It's important to make the distinction between a person acting "nice" on the phone and actually being genuine. Good service needs to have a natural flow, and a live answering service that feels too rehearsed and artificial likely won't be earning the high marks on customer surveys. Sometimes, good service is about pulling in the reins a little bit.
A recent Hospitality Net article from Dr. Mike Oppenheim gives an example of how attempts at enthusiasm can betray an organization. As a doctor who works in a Hilton hotel, he describes his frustration at having to interact with staff members who don't realize that a little can sometimes be a lot.
A phone answering service can experience something like this, especially over the course of a long day in an overtaxed center. Mandating a smile and a perky voice isn't necessarily the best approach. Sometimes, it's better to go with those who know how to convey sincerity and can get the job done well. It's such a tricky balance between comfort and efficiency, but the right staff center can achieve it.
Oppenheim cites one particular situation where a forced "cheer" policy can backfire.
"I've never understood why businesses order employees to greet everyone who passes," he writes. "It's supposed to be a friendly greeting, but no one can keep up the cheer after saying hello to a few hundred strangers, so I'm forced to respond to a string of bored salutations as I make my way to a guest's room."
This shouldn't be running through your customer's mind when they pick up the phone either, which is why your answering service should avoid leaving this kind of impression on your callers.