By: Dee (15+ years of answering service experience)
I remember my first day at Answer Bay Area. I had no idea what an answering service did, with the exception of answering the telephone on behalf of companies and doctors’ offices. I was amazed at the call volume and variety of call types that my instructor handled as I looked on. Within hours I was answering calls with an experienced operator by my side. I was so terrified that I did not think I would be back the next day.
I remember the first mistake that I made was calling a doctor with a routine appointment call. He quickly realized that I was new but took a moment to encourage me. He assured me that I would get the hang of it. He did not know that made my day and I decided I would give myself a chance to learn the answering service business.
Once on my own, I realized that we are here to help people by taking a message, being compassionate to their needs or just being nice to someone. I have irate callers that I have to take deep breaths in order to be overly nice. Surprisingly, some of them offer an apology for taking their frustrations out on me.
We receive sad calls from people whose spouse has passed away during the night and from hospitals notifying the doctors that a patient has expired. We also receive the occasional funny story. I took a call from a parent whose child had stuffed a green pea up his nose and the mother was laughing so hard she was having trouble giving me information for the doctor.
Over the course of my career, I have left the office realizing that I have helped someone each day, whether it’s a caller, a client or an operator. It makes my job fulfilling each day.