Jacqui Frost

Call Handling Vs Cosmopolitan Cocktails

What do they have in common?

Posted on: 09/01/2014   By: Jacqui Frost

So many people think of call handling or telephone answering as a secondary service. It’s another drain on the finite resources of the business and often gets shunted down the pecking order when something more important crops up ...

Cocktails are about the image of the drinker, whereas call handling is about the image of your business. And that starts with the very first phone call!

Cocktails are about the image of the drinker, whereas call handling is about the image of your business. And that starts with the very first phone call!

In many ways, small businesses need to think of their call handling like the Cosmopolitan Cocktail. The Cosmopolitan was invented by a bartender who noticed that, although the Martini was by far the most popular drink ordered by his clients, not many of them looked to be enjoying drinking it. It seemed that actually people were ordering it so they could be seen drinking out of the stylish, sophisticated Martini glass, but most of them found the Martini unpalatable.

Now the Cosmopolitan is all about the visuals – it looks more stunning than the Martini does, it was designed to make a statement in the Martini glass as well as being easier to drink. And, of course being bright red, it allowed the drinker to be seen by more people drinking out of the sophisticated Martini glass!

In the same way the bartender thought about his clients, so does every business. You need to think not only about the image that you present to your clients, but also the image that they present to the world by using your products or services. It’s also about how easy it is to swallow!

Let me give you an example: people use hair salons to create their personal image. The whole salon experience is not just about the hair, it's about the atmosphere in the salon as well.

It's about not just wearing the latest look, but having a version of the latest look that suits the wearer and at the same time it needs to be easy for them to manage from home. When the salon gets that right, then their stylists are tripping over people who are desperate to have them style their hair.

There comes a point where everyone wants to be seen wearing the stylist's version of the latest look – just because of the statement that makes in itself.

Call handling needs to have the same consideration in small businesses. It's all about the image you present to your clients. Your receptionist, or the person who happens to pick up the phone if you don't have a receptionist, is the beginning of your client's journey. They have to uphold your image and make the journey as smooth as possible.

You should not underestimate the power of bad call handling. I read only the other day that 70% would move company as a result of a bad experience on the telephone! That is a huge number! It means that if your call handling is bad, you can lose regular, loyal customers. It also implies that people will decide whether or not to use your company based on their telephone experience.

"If call handling has an impact on existing customers and potential new ones as well, isn't it important to be certain that you have got it right?"

It comes back to the idea of the Cosmopolitan doesn't it? It needs to have the right image and be palatable to the clients. You have to remember that your loyal clients will be recommending you; if you get the right people on board using your products or services then others will want to be 'seen' to be using you too – but if their first telephone call doesn't go well, you might not get their business.

Are you worried you may be giving your clients the wrong image or an unpalatable telephone experience? Call us on 01604 529170 and talk to us about our call handling service. We can set you up with the right image and help start all your clients off on a smooth journey with your business!

Until next time ...


More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


+44 (0) 1604 529170



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