National Telephonists' Day – March 10th 2017

INTERVIEWS

What is your vision for National Telephonists’ Day both for the launch this year and for the future?

Greg Mace, MD Rapport: Our telephonists are often the first point of contact that our guests have with the client’s we work with and we really appreciate how hard they work to ensure that they make a brilliant first impression.

Equally we recognise that their work can often go unnoticed as they operate behind the scenes so they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Launching National Telephonists Day was a chance for us to celebrate the great work they do and to raise their profile within our operations. I hope that this annual event will grow in popularity each year and be adopted by more and more hospitality businesses in much the same way that National Receptionists Day has been.

Andrew Try, MD ComXo: This is an opportunity to establish a day to recognise a profession that largely goes unsung and yet is in the front line of of how a brand is first experienced by a potential customer. Whilst Comxo has built a business over the last 25 years providing Telephonists to support some of the leading brands in the City of London no official recognition or celebration existed till this time. Now National Telephonists Day will enable us to establish an annual moment to sing the praises of our daily heroes.

How was the day created, where did the idea come from?

Greg Mace, MD Rapport: Rapport had celebrated National Receptionists Day in 2013. This was a huge success but also made us realise that it would be great if we could celebrate our telephonists in the same way.

We searched to see if there was anything already in existence that we could support and when we realised that there wasn’t, we decided to create our own day of celebration.  I called Andrew Try who was really enthusiastic about the idea and so the idea of National Telephonists’ Day was born.

We all agreed we needed a date that would resonate with our audience and what better day than the anniversary of the very first telephone call made by Alexander Graham Bell.

Andrew Try, MD ComXo: I was approached by Greg Mace, MD of Rapport who provide specialist insource receptionist and switchboard services to a similar client base to ourselves. Greg  told me about the success that they have had with National Receptionist Day and asked me to jointly help launch National Telephonists’ Day with themselves.  I thought the idea was brilliant and jumped at the chance to work with Greg and his team to develop the idea.

Why is this celebration of telephonists’ important to you within your organisation?

Greg Mace, MD Rapport: Employee engagement is incredibly important to me and vital to our goal of becoming the market leading Guest Services company in the UK. One of our company values is ‘Walk Tall’ and I hope this day will help our teams feel proud about the job they do and showcase the remarkable service they provide for our clients every day. It is also a chance to say thank you and shine the spotlight firmly on the team members who are not as visible as our front line receptionists but play an equally important role.

Andrew Try, MD ComXo: At ComXo we call our Telephonists ‘Heroes’ as they save the day for our customers day after day, 24 hours a day and go to extraordinary lengths to represent our customers brands.  Whilst we recognise our people internally and celebrate their work and skills it is just wonderful to be able to promote the profession to a national audience and give us a platform to celebrate them.

How do you see the day impacting telephonists who work outside of your organisation in the future, both in the corporate environment and other fields e.g. hospitality?

Greg Mace, MD Rapport: Through engaging and promoting this day to our friends and colleagues in both the hotel and corporate worlds, we are planning on raising awareness to a wider audience, hopefully encouraging participation across a range of different companies. We have developed this dedicated website and included a range of interactive elements for teams that want to take part, making it a fun and engaging day for all.

We hope that every single telephonist that takes part will feel proud about the important job they do and perhaps at the end of the day walk that little bit taller.

Andrew Try, MD ComXo: Every business has a person responsible for taking front line switchboard calls and who is largely unappreciated by many whom they support.  The job is inherently difficult and when done right, adds massive value to a business and yet is often undefined, untrained and underdeveloped.  They say you only have one opportunity to make a first impression and Telephonists’ are the world experts in doing it right.  My hope is that, as this platform of National Telephonists Day grows in popularity, we will be able to raise the profile, importance and value the profession brings to the people they support.

What will you be doing this year to celebrate the day and how are hoping your telephonists will be involved?

Greg Mace, MD Rapport: Our managers and front line teams are already planning a range of events to celebrate our professional telephonists and we are being fully supported by our clients as well. From taking the teams to lunch, creating celebration cakes, to special competitions, there will be different things happening at each of our switchboard rooms.

Our managers will also be embracing our ‘back to the front’ initiative and will be working as telephonists for the day alongside our teams. I am already in training for this and really looking forward to the challenge of manning the phones at one of our prestigious city clients.

The most important part of the day however, is simply having the opportunity to say thank you and well done to our telephonists.

Andrew Try, MD ComXo: I will take special pride myself to join and support our internal ComXo switchboard team during a 24 hour shift, giving me an opportunity to see the challenges they face first hand and to re-evaluate their contribution to our business.

After an early morning shift with our own team I will be travelling, armed with cupcakes and flowers, to a number of our customers to celebrate the Telephonists we support.  We will be encouraging them to decorate their work environments and getting senior people within the organisation to spend some time with them to bring the exceptional work they do to the fore.

At Comxo we will be decorating our entire office and having a whale of a time!

UK's leading provider of high quality front and back of house Guest Services. Providing in-house telephony services on receptions, switchboards and other call services for a range of blue chip clients who have chosen to outsource this business critical area.

Greg Mace, Managing Director of Rapport

“Our telephonists are often our guests’ first point of contact with our clients’ organisations and we appreciate how hard they work to ensure that they make a brilliant first impression. Launching National Telephonists’ Day was a chance for us to celebrate the great work they do and to raise their profile within our operations. We hope that every single telephonist who takes part will feel proud about the important job they do."
ComXo are the voice of 200+ professional service firms across the City of London and beyond. Experts in delivering an exceptional client experience at the first point of contact, 24seven365 and multi-lingual. Skilled operators assisted by world-class technology provide bespoke switchboard services, fit for the 21st Century global law firm. With more than 40 top 100 law firms among their clients, and relationships stretching back 15 years, they have developed in-depth knowledge of the legal sector.

Andrew Try, Managing Director of ComXo

“Telephonists are the unsung brand guardians for thousands of businesses up and down the country.  Our customers use us because they know that their brands first impression is often a defining moment of a new business relationship that must reflect exceptional service and trust. This day is a chance for us to bring the uniquely challenging nature of the professional Telephonists skills and responsibilities to the fore and celebrate it.”