By: Amy Bean Napier
This week, many of our staff will be traveling to Las Vegas to work an annual trade and management conference for a national client.
For the past 10 years, Las Vegas has utilized a number of variations of the marketing phrase “What Happens Here Stays Here” including the most popular “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” This usage of this marketing iconic phrase has made people laugh but has also resulted in increased tourism rates. In 2015, Las Vegas is expected to welcome more than 40 million visitors, a record high for the destination (visit www.lvcva.com for more statistics and information.)
At Partners In Association Management, we have also had success in encouraging our staff to live the phrase “What Happens Here Stays Here” during work hours. As a professional customer service business, we receive hundreds of calls, emails, social media messages, faxes and other inquiries each week from our members, vendors and other interested parties. They are usually inquiring about the association or one of it’s’ products, conferences, benefits or other activities and services.
As we all know in our own experiences, when we contact a business, any business, we want the person on the other end to be polite and professional but also to give us the answer we are looking for as quickly and concisely as possible. Our staff strives to be polite and professional but also friendly and available. However there is a fine line in business between making conversational small talk and sharing everything that goes on in the confines of Partners. Some examples of information we tell our staff not to share with customers include:
Computer Issues – Like any business, we occasionally experience an issue with our server, workstations or internet connections. While this may cause our staff temporarily not to have access to all the information and resources they may need to assist the customer, there is a better way to explain this to the customer than “our computer is down and has been for hours so I can’t help you.” We prefer something like, “our system is currently not responding so let me get your contact information and I will be back in touch as soon as possible” instead.
Staff Whereabouts – When someone calls for me and I’m away from my desk, a simple “she’s not at her desk, would you like her voice mail” is a friendly, professional response. “She’s in the restroom” or “she’s out to lunch again with the company president” is sharing too much information! (Note: the company president is my husband so no melodrama there.). Customers really don’t need to know where our staff is or what they are doing at all times while they are at work; we aren’t politicians or actors!
Office Drama – Our office drama is usually pretty tame around here and consists of a lot of “Jenny is in a bad mood today” or “Did you hear that Bobby’s girlfriend left him” or “Amy and Bennett drove separately so they must be fighting.” But the drama we do have is private to Partners and should be kept within the company and not shared outside of these walls. Customers don’t need to know that Bobby is not in a good mood when they call to talk to him. Hopefully Bobby is professional enough to put that smile on his face as he picks up the phone and answers in his best friendly voice! (Note: There is no Bobby on our staff so no harm comes from this reference.)
These are just a few of the more prevalent examples in our company. Of course we have more. And while “what happens at Partners stays at Partners” may not always keep our staff from sharing too much non-essential information, it at least cuts it down to a tolerable and professional level. Now let’s see just how much information those Partners staff members traveling to Las Vegas share when they return and if “What Happens in Vegas really will Stay in Vegas!”
Wonder why we included Sydney’s paw print- click on the image to find out.