How do you answer the phone -- or maybe more to the point, how does your staff answer it? Are they warm and welcoming or bored and indifferent? Do they make someone want to make a reservation or do business with you, or turn them off totally?

I was thinking about this today when I cold-called an advertising prospect. A young woman answered the phone, sounding indifferent. I asked to speak with the person who would handle advertising or marketing.

"He's not here," was her reply.

I asked for his name and her response was "He's my boss." Okay, I dug deeper and asked what his name was so that I could contact him when he returned. She replied "Joe" (not his real name).

Getting a little impatient, I asked when he would be available and was told he was traveling on business. I asked when would be a good time to reach him when he returned and she again, did not answer directly but asked for my name and info - finally!

Should anybody have to go through so much digging for information just to leave a message? Would you want to do business with these folks? I do, but I wish they'd make it a nicer experience!

When someone is bored, tired, impatient, etc. on the phone, that comes across to the party on the other end. Is this the kind of message you want to send to a potential customer or business person?

Views: 4

Tags: Answering, branding, customer, phone, relations, the


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on January 9, 2009 at 11:57pm
I believe I quoted this on another post. I as at a place one time and the
usual "receptionist" was called "Diector of First Impressions".

Then there are places that answer "Thank you for calling if you know the last name of the person you're calling press the first three letters."
If you don't know that or their shoe size, press "O" for the operator. Good luck if anybody answers !

Comment by Paul Paz on January 9, 2009 at 10:47pm
Also check the FOHBOH post below as there are additional perspectives on how important first impressions are when conducting business.
Just today I read this great quote, "There are no second chances for first impressions!"

Front Door Dynamics

Comment by Paul Paz on January 9, 2009 at 10:42pm
Try this link below.
While it's not exactly for the restaurant scenario, it could be used as a guide to create a restuarant focused template.

Telephone Etiquette Guide
Keep in mind the Golden Rule when it comes to phone etiquette. Don't make people dread having to answer their phone or call your business
Comment by susan holaday on January 9, 2009 at 2:49pm
It's also frightening - you get this mental image of someone driving and using a laptop or a Blackberry at the same time-
Comment by susan holaday on January 9, 2009 at 2:49pm
It's also frightening - you get this mental image of someone driving and using a laptop or a Blackberry at the same time-

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on January 9, 2009 at 2:13pm
That's funny !
Comment by Matt Urdan on January 9, 2009 at 1:18pm
Don't know Susan, but it happened to me on vacation in Florida...see my current blog post...I was headed to a movie theater in Daytona Beach. I asked for directions from I-95. I told the girl I was driving down from St. Augustine, coming from the North. She asked me if I had internet access and told me to google it. I'm not sure what part about I was in the car and driving there she didn't understand.
Comment by susan holaday on January 9, 2009 at 1:13pm
Makes you wonder how they get there themselves - or are they are home and call-forwarding calls?
Comment by Matt Urdan on January 9, 2009 at 12:56pm
Try calling a business and asking for directions these days....everyone wants your business, but no one can tell you how to get there. Hmmm....seems like a disconnect to me.

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on January 9, 2009 at 12:09pm
I've heard some places answer with the phone number (Good Morning "555 1212". You'll say is this XYZ Enterprises, get thrown for a loop, and forget who you're calling !




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service