What is your vision for National Telephonists’ Day 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.