Fire the person who hired him or her. Over the years, I've told a few horror
stories involving receptionists. Two that immediately come to mind, include:
dangling, shoeless one, and the one that told
the caller to get lost.
It has always amazed me that businesses, including law firms, would be so
careless when it comes to placing a major part of their contact with the
outside world in the hands of an uninteresting, bored, unpleasant person
because they don't have to pay them very much. I've even argued that the cashier
in a bank should be paid more than the president, since they have the most
meaningful contact with its customers. But I digress.
Seth Godin's recent post on receptionists
reminded me of just how important that position is to a law firm. After
mentioning several different businesses, and how important new and referred
business is, Godin states:
"Go down the list. Stockbrokers, even
hairdressers. And not just people who recently moved. When a new referral shows
up, all that work and expense, and then the phone rings and it gets answered by
your annoyed, overworked, burned out, never very good at it anyway
receptionist, it all falls apart.
"What is the doctor thinking when she allows her
neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the
What indeed! And why do some firms load up their receptionists with so much
work that they don't have the time or attitude to be good at what they were
hired to do. Or, they may just be the wrong person for the job
personality-wise. In that case, it isn't their fault. The person who hired them
is the one to blame. Fire them.
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