, as our swimming pool is in need of maintenance. Sound easy?? Apparently not.
Several companies had employees answer the phone, only to bounce the call from one to the other, with NO ONE willing to actually take any responsibility to take down the information and provide a quotation.
Several hours later, only ONE company politely responded and provided a quote. NO ONE, let me reiterate, NO ONE at the other companies even knows that a potential client called. The staff were totally belligerent and utterly disinterested.

From leaving messages on voice mail systems which are never returned, to receptionists who interrogate callers as to the reason for their call, to administrative assistants who behave like jealous wives, it is absolutely extraordinary that some of these corporations actually stay in business.

Some so called ‘Service’ companies no longer list their switchboard number for fear of people calling their Senior Executives to lodge complaints. If there are SO MANY complaints, perhaps some thought might be directed at actually FIXING THE PROBLEM…..and not hiding behind closed doors and anonymous phone numbers.

I speak with people constantly who have the same complaints. In many cases, they simply bring their business elsewhere. From changing banks to airlines to technology providers, if you can’t reach a polite individual who is actually willing to take the time to have a conversation, why would you continue to pay them money??

We have reached a level or telephone rudeness and insanity which boggles the mind.

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