Regular readers of this blog know that I work in a survival job, doing tech support in an outsourcing company. We handle a major cable provider here in the U.S, and I just want to make a few points. I'm doing this both as a vent, and as a bit of an educational piece for anyone when they call into a customer service center. Oh let's face it; I'm really pissed off at the extreme stupidity, crassness, and outright rudeness many people show when calling in about a problem they may be having.
This is an across the board issue, no matter what you're calling in for, whether it is your cable service, internet, health care bill, electric bill, etc. I understand about being upset about an issue. Really, I do. We've all been there at one point or another. Things get screwed up. It's okay to be upset. What's not okay is thinking that the rep on the other side of the phone is evil incarnate. We're just worker bees at the end of the day. we're trying to do the best we can, and most of the time, we really can help if you just give us half a chance. If you're going to take your frustrations out on us however, you'll find that you'll get even less help than you might have expected.
Okay, enough of talking in the third person. Here's some basic information:
I am not your whipping boy! I work like you do, pay my bills like you do, and deal with the same kind of corporate idiocy on some level like you do. If you have an issue with the company I work for, then direct it to someone else that deals with customer complaints (and every company has one of these departments, at least the large ones do). I don't. I'm here to fix your problem, not be the object of a tirade. I'm sorry, but the customer is not always right. Too often, the customer is so wrong, it's almost laughable.
I'm going to ask you to verify some account information. Why? Well, isn't it a good idea to make sure you're the account holder? Oh, you mean you already punched that information into the phone? Why do I have to ask you again? Well, because sometimes the system is a piece of garbage, and the information doesn't get transferred to my screen. Sometimes, as in my case, it's because government regulations say I am required to re-verify this information. Mostly, it's because my bosses say I have to!!! Believe me, I think it's just as stupid as you do to repeat the same info over and over, but I have to keep this job for now, so don't get on my case.
Oh, you're going to scream and curse at me? How nice. How adult of you. You don't even know how to curse creatively, and now I have to lower my headset volume so that I don't puncture an ear drum. Of course, my first reaction normally is to want to tell you to go fuck off and die, but since my employers take a dim view of that, I am forced to give you three professionally administered warnings about foul language. After warning number three, I hang up on you and report you as an abusive customer. Here's a tip: You want to utter a single curse, that's fine. I can live with that. You're venting, and not directing it against me. But direct a personal attack at me and you've crossed the line. I may not even give you the grace of three warnings, and hang up on your sorry ass after the first one.
This one is simple. If I ask you a direct question, I expect a direct answer, not your life story. I know you don't want to stay on the phone with me one iota longer than is needed, and the same goes back to you. It's not that I don't want to (well, to be honest, there is a little of that), but I have a certain metric to meet. No, that's not something like a meter, kilometer, etc, but a certain number of minutes and seconds I am allowed with each customer. No more than 6.5 minutes are permitted, or at least by the end of the month, I should be averaging below that, or at worst, no more than seven minutes, or I get a tongue lashing from my supervisor.
One last thing. I am not your father confessor, or your doctor. Most especially not your doctor. I don't need to hear about every freakin' medical condition you have, nor do I care. I'm not being mean, it's just that I have enough of my own medical conditions to fill most monthly medical journals, that I don't need to know about yours. I left health care in part to be away from sick people on a daily basis, and while we're not in close proximity, the fact that you have explosive diarreha is not something that will impact your cable service, or my ability to get your cable service up and running again. So, go take some anti-diarrhea medication, and come back to the phone when you think you won't be running to the bathroom every 5 minutes, as I only have 6.5 minutes to talk with you anyway.
Sigh...I really need to get out of this job...
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