Agents Do’s and Dont’s
- Answer the phone calls with their FULL Name.
- Use a soft and gentle voice. Adjust their voice according to caller’s voice.
- Use ‘I am sorry’ or other validating phrases when appropriate (“I am so sorry you have to go through this…” or “I wish I had more information for you at this time…” or “I know your anxiety must be very great right now….I am so sorry”).
- Listen to the caller and give the callers time to talk. Use para-communications when they listen to your situation and take your details. (a para-communications is a soft tone of voice like “oh” or “ah” or “umm” that we make when we want someone to know that we care and are listening to them without interrupting them with words.
- Take caller’s details (according to the Caller Information Form) – agents should explain that they need to register your information so we are able to get back to you with details about your loved one.
- Provide the Incident Information after taking all caller details (unless caller request the information before giving all their details. Sometimes they get more anxious if we do not provide the information right when asked).
- Transfer caller to a Supervisor, in the rare event that the caller gets aggravated with the agent and agent cannot handle the call.
- Offer to bring an Interpreter to the call if the caller has difficulties to communicate in English or Spanish. (we use a translation service and while we do not involve them in our drills, please be aware that the Agents have the option of getting the help of a Translator live, while on the call with the Family Members).
- Confirm if the name of the loved one is / is not on the manifest after taking caller details.
- Confirm the age of the loved one and middle name ONLY if they find a duplicate on the search result.
- Call backs: confirm all caller details and ask if caller would like to add any additional information.
- If caller asks, the agents will explain that ‘A member of our team’ or a member of the ‘Family Support Center’ will call back.
- Give the media callers a phone number or any special instructions provided on the script.
- Answer the phone calls with an answer phrase different than what is on the script.
- Use negative words like ‘I don’t know’, ‘I don’t have this information’ and focus on ‘What we know…’ and what we are doing at the moment.
- Give calls ‘false hopes’: ”I am sure everything will be OK.”, “He/She is probably not involved, so don’t worry.” and use of any positive words ‘Have a great day’, ‘Who do I have the pleasure to talk with’, ‘Be patient’, ‘Breath deeply’, ‘We need to pray’, ‘Do not think the worst’.
- Start the call with ‘Incident Information’, unless the caller is desperate for information.
- Ask specific ‘Additional Info’ questions when taking the caller information. (tattoos, birthmarks, special needs). Additional Info is to be used only for info as “I spoke to my cousin when she was already on the plane, ready to take off”.)
- DO NOT confirm that the name of the loved one is on the manifest or you found a ‘match’ before taking all the caller’s information. Because once that confirmation is made, the caller’s emotional state puts them in a position where they may no longer be able provide their contact details.
- Ask the age of the loved one unless there is a duplicate on the search result.