The phone was ringing before Lauren could even sit down. She answered it. It was her boss, Michael Reite, the executive vice-president of human resources. She listened while he rushed through his news.
“What, they found for the plaintiff?” Lauren asked. “How can that be? I thought we had a rock solid case!”
“So did I,” Michael replied. “Apparently, they determined our record keeping was at fault, and the employee did comply with work rules.”
Lauren frowned. “How much did they award?”
“Forty-four thousand dollars.”
Lauren sat down. “What do we do now?”
“That’s why I’m calling,” Michael said. “We wouldn’t have lost the case if our record keeping was better. This little fiasco just cost us forty-four grand, not to mention legal costs. I want you to come up with a solution to make sure this doesn’t happen again. You have ten days. Both of our jobs depend on it.”
Lauren hung up the phone. Ten days. She had less than two weeks to solve a problem that affected 300 employees. She closed her eyes and sighed.
Ten days later, Lauren stood at the end of the long table in the executive conference room, presenting her report to the executives and the board. At the other end of the table, scowled president and CEO, Phillip Marcus.
“By outsourcing all of our employee-attendance calls and reporting to a telephone answering service, we have already solved our record keeping problem. Each employee who calls in, whether he is running late or calling in sick has their call recorded and time-stamped. The relevant details of the call are sent to the employee’s supervisor by text message and a copy is emailed to our human resource department,” Lauren reported.
“We don’t have to worry about supervisors forgetting to document the precise time or noting the conversation, and we don’t have to worry about turf wars over whose job it is to handle employee reporting. Within five days of the ruling, we had made this change companywide by handing it off to a telephone answering service,” Lauren said confidently.
At the far end of the table, Mr. Marcus responded, “This sounds fine, but what about the cost?”
Lauren swallowed hard, but her enthusiasm overcame her nervousness. “Mr. Marcus, this service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it solves the problem I was asked to address. As far as cost is concerned, we can pay for several years of this service for less than we lost in our wrongful discharge lawsuit. But most importantly, we significantly reduce the risk of losing another case in the future.” Lauren paused, her heart beating rapidly.
Everyone at the table turned to Mr. Marcus. He had one elbow propped on the table, his chin in his hand, while his fingers stroked the side of his face. The room fell quiet and waited.
He dropped his hand and looked at Lauren. “You’re telling me this outsourcing solution was implemented in less than a week, reduces our liability, and costs far less than we lost in the lawsuit?”
Lauren smiled and nodded.
Joseph Kohalmi is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Advantage TeleMessaging, Inc. Contact us to learn how a telephone answering service can answer your calls 24/7 to better serve your customers.