December 22, 2009

Crazy Technology

Yesterday, we got a new phone system put in at our office. It has great promises ... we just need to learn how to use it. I apologize if you were one of the calls I didn't mean to answer. You see, I don't often answer the phone unless our receptionists are helping other customers or at lunch.

So I'm sitting at my desk and I hear the intercom on my phone activate. I say, "yeah?" And the caller is silent. "Hello?" The caller asks if this is the driving school and I'm embarrassed at how I answered the call. "Yes, you've reached Defensive Driving School. I'm sorry we just got new phones put in and I thought you were an internal call to my desk..." Okay, so I help the customer and all is well. I swear off answering any more phones. Twenty minutes later the same thing happens. I think it's my intercom and say, "yeah?". The caller is confused. I'm learning (ha ha not fast enough!) and it occurs to me that this is also a live call. "Defensive Driving School, how may I help you?" And I help the caller but it's on speaker phone and I'm afraid to change it off because what if I lose him?

After I hang up my brother talks to me in only a way that a brother does...pretty much it went down like this: Bridget! Stop answering the phone like that. These are real customers! And me in the sisterly response (very professional): "I'm not even answering my phone! My intercom goes off and the people are just there." It turns out that this happened to our receptionists, as well. The installer (still in the office helping us) called the boss. Apparently, here's the new technology: the phone can hear that someone is there and will answer automatically. That's right. You're sitting at your desk and the phone hears you typing and then answers the call as it comes in. You don't have to push any buttons. You don't have to lift up your receiver. You do nothing but make a little noise and voila! you are the lucky phone greeter. ha ha ha. Yeah, once the installer found out that this feature existed then he was able to find out how to turn it off.

I mean what if you were talking to an upset parent or discussing someone's payroll or medical leave status and then a random customer calls in and hears sensitive information? I'm pretty happy that of all the things my callers could have heard, they only heard me answer the phone, "yeah?".

2 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Don't you just love working with family?

  2. that's creepy that a phone knows you're there. I'm glad you could turn it off. :)


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