Why Your Receptionist Should Be Rude

3 minute read

Why your receptionist should be rude begs for a slap in the face. Everyone of us has called a company and the “front desk” person was short, snippy, annoyed, and often just downright rude! It’s often stunning to me that a company owner or manager fails to see this and deal with it quickly. There’s probably no one in the company more able to destroy business opportunities and kill revenue more quickly than the person answering your company phone.


How many times have you attempted to call a company and got the “automated” answering system? The “system” recites six or seven options, which sometimes aren’t what you need, and even hangs up on you for no apparent reason. Even more aggravating is when you choose and option and it rings and rings, and then goes to voicemail! My first, and second reactions are what a stupid ignorant company. It makes me want to never do business with them.


Many of the biggest companies failed to address these kinds of issues, and either ultimately collapsed or remained a mediocre business at best – all because the receptionist was rude. In today’s world of a million choices, your prospects and customers don’t have to (and won’t) tolerate this kind of disrespectful attitude.

I’ve personally called companies that answered, “it’s a great day at……” and then were downright nasty with the rest of the call. I heard one who thought I was already on hold, and she said, “I’ve got another annoying salesman calling.”  Yep, I hung up. (And I wasn’t selling anything).


It seems that with the number of ‘phone solicitations’ they deal with, they are almost conditioned to response like a guard dog. Not surprising, many owners and managers encourage this behavior hoping they won’t get bothered. In the service industry, it is crucial that the people answering the company phone go out of their way to be helpful, empathetic, and gracious. Think Chick-fil-a and their standard response to everything, “it’s my pleasure.”

Regardless of the possibility the caller may be a salesman, from the initial Hello, to the ending words, the person answering your company phone must exercise a generous and extremely pleasant tone and attitude. We all have heard a thousand times that a ‘smile’ call be seen and heard through the phone.


If you plan to eventually go out of business, then your phone answering staff should be rude and disrespectful. Even a flat, generic, bored attitude will freeze your prospects and customers to the point they hang up without a good feeling about your company. I don’t believe you want that or would embrace it.


Providing good customer service is so much more than what is provided by simply “doing a good job.” It takes training and practice. It takes the ‘right’ front desk person to represent your company in a manner that makes them want to call back again and again.

With so many business choices for your customers to choose, it must start at the front desk and with every incoming phone call.

Contact me at 419-202-6745        or       Dick@TheCRESTnetwork.com

By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of AskDickWagner.com BLOG

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