Top Phone Blunders That Spell Professional Sabotage

The telephone is still the number one point of contact for many clients reaching out to companies, and the conversations that happen over the landline are mostly the ones that have an impact on the bottom line. According to Impressidesk, a leading virtual receptionist company: “When it comes to your clients, a great phone answering service is everything.”

It’s important to still be able to know how to use the phone properly. However, the professional who’s so adept at using the most sophisticated communication systems today can be left speechless during a simple phone call.

Some of the phone blunders can make or break a business deal (no surprise — phone call conversations have taken down at least one U.S. presidency). I’ll go over some of the most “memorable” ones I’ve witnessed, not to shame the involved (I’ve changed their names to protect their privacy) but to serve as a warning.

Phone blunder 1. A departmental meeting was called, but Sally excused herself from it, saying she needs more time on her desk to meet a pressing deadline. However, during the meeting the manager asked a question that only Sally will be able to answer. The secretary called Sally’s number and told her the manager asked her to join the meeting. Sally was furious and did not waste time venting her feelings to the secretary — that boss who is asking her to finish the report she’s rushing right now is now asking her to run to the meeting room as well! It was only after her very eloquent rant that Sally was informed that she was on speakerphone, with everyone in the department present to hear about her little speech.

Phone blunder 2. Greg was on a call with a demanding but very loyal and big-shot customer. The phone call finally ended but while he knew that the client will eventually get their services again, it would take another round of time-consuming conversations before the new contract was signed. Exasperated, he remarked to Chuck on the next cubicle what a pain in the *** the client was… without realizing that the VIP client was still on the line.

Phone blunder 3. Will was in a business dinner with his boss. It’s the dinner he’s wanted for so long as this will give him a chance to deliver his pitch away from the prying ears and eyes of everyone in the office. He made sure to put his phone on silent — he knows how his boss hates being interrupted but he’s also waiting for a call from another investor who is key to the success of the concept he’s pitching. If the client calls, he’ll simply excuse himself to go to the bathroom and make a return call. It just so happened that the client called just when the boss was in the middle of an impassioned monologue about the benefits of gardening. Will cannot make the excuse now, but he cannot afford to wait two more hours to make the return call either.

If the secretary had immediately informed, if Greg had made sure to hang up after the call ended, and if Will had an efficient call management system, these horror stories wouldn’t have happened. Their best bet would be to invest in the services of Impressidesk to make sure every phone call is efficiently and professionally handled, for the benefit of the business and for their sanity’s sake.