Blog 294: Answer the Damn Phones


When people call DMWHQ they are often surprised that I answer the phone. It’s also me who cleans the coffee mugs.


The easiest way to improve your client experience is to have a human answer the telephone. I assumed we all knew this, but I’ve been wrong before.


Here are some rules to follow.


  1. Spend more money paying and training the people who answer your phone. I lost a Dr. because his front-line staff were worse than the disease. A friend of mine who knows the Dr. let me know that his front-line staff gets paid $2 more per hour than minimum wage. You get what you pay for.

  2. Hire people who have talent and get out of their way. “Tell me what is going on, I’ll connect you to the person who you need to talk to.” Don’t pay them to pretend they want to help. Make sure that the person who answers your phone can help without having to ask for permission. If you need this one explained to you then there is no hope to save you.

  3. Most of your calls will be about the same ten things. Why do people keep asking about these same ten things? Eliminate them. Put clear, fun, surprising and complete answers to these questions online where they are EASY TO FIND.

  4. Change your hold music to something fun and engaging like Abbot and Costello’s ‘Whose On First?” routine. I’m looking at you Air Canada, when people call you they are in an urgent hurry and you play spa music. When people are in a rush, don’t tell them to relax. Grrr.

  5. When the wait is longer than two minutes, offer a simple option to be called back.

The service is having a phone in the first place.


The experience is how you use it.

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