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Switchboard Operator under fire Illinois

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  • Switchboard Operator under fire Illinois

    As HR Mgr., I am over the admin and switchboard operator. I also back up switchboard when necessary. We answer calls and direct traffic to the proper person. Sometimes if a caller gets voice mail they will call back and complain they 1-want a person, 2-don't want voice mail, or 3-they never return my calls (usually sales dept.)

    Now the Sales Manager is addressing my switchboard operator as to how she should handle calls, if the sales dept is on a call put them in voice mail, no exceptions. Do NOT let them hold. No one is allowed to be put on hold.

    I am curious as to what other companies do? Do you allow people to hold? What do you do with a caller who complains they do not get a call back and "I want to hold"? Do other dept. managers simply go off to the switchboard operator and demand how she is to do her job or shouldn't they speak to the manager of that dept?

  • #2
    Hold is sometimes unavoidable if you don't want dropped calls. Ask the Sales Manager which he prefers: the occasional hold, or the occasional dropped call?

    Also, please note, if the Switchboard Operator reports to you, the Sales Manager has no business telling her what to do. The Sales Manager needs to be polite and address his issues to you, and then you can decide whether or not you'll follow through.
    Last edited by eerelations; 03-05-2013, 08:39 AM.

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    • #3
      I've been in similar situations before, we've had some sales customers that had some great aversion to VM. Our receptionist would on occasion take a printed message back so assuring the customer that he is being addressed.

      The best solution is providing direct phone lines to the sales staff so didn't go through the front desk. Also, sales now has cell lines and the regulars have that # so takes the extra barrier out of the loop.

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      • #4
        I worked in a car dealership for 7 years. The calls to sales went to voice mail.

        Ultimately the calls are the responsibility of the Sales dept. If the Sales Mgr wants them to go to voice mail then that is where they should go. If you are getting complaints about calls not being returned, then those complaints should be directed to the Sales Mgr who can speak with his staff.

        I suggest you speak with the Sales Manager. Use a professional tone and do not be accusatory. Say "Operator mentioned to me that you spoke to her about a change in procedure. In the future please speak to me about any needed changes and not the operator.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HRinMA View Post
          I worked in a car dealership for 7 years. The calls to sales went to voice mail.

          Ultimately the calls are the responsibility of the Sales dept. If the Sales Mgr wants them to go to voice mail then that is where they should go. If you are getting complaints about calls not being returned, then those complaints should be directed to the Sales Mgr who can speak with his staff.

          I suggest you speak with the Sales Manager. Use a professional tone and do not be accusatory. Say "Operator mentioned to me that you spoke to her about a change in procedure. In the future please speak to me about any needed changes and not the operator.
          The problem with the Sales Manager is she does not seem to have a problem taking up an issue with a female but if there are issues that involve a male, especially her employee's she does not address them or if she does she is very delicate in manner and speaking.One of her male employees has openly said he can not multi-task and won't. So we get complaints that he has not returned a call or a quote. She does nothing except find something to complain about my dept. if I bring it up.

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          • #6
            Given that this is a legal site, I suspect you're looking for some sort of legal solution to this problem. Unfortunately, there isn't one.

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            • #7
              I will give some non-legal advice from my HR experience. Look for a book on dealing with difficult coworkers. You can't change her behavior but you can change how you and your staff responds to her.

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