A switchboard operator is the first impression that an outsider has of your company. A switchboard operator job description can help you if you’re thinking of getting a job as one.
“Good morning, TUV Group of Hotels. This is Donna. How can I help you?“
“Welcome to TUV Group of Hotels. Press 1 for reservations, 2 for banquets …“
If you were the person calling TUV Group of Hotels, which of the above would you prefer? A real person answering the phone, or an automated machine? A person will listen to your request and patch your call through to the concerned department or person, instantly. But a machine will give you an order to press a number according to the nature of your request.
You have to wait till you find out which number you need to press. And sometimes, (and this happens with me quite often) you listen to all the numbers and options that the mechanical voice has to offer, and realize that your request does not really fit any of them. The call gets disconnected and you’re left wondering, “Now what do I do?!?” So personally, I think that a switchboard operator is much more helpful than a machine. What goes into being a good switchboard operator? And what exactly is the job description of a switchboard operator? This is what I found out.
Skills Required to Be a Good Switchboard Operator
Let’s assume for the sake of this write-up that the operator is female. Given below are the basic skills that she should possess.
- She should, first and foremost, have superb communication skills.
- Apart from oral communication skills, she should be able to listen, understand, and respond accordingly to the calls that she receives.
- She must be polite and courteous while answering the phone.
- She should be able to receive and handle emergency calls.
- She must be sincere towards her work.
- Interacting with people may seem easy, but sometimes it can be really particularly difficult. She must have the ability to handle difficult people too.
- Multitasking abilities will always come in handy, because a switchboard operator may be asked to do other jobs as well.
- As far as educational qualifications go, a high school pass out can also apply for this position.
Duties of a Switchboard Operator
Now that we know what exactly the personality of a switchboard operator should be like, let us see the actual job description.
- Receiving Phone Calls: The major duty of the switchboard operator is to answer all the calls that come through to the main line of the company. She must listen to the request of the person and either solve the query (if she can) or direct the call to the concerned department.
- Solving Queries: A switchboard operator needs to know who is in which department and who is in charge of what. In addition, she also needs to have up-to-date information of the current happenings in the company. Any major events or products that the company is holding or launching. This way, if callers need just some basic information about the company, she can help them with it without having to disturb the busy executives on the floor.
- Correct Routing of Calls: As a switchboard operator, she will definitely receive a considerable number of calls throughout the day. It is her responsibility to ensure that all the calls are routed to the appropriate department or person. For this, she needs proper on-the-job training from the company. If she does not receive proper training and if she is not capable of handling multiple telephone calls, then she will end up transferring calls to wrong departments, which will result in a waste of time and money too.
- Registering Calls: This is where the listening and multi-tasking skills of the switchboard operator come in to play. She must, while on the phone, be capable of taking down the relevant information and logging them in the system.
- Other Duties: Other duties involve greeting visitors, making them comfortable, receiving the mail of the organization, handling some business communication, arranging meetings with clients and other workplace communication, etc.
This was the basic outline of a switchboard operator’s job description. The average salary is somewhere around $20000-$30000 a year. So, if you think you fit the bill for this job, look for a good company to hire you and you can help some helpless souls like me!