08.04.16: The phone call to…nowhere
LAST WEEK, I went through the hassle of trying to reach someone at a newspaper with an “updated” phone system.
I’m betting you’ve had this happen to you, too. Here’s the story:
When I called the main number, a recorded message instructed me to input the last name of the person I was trying to reach. But before I could type in the complete name, the system transferred me to the phone of someone else whose last name began with the same letter.
I tried again…same result.
I tried a third time…same result.
Then I thought I’d try a different approach and just tap “O” to transfer to a receptionist.
Nope. The system informed me that that “extension does not exist.”
So, I tried once again to input the last name of the person I was trying to reach. And again I was transferred to the phone of that other person. I quickly decided that I’d just talk to that person and see if he/she could then transfer me to the person I was trying to reach.
When I spoke with her, I told her about my problems reaching someone who could help me. She explained that they knew of the problem there but that no one seemed interested in fixing the system. Then she transferred me…and I got a recorded message telling me the person I was trying to reach was not unavailable and asking me to leave a voice mail.
A newspaper should be available to all persons during office hours. The phone system should be an aid to that…not a hindrance. If the system isn’t welcoming, if the system doesn’t help you reach the person you want, then you have to fix the system.
How does your phone system work? Can I call you…right now…and get directly to you? If not, can I input “O” for Operator and get to a real person who can help me?
This isn’t just a rant. It’s really a hint. It’s a reminder that that next phone call you get may be someone with an important news tip or a business owner wanting to buy an ad—a call you really want to answer so you don’t miss an opportunity.
Got a story like this one? Please share it in the Comments.
More on phones and reaching you in upcoming hints.