Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Workplace Stories Vol. 2: T-t-t-telephone

For someone who works in retail, I spend an awful lot of time on the telephone. A few months after I started, it was decided that we needed to connect with out customers more. Thus, the personal sales call was born.

No real relevance, I just love this picture.

We call you for your birthday. We call you about bras. We call you about clearance. We call about sales, events, and we even think to remind you about your card expiration. Every month, we make it our mission to blow up your phone and make ABSOLUTELY sure you don't forget we exist. As you might expect, there are mixed reactions to this.

In 2013, we've officially entered the email age, especially when it comes to sales relationships. People don't want to hear your voice unless they're looking at you. What they want are emails with coupons. Online deals. Exclusive text offers. Codes to scan with smartphones. For the most part, the messages they want on their answering machines are NOT the messages from our store. The telephone is becoming an obsolete form of communication.

Maybe that's why we use it. We like to keep you on your toes.

For the most part, the people I call are in a rush. They don't want to hear everything I have to say, and will hang up after the bare minimum. Another portion of the calls I make are answered by husbands, who have NO problem saying exactly what they think of me and the fact that I'm calling their wives (sometimes I wish I could record them, so their wives can know the kinds of things they say to young girls just doing their jobs). I get berated, cussed at, and ripped a new one every time I make calls. Then, in my happiest voice, I tell them that I hope they have a great day.

Then I hang up and say, "Jerk".

In spite of all this, though, making calls is still one of my favorite parts of the job. That might sound crazy after everything I just said, but the good calls make all the difference. The calls where people actually want to hear what I have to say. The calls where we can get excited about sales together, where they feel special that I care enough to call them personally. It's fun to share that feeling with them.

My absolute favorites, though, are the women I call who just want to talk for a minute. These are the older women, who haven't caught up to the digital age. They live alone, and when the phone rings, it makes their day. They can't wait to talk about their grandkids, their church meetings, their pets -- to anyone who's willing to listen. And I am. For five minutes, I let these people be incredibly important to me. I know how it feels to want someone to listen, and how much you just need to be loved sometimes.

So I love. I congratulate, commiserate, and listen. I have a great time doing it, too.

And this is why I love the personal sales call. I hope we never stop annoying everyone else, just for the sake of these fabulous moments.

What makes your job more special to you? Let me know.

1 comment:

  1. You are SOOO sweet, and I love you. Thanks for your post! It's good to remember why we're all here in the first place. I'm glad you love. :)

    My job is special to me for somewhat similar reasons. I work with kids who have challenges at school, and a lot of the time I feel like I am trying to tame a hurricane. But then, there are those moments where you notice one of the kids has picked up a new, useful habit you'd been trying to teach, or gets excited because he sees the pattern in a math principle you've been pounding into him, or asks to go to the bathroom instead of just running out the door. Haha. I guess I still don't know how important I am to their success, but I love the privilege of being there for those moments of progression. It's exciting and rewarding! Thanks for asking!