Are You Pissing Off Your Patrons Before You Even Meet Them?

I called my doctor’s office this afternoon to make an appointment for early February. Apparently the office closes from noon to 1pm daily so the staff and docs can get their lunch (which I have no issue with, everyone needs to eat). What I *did* take issue with is the fact that the answering machine message threatens (sternly) that if I leave a message that includes a question, I will be charged $25. If I contact the after-hours doctor, I will be charged $25. And they will autodelete any message I leave about refills of any kind, since those calls must now go directly to the pharmacy.

Have you thought lately about the tone of your voice message to incoming callers? Customers and patrons have tons of choices (hear that, doc?), and they don’t have to put up with rude, condescending, or stern messages. (Ahem, nor should they.) And if they haven’t even met you yet, you won’t get to explain your (probably? maybe? not really) good reasons for taking such measures – you’ll just lose their business, and gain a whole lot of bad referrals.

Call your library’s main line when it’s closed, and go ahead and call your own number – how does the message leave you feeling? Do you feel welcomed?

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