Sorry to do this to everyone but I need to get this off my chest...
I work as a customer care ambassador (yes that's my title) in a call center for a very large company.. Needless to say a thankless job but I took it knowing what it was and do enjoy working with people and like to believe that no matter how big or small the issue is that I can make a difference and help.
I would just like to point out a few things that you should think about when calling to help make the experience a positive one for both of us.
1. When you call in and we start the conversation by me asking you to confirm your personal information like name, home address and telephone number; it is not because we are going to sell your info in a call list, or send you mountains of junk mail. It is because we need to confirm we are speaking to the right person and we can update your personal info in case we need to send you important info regarding changes in the service we offer, policies or warranties, not to mention recalls.
2. When you start a conversation yelling and screaming at me, the only thing you succeed in doing is giving me a headache, driving my blood pressure up and make me less inclined to want to assist you in the manner that you deserve. Do you give in to temper tantrums from your children to shut them up? Probably not and you having one with me is not going to get you what you want or need either.
3. Don't make things personal! Calling me a bitch, or any other names for that matter, making comments about my education level or assuming I am some minimum wage drone who cant walk & chew bubble gum at the same time is only showing your level of education and up bringing.
4. Starting the call by immediately asking for a manager or supervisor only wastes both our valuable time. Tell me what the issue is, you might be surprised at how quickly we can start the process to resolve the issue once we know what it is.
5. When you ask me a question and I begin to answer it DON'T CUT ME OFF or talk over me. A little respect goes a long way!
6. The more complex your issue the more time may be needed in order to give you a fair and thorough review. Once you have taken the time to explain your complaint, allow me the time to review and contact anyone involved in order to facilitate a resolution.
7. You are not my only case/customer! As each customer we deal with is very important to our company, your not the only case I am working on. And just like the emergency room triage unit in a hospital we take the most serious cases and move them to the front of the line.
8. Don't think that just because its been a few days since you have heard from us that we are not working on your case. You have no idea how many calls, research and verification goes on behind the scenes to get you a result. On average I will make 10-15 calls to get information that you did not provide me with for every call I make back to you.
9. Follow up... after all is said and done and we resolve the issue for you and are successful in getting you that credit or refund or replacement item, make sure it is couriered out to you at lightning speed... we always like to follow up a week or two later making sure that you are completely satisfied with the service, product and assistance you received.
We understand that you have a busy life and are not always available to take our calls, but it would be nice if your returned ours.
You can call 10 times a day and expect a call back within seconds, but yet you don't return our follow up call.
10. Threatening to never buy from our company, taking legal action are all avenues you are welcome to pursue should you not be satisfied with the end result of your case review. Threatening to stop payment on a product or service you have received only ruins your CREDIT! Asking to speak to someone else will not change the answer you have been given.
11. Your tax dollars do NOT pay my salary, and you are NOT the reason I have this job. I got this job based on my level of education, training , skill set and ability. My employer pays my salary and knows what I am worth or I wouldn't be here to take your call.
12. It is your responsibility as a customer to read your user/owners manual, warranty information and keep these documents in a secure place where you will be able to locate them if needed. Most calls are just call about "how do I" and the information can be found in the products documentation. And for the record warranties only cover defects in the product parts. So as long as your using the product for it's intended use you should be covered.
In closing I would just like to say this, as a customer care ambassador, I personally receive in average 100 plus calls a day (8 hr day) from people who are upset, dissatisfied with a service or product. My mother always told me that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!
So the next time your furious and want to call the company to give us a piece of your mind, take a moment, collect your thoughts, make sure you can spare it LOL!
Have all the information or documentation on hand and ready to go and try smiling when your speak...I may not see your smile over the phone but you can be sure I hear in your voice.
Smiles are contagious...and once I hear yours I will go above and beyond to make sure its there every time we speak.
I LOVE what I do! I guess the stress Just got to me....ahhhhh much better!
Thanks for reading my Novel sized rant...
I sound like a church choir here on the couch saying "Tell it sister! Amen!" as I read your post!
As one who has been a customer service manager and worked in a call center, I'm so with ya!! My favorite is the person who starts in with their problem and EVENTUALLY I'm able to break in with "I'm sorry .... who am I speaking to?"
having been on that side of the phone, I'd like to think I"m a "good" call-in person. I try to start out with a summary such as "I'm calling to check on a backorder I have with you ... what information do you need from me first?"
Worked in one place where we had a guy from another office who always hit zero (instead of hitting "2" for customer service and waiting in the queue for the next available rep) and he got switched to the VP's secretary. I finally told her to give those calls directly to me. I "suggested" to this guy that to get to customer serivce, he needed to hit '2'. He said, "Oh I always hit zero to get thru faster."
I said, "Except the VP's secretary doesn't do price checks or product quotes so youa re actually delayed when she transfers you to me, and I'm going to put you on hold so I can transfer you to one of my CSR's which is where you'd be int he first place if you'd just hit '2'.
I never could figure out why SOME people think they are so important or they are the ONLY ONES who are "busy" and need to jump the line, which actually causes MORE work for those at the other end.
I could go on for DAYS on this topic!
I totally understand you on this. I spent many years doing help-desk work, and for most of it, they weren't even outside people, but rather employees in our own company! You wouldn't believe the way they talk to their own co-workers sometimes! I mean, really?
Like Debbie, I think I'm a pretty darn good caller now myself, due to my respect for the industry. That being said, I will say that from an IT perspective, everyone who answers the phone is NOT as talented as others, and I know when I'm being given a snow job. That's when I start to get ticked off.
But here's a customer service thing that totally gets my goat: Last weekend I needed to buy a new printer. I went to the store and found a couple I was interested in. However, I couldn't find the literature to tell me what the features were or even how much they cost. There were two guys working in the department, and all they cared about was talking about some girl and showing pictures of her! Finally, someone else came up and asked if I wanted help (about the time I wanted to find the store manager). I rather angrily complained about the two guys, and then they found me the most helpful person to assist me with buying my printer HE knew how to treat a paying customer!
I've related this recently but one of my top worst calls ever was from someone who chewed me a big fat bright shiney new one and this person was one of my kid's former Sunday School teachers. They were on a telephonic rampage, honey, and I was but a colateral cow chip under their spurs.
Until I called back with follow up information and gave my first & last name.
I'm usually very pleasant when talking to customer service people because honestly, I've found they're more likely to help when I am.
And if I've found a response unsatisfactory, I calm myself down before handling it.
One situation my husband and I had was with Comcast's service. We ordered an upgrade to our cable which required someone to come out and replace our box with a new one. We were asked what time of day would be best and I said, "After 5 p.m., if possible." The person I spoke with confirmed the time, and all was good.
Until around 4 the next day, when I got out of a meeting and noticed a missed call and VM on my phone from Comcast. The service technician called shortly after 3 saying he'd be there in 10 minutes. Grrrr...
Anyway, we called Comcast back once I received the message and was told that no one could come out that evening. Fine. We let it go until the next day because we were a bit annoyed and didn't want to deal with it right then.
This is where it gets funny. DH calls, and is told, "I'm sorry, but we can't get anyone out there for two weeks." Umm...what? THEY missed the appointment, THEY screwed up the time and now we have to wait TWO WEEKS? Nope, not gonna happen.
Did I call and rant and rave and chew the rep out one-side and down the other? Not at all!
I actually leveled with the rep, gave her all the information she needed and just said, "Listen, I know that you didn't make a mistake, I know that this isn't in anyway your fault, but here's what the situation is: [long story]. Now, is there anything you can do to make this right?"
A technician showed up that evening at 5:30 p.m. He was pleasant, he was courteous and kind. What would have happened if I had been nasty??
With a few minor changes, your rant could apply to calling your kid's school. Let me tell you, if you call and chew out your kid's school secretary, we WILL remember you; we WILL tell each other about you.
We didn't make the rule that you don't like, although we do agree with it. Yes, your kid really was absent. Yes, we did give the principal/teacher/counselor your message. Yes, we did send home the report card/newsletter/picture order form. Yes, the early release is in your handbook, on your calendar, and we sent an automated reminder about it yeterday. No, your kid didn't fail his classes because the teachers don't like him.
But I do love my job!
I'm just not sure where the idea that by calling me everything short of a low-born-gutter-slug, that would endear me to you and make me even WANT to help you!
I work in a 9-1-1 center and let me tell you....I can't even put it into words how right you are! The stories I could tell you are endless.
Wow Ladies thanks for the positive words and a good chuckle... I guess I am not the only one who feels this way.
I ended up forwarding this rant to a few coworkers and now it's gone viral in the office LOL.
I keep telling everyone that one day I am gonna right a book but that it would have to be published up fiction cause no one would believe me LOL