Thursday, December 14, 2006

Phone, Answering the

There are a few simple rules to follow when answering a telephone on behalf of your library...
  1. Always answer with a long, detailed greeting including your name, title, rank, department, and the name of your library. (This is especially helpful with internal calls.)
  2. Read from an institutionally assigned script.
  3. Never answer with just a last name: "Stabler." It works for t.v. detectives; not librarians.
  4. Mumble.
  5. Never, under any circumstances, answer with a simple, "Hello?"
If these rules are too stressful, just let the phone call ring through to voice mail. You can always email a reply and avoid speaking to another live human being.


Sarah Mae Harper said...

Wait, your library has voicemail?

Anonymous said...

Hey, what is voicemail?

Kate said...

I worked at an ice cream shop/deli where we had this ridiculously long script that included the location. "Thank you for calling Lic's Ice Creams and Sandwiches Old Post Office Place, this is Kate, may I help you?"
It got very confusing, when you worked at more than one location as I often did, so then it became, "Thank you for calling Lic's Ice Creams and Sandwiches Old Post- Washington-Wein...- Eastland Mall! This is Kate, may I help you?" And the longer that you worked there, the faster you said it, soon making it unintelligible.

Anonymous said...

I once worked in a public library that had you jump every hour or so to a different department....anyway, one department was answering the phone. We had to first take a "telephone etiquette" course (never ever say "bye"!)and you sat in front of the phone and stared at a printed sheet so you could remember what to must have filled a whole page. I didn't stay there very long.

YoSafBridg said...

sometimes the long script isn't so bad--since people never seem to listen to the first ten or twenty or so words they just seem to be throwaways anyway...

Anonymous said...

yosafbridg has probably discovered that answering the phone with a long enough script will cause a reasonable percentage of patrons to hang up before we get to the end of said script ... allowing us to get back to our REAL work instead of answering their questions!

Kalgrl said...

Its easy to forget where you are sometimes and answer for your last

Anonymous said...

The worst thing is when I'm home and mindlessly answer the phone with my library greeting. The kids always crack up, and I once managed to confuse the hell out of a telemarketer.


WDL said...

This is my all time favorite post. Ever.
We can not determine an external call from an internal call in my not so deluxe library - and so, we must answer the phone with location, department and name. After this 6 minute part is over, if the caller has not hung up OR already started talking (because its internal) we go on with the process.
My old job (pre public), was in a corporate library where we could answer by saying our last name.

That was hot.

i am looking forward to a 2007 filled with more insightful posts!

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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