The office receptionist is a much maligned position – telephone operator cum beverage maker. With an eye on costs, most offices insist that the receptionist carries out a variety of additional functions that couldn’t possibly fit into a standard job description. The work is usually performed just inside the front door making the receptionist the first human contact with the public. Clever operators recognise the position for what it is – the eyes, ears and heartbeat of the business.
How many times have we been met with a curt, insensitive manner on the phone? Or a gruff, uncaring welcome to a place where we intend to transact business? Don’t these people know where their bread is buttered? Don’t they have empathy with fellow human travellers? Don’t their bosses realise that positive first impressions are permanent lasting impressions? (Curtis Mayfield knew – Ed).
It is easy to disparage modern ways as just not being up to the standards set in the past. For sure there is progress in many areas but there is regression too. Civility, courtesy, politeness and old-time graciousness are harder and harder to find. But why should this be so? The modern world is a busy place and competitive forces drive momentum to divergent extremes. But the real thriving businesses are not those on the turbulent treadmill but the ones that have successfully steered the deliberate, softer course of keeping the customer front and centre.
Much of modern business innovation is focused on cost cutting. Customers are an afterthought. Bank lobbies have been transformed. Once, there were lots of staff and long queues. Then there were fewer staff and longer queues. Then automation helped reduce the queues. Then more staff were culled. All of this “modernisation” drove customers away. Panic ensued and more staff were hired to meet and greet the bank’s only source of income – its customers. It’s somewhat harsh to pick on banking. It’s a noteworthy example but the majority of modern-day businesses have also carelessly left their customers behind.
This is a roundabout way of saying that we believe MMPI is different. We have a customer focus at our core and this philosophy is embodied by Geraldine Bergin, who has been our front-of-house lead promoter for a long, long time. Ger has seen it all. She is well-schooled in the old ways and has nurtured her customer-friendly skills over the years. This was not always appreciated by high-profile ex-employers who sought senseless ways to marginalise customers and cut corners.
Geraldine finally settled for MMPI and boy are we glad! Her demeanour and disposition are always outstanding. An elegant lady with a stylish swagger she has the natural ability to ensure that customers always feel welcome. Her warm smile and her genuine interest in listening to people are a winning combination. Attempting to measure such fantastic characteristics is futile. We can imagine a bean counter trying to place a monetary value on Ger and failing miserably.
The lovely lady has decided to take a well-earned break from the business bustle. We wish herself, John and family every future happiness. From all in MMPI – we love you some but we’ll miss you most!