The advertising world is a great place for me. There are artists, strategists, writers, digital experts, musicians and other creative minds working with people who specialize in making budgets work and numbers fit into spreadsheets, which in turn churn out invoices, reports, and everything we need to help clients succeed.
I’m a little bit of all of these things. I am creative in that I have been an artist, actor, director and musician. I am also adept in the office environment. I know how to clear most jammed printers, order lunch for 40 people, mail merge and more.
The thing I do best, however, is answer the telephone. This tiny, little part of every day is such a huge deal to me. I am lucky it’s also a huge deal to my employer and our company culture.
Every time the phone rings, it’s my opportunity to get it right, to do something great for someone else. I’ve learned how to smile on the phone and convey that smile to the person on the other end. It is important that I make a caller feel taken care of. It’s so much more than just getting someone the extension they are looking for. It is about shepherding them to the person or information they need, while assuring them that they’re in good hands.
I know from experience that the initial contact can make all the difference. One time, I had an issue with my muffler. I called CarX and the guy on the other line made me feel so sure that I had called the right place; I immediately took my car there. When that same voice greeted me at the door, I became a CarX customer, exclusively.
The hook for me was seeing the face, with the same smile I had heard on the line. It was meeting the one who listened and already understood my problem. It was watching him explain my issue to the mechanic and give me an estimate that was fair, and delivered on. I continued to go there until another mechanic amazed me with even better customer service. There was an important lesson in leaving CarX, too.
First Impressions are important, but lasting ones take a lifetime of work. It’s about keeping the smile on all the time, giving all you can, and making sure you choose the right way to feel around your customers, your co-workers, and your community. The co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s, Ben Cohen, once said, “There is a spiritual aspect to our lives – when we give we receive – when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!”