I received a phone call a few days ago, and it was clearly a sales call. At first the guy on the other end “just wanted to confirm some information” with me, then proceeded to ask for my credit card information to “confirm” my (past) purchase. I declined and asked him to take me off of his list. His response? That’s not my job. Well, actually, he added a “Sir” at the end of it, but at this point I was a bit annoyed. I thanked him for my time, asked him not to call me again, told him to have a good night, and hung up.
That was the end of that, and I have not heard from him since.
I was still a bit annoyed. Not by the call itself (albeit, it was not wanted), but the not my job part.
Have you ever had anyone tell you that it isn’t their job, whatever “it” is? Have you ever told anyone that? Well, if you have ever heard it, you know how annoying it is. If you have ever said it, you should know something… it is really bad! Okay, not the end of the world bad, but the kind of bad that just rubs people the wrong way and makes them not want to come back.
So why do people say it?
Well, most say it because they either don’t want to do more than they have to, were told not to work outside of their job description, don’t know the answer to your question, or maybe they just don’t get it.
Why is it bad?
It tells the other person that you don’t care enough about them to stop or slow down enough to help. It tells others that you are only willing to do what is your job and nothing more – no over-achiever here! It implies you are not experienced enough or may lack interpersonal or professional skills.
The good news!
You can still say that’s not my job using different words and produce positive results. You can easily transition from cannot/will not help (for whatever reason) to shining star. When someone asks for help, help them, no matter what. But, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do more work to be helpful – or work outside of your job description.
Instead of saying that’s not my job, try saying/doing one of the following:
Say: I don’t have the answer right now, but let me get back to you.
Do: Find the answer or find the right person with the answer and follow up as promised.
Say: I am not the right person for that but let me take/transfer you to the one who is.
Do: Actually take or transfer them to the right person. If you want to go the extra mile, follow up with them to make sure they received a response.
Say: Actually, we have a self-help tool designed to do just what you are looking for.
Do: Show them where the tool is and how to use it, even if it is for just a few minutes.
Let me tell you from experience, it goes a long way and is easy to do, it just takes a few extra minutes of your time and could be the difference from disgruntled customer to ecstatic client.
Do you have any other tips and tricks you would like to share? Let us know here.
P.S. This technique works with employees, team members, colleagues, and even your boss! Give it a shot!