When taking calls, you can see the variety of issues that make people call. Most of of the work at a call center is to be in direct contact with customers in the name of the agency that contracted the call center itself. The majority of things you see in the interweb about call centers is this, the interface of customer and call center.
But you also have to remember that the call center itself has its own methods and procedures, often designed by the agency that acquired the call center’s services. Other times those procedures might be created jointly, but the final result is the same: The company acquiring the services of the call center has the last say in everything.
It’s on this part where I had one big letdown that I hoped would never come…
When you finish the call, could you please come up here?
I was wrapping up a call with a customer who had six calls in the week, all of them to configure a router and get his home network connected to the internet. It was a loooong call, I think over an hour, but I managed to get everything right and the customer got online without problems. Final result was – in my opinion – a happy customer.
Call finished, I went up to the boss’s office… which is a platform abut a meter above the rest of the place
Look, what’s happening here is that you handling time is too high and we want to know what we can do to lower it[…] On weekends to emphasize AHT because of the quantity of available agents for a given volume of calls. I’m told you’ve been troubleshooting too much and doing stuff that is outside the support boundaries
I know I take a long time, but I do everything possible to have the consumer walk away with the problem solved
That’s ok, but in our case we’re here to keep the customer happy. The customer here is not the people calling but Verizon. We’re here to keep people content, not fix their problem.
Even when the caller has called in 6-7 times for the same thing in less than a week?
That’s right. Even when someone keeps calling dozens of times
With this little episode done I felt like throwing up, angry and let down, among many other negative emotions. I seriously thought about just grabbing my stuff and going home. It’s much more fun to be with my loved ones out in the sun than staying in a cold basement with a guy yelling at you he wants a tech now to fix his computer because a virus from the DSL messed it up.
But I stayed. I did take an hour-long lunch, but it was worth it. Had three hours of overtime that day and did them. But after the little talk, instead of giving the full information to the customer and making sure that this username and this password are for the PPPoE, the email and the site, I just give them the data and that’s it.
I no longer suggest actions to fix the problem. Now I order the customer to do it or it ain’t getting fixed.
I’ll no longer try to understand that the customer is trying to move DSL service from one telephone number to another and that some idiot at the central office messed up and didn’t do anything. This is something to take up with billing, talk to them.
Got a router? RTFM and don’t call us, call the router manufacturer. Remember that you’re now using civilized technology that does not use treeware. The manual is on the cd. If you threw it away or otherwise lost it, too damn bad. You might want to look for it on the manufacturer’s website.
That’s keeping people happy, by damn.