Wow. It turns out that controversial topics get twice the web traffic and conversations as “normal” ones! (smile) Yesterday’s post generated so many “visits” and “replies” that I felt some follow-up thoughts were appropriate:
- I always take responsibility to follow-up when my boss (or anyone in authority over me) calls and leaves a message. I do not make it their responsibility to pursue me. I pursue them.
- I did not intend to dismiss common courtesy from the process. The closer our relationship, the more likely I am to call you back.
- I agree with Tony’s comment on yesterday’s post. The church should go above the “minimum expectations” on this one.
Here is the most common situation I meant to address: A person calls the organization to ask for help, and they leave a message. A staff member returns their call and leaves a message. Who is responsible for the next step? What if:
- A family member deleted the message and the intended party never knew they received a call back
- The wireless provider fails to deliver the voicemail (it happens!)
- The original issue was resolved before the two parties actually talk to each other
- The person who first called changed their mind
In short – there are literally dozens of reasons that the perceived call-back never happened. I propose that the accounts are clear in this situation…and no one should blame the other party. If the person still needs help, it is a reasonable assumption that technology failed us and they should try again. My intention is to address responsibility…and the tendency to “blame” and “assume the worst” rather than just calling back.
Here is another situation: When a person indicates interest for something that I am responsible for (such as an event, or request for help), how many times should I call before I am “stalking” them? For me, that is usually 2 or 3 times. On the final message, I will say something like “I don’t want to be bothersome to you, so I will assume that you are no longer interested and I won’t continue to call you any more…”
On a final note: Cold calls by a random vendor chasing my business usually do not get a call from me. I might…if I have time and I am feeling generous. But I’m paid to get my job done, not to spend time making it easy for other businesses to make money.
Thanks for listening.