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Meet Lenny - Our Man Who Handles Unsolicited Calls

Published July 27, 2017

Like any business, we get our fair share of unsolicited phone calls.  The vast majority of those calls are from companies looking for us to outsource our development and design work to them. I guess these companies did not read our policy of not outsourcing.  The other batch of calls are people thinking we are Google support - we are not.

A few years ago, one of our developers integrated a feature into our Asterisk based PBX, a personality named Lenny.  Lenny is an automated, almost life like, virtual receptionist that's only responsibility is to deal with unsolicited calls.  Lenny sounds like an old man who really wants to help the person on the phone but keeps getting distracted and also has a hard time hearing the person on the other end.

We rarely ever use Lenny here because it can lead the person on the other end of the phone to waste 20 minutes of their day.  But if the person on the other end simply won't take no for an answer, we then resort to Lenny.  After telling the sales person no, over and over again, we then transfer that person to Lenny, the person who can make the decision. 

Here is a recording from 2014 of one of those outsourcing requests that was transferred to Lenny.  Make sure to listen to the ducks walking around in the background.  

There is a large community of recorded calls handled by It's Lenny on Reddit, you can listen to them there as well.

In my opinion, every office needs a Lenny or an alternative and yes, I believe there are alternatives to Lenny.

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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