Actor – Owner – and Present

The following blog was originally written for Focus Telecommunications team members. Upon revisiting it, I realized just how applicable it is to so many of our clients.

– Donna West, president, Focus Telecommunications

One part acting ability, one part ownership, one part being there, it all adds up to good job performance.

Acting ability is needed for most jobs, but especially when you are in the customer service department of a company. Since our job is to provide customer service for many companies, we need to be especially careful that we always project a good image. No matter what is going on in your personal life; when you sit down to answer a customer’s call, you need to leave everything else behind and become the best employee our client ever had.  No hint of the fight you had with your partner, your Dad’s illness, or your unpaid bills can creep into the call.

Not only must you not be sad or down, you need to be cheery and up. You’ve heard it a hundred times, but it is true. They can hear you smile. If your eyes are crinkled and the corners of your mouth are turned up, the sound that you make just has to be a happy one.  When you are making others feel good, you make yourself feel good too. Just as importantly, when callers are upset, they will only become more upset if they aren’t greeted with warmth and graciousness and professionalism, and that may take some acting.

Okay, so acting ability is an understandable necessity, but what’s this about ownership? Whether it’s a job in a call center, department store, or plumbing company, owners of businesses want their employees to take ownership of their position. We all want employees who really care about our business and our customers. It’s important to do your best to be helpful and courteous. Treat customers as though YOU own the business, that you invested your life savings or your blood, sweat and tears to make it a viable company.

When you make it your job to understand our customers’ business, what they do, how they do it, and what is important to them, you can represent them well as you answer their phones.  Our job is to help our customers communicate better with their customers. We can help them grow by being attentive to the people who call them – just like we would if it was our own business.

Finally, remember that corny but true saying, “You can’t spell success without U.”  You can be the most talented, dedicated, knowledgeable agent ever; but if you aren’t at your seat, ready to take calls when your shift begins, you aren’t good at all. In fact, if you are a terrific agent, you are more missed when you aren’t there than if you were a poor agent.

That’s what it takes to be a really valuable staff member, appreciated by your clients, your peers, and your managers.