I hate call centers!

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October 6th, 2014 at 9:38:34 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6964
I REALLY HATE CALL CENTERS!

I had a little chip in the windshield that needs fixed. So I drop by Safelite and see if they can take me. Normally you can drive right in, but seems some dumb copper cleaned the windows of the squad car with a brillo pad so they all need replaced. Oddly, that has nothing to do with things.

I thought my coverage would not cover it, but was told it would. So I try to call my carrier. First strike is I cannot at all get a human being. Now I prefer to do things online, but when I am out in the field and need a human I need a human. So the counter lady at the repair shop is helpful and calls, talks, then puts me on.

I might see this more clear after almost two years working in a call-concentration camp, er call center. It is not a script as much as it is a "flow" they have to follow. It matters not if the person seems to be in a hurry or not want all this "flow" the "flow" must be followed.

"I have a chip in my windshield."
"Sorry to hear you have a chip in your windshield. Let me help get the chip in the windshield repaired."

And on and on it always goes. Repeat things back, invent a story to show empathy. Ten sentences when three will do.

Am I just someone who hates making small talk when I am trying to get business done, is it as annoying to everyone else, or am I a bigot?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 6th, 2014 at 10:18:37 AM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 12
Posts: 2199
You are not alone.

What I really really detest is robots calling me, I don't have caller id and if the phone rings I usually pick it up.

For 4 years now business advertisement sellers [including robots] will call here at all hours trying to sell me advertising. I have tried repeatedly to get off call lists. Apparently the previous owner of this phone # had some kind of siding business?

Grrrrr

Another thing here locally is some womans voice will call and ask for my wife by name and I hand her the phone and the person acts like a long lost friend.
It is a scam that has been exposed in our local paper and on the radio.

Then there is the one where the language they are using I'm sure is somehow related to "engrish", I can't understand but about every 4th word.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
October 6th, 2014 at 10:19:47 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3161
No, no, no, no, no, NO! You are NOT the only one. In fact, I think anyone who LIKES call centers should be excommunicated somewhere very, very unpleasant. Like Tampa Bay, for instance.

I just got into it with Ash about this very thing, as she didn't understand why I became irate (privately) with service I just received. I get customer service, did it for many years. Was good at it. But if I need something, all I care about is 1) getting it, 2) getting it quickly, and 3) not having someone be an ass to me. The perfect call goes as such...

Store: (answers phone) J&S
Me: Hi, I need a gallon of PPG single stage in black.
S: OK, matte, satin, high gloss...?
M: Satin. What do you get for a gallon?
S: $87.
M: I'll take it
S: Card number?
M: (I give it)
S: Address?
M: (I give it)
S: OK, we'll send it out now, should be there by Tuesday
M: Great! Thanks
S: Thanks for shopping J&S
(Call time, 2:47)

What I CANNOT stand is the following.

Store: Hello, J&S Automotive supplies, this is Steve Dave, how may I be of service to you today?
Me: Hi, I need a gallon of PPG single stage in black.
S: That's great! I'll be happy to serve you today. We have several different finishes for that particular product including matte, satin, gloss, high gloss, and metallic. We also offer several specialty finishes such as metal flake and candy. Let me connect you to our refinishing experts and they will help you with your order.
(cue hold music)
S: Finishing, this is Bobby John, how may I help you today?
M: Looking for paint, need a gallon of satin black, single stage PPG.
S: That great! I'll be happy to help you with your order today. What color are you looking for?
M: (irritated) Satin black.
S: Great! And how much are you looking to purchase?
M: (still irritated) One gallon.
S: One gallon, OK. Any particular brand?
M: (approaching homicidal) PPG
S: PPG, got it. One gallon of PPG satin black. Is there anything else?
M: No
S: OK. Here at J&S we offer a number of refinishing packages spanning all of our products. Would you be interested to hear about the packages we provide?
M: No.
S: OK, great! Your PPG paints come with a (insert generic guarantee you don't give a damn about)
Me: (interrupting) No, no... I'm all set.
S: Great! I have your order and am sending it to processing now, let me connect you to our billing department and you'll be all set!
Me: (Kills self)
(On and on and freaking on we go)
(Call Time, 27:32)

If I need extra help, if I am confused, if I want a list of options, I WILL ASK YOU FOR THEM! In all other cases, I want you using as few words as possible, in as few steps as possible. Customer service wise, the best service you can do for me in life is to let me get of this gods damned phone, A.S.A. freaking P.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
October 6th, 2014 at 10:24:01 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 330
Posts: 11556
Quote: Face
But if I need something, all I care about is 1) getting it, 2) getting it quickly, and 3) not having someone be an ass to me.


Have your tried online shopping?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 6th, 2014 at 10:37:18 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3161
Quote: Nareed
Have your tried online shopping?


Of course. But in some cases, it's not the best.

Paint, for example, costs more than double online due to HAZ-MAT delivery surcharges. A gallon of paint and a quart each of hardener and reducer might only be $100, but adding on $120+ in HAZ-MAT fees makes it idiotic. By phone, I can just have them ship in their daily delivery from their store 40 miles away to a shop 8 miles away and avoid the charge by picking it up myself.

And then there's stuff like replacing a broken window, or addressing a bill for medical treatment, or returning a broken tool, for which phone service is the only option. And far, FAR too many of these places do the whole "I'm your best friend" routine. I don't want a friend. I want my problem solved using as few words, and as little time, as possible.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
October 6th, 2014 at 10:53:57 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6964
Quote: Face


I just got into it with Ash about this very thing, as she didn't understand why I became irate (privately) with service I just received. I get customer service, did it for many years. Was good at it. But if I need something, all I care about is 1) getting it, 2) getting it quickly, and 3) not having someone be an ass to me.


HEAR HEAR!

Part of the problem is so many call centers have this thing where they want to up-sell or cross-sell on each and every call. At USAA it was required. At first modestly required, then major required. You would get a person calling to get an approval code for a sight draft to let them buy a car. They are at the dealer. Do they really want to talk about mutual funds?

Of course we would ask if they wanted to talk about insurance, that is a legit cross-sell and very legit when a young person is buying a car, often they don't even know full coverage is required. (One argued with me it should not be.) So my boss does the "company man" thing and says the cross-sell for insurance "doesn't count" and we have to come up with an additional cross-sell. Doesn't matter that I close the most loans and handle the most business in the shortest amount of time, I get a bad review.

It sounds like you were probably like me, assess the situation and adjust as needed. Curiously, the people who always got rated the highest always seemed to be just average in intelligence. Take orders, run the software, but rarely if ever think for themselves. At least this was a USA call center as the ones in India are many times worse.

The problem seems to me that it is hard to objectively rate customer service. "Good" to you may be "bad" to me. It is hard to teach it as anyone who has never supervised would not believe what some people do and say. So it gets dumbed down to terrible.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 6th, 2014 at 11:06:53 AM permalink
boymimbo
Member since: Mar 25, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 619
Funnily enough, my current client is at a major global call center company who employs something like 75,000 worldwide, and I'm quickly learning about their business model.

I had a conversation today with Avis' call center today, and they took care of me within 3 minutes and adjusted my bill accordingly. Normally, if you make yourself clear on call center calls and understand who you are dealing with and be patient, you'll be fine.
October 6th, 2014 at 11:27:26 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6964
Quote: boymimbo
Funnily enough, my current client is at a major global call center company who employs something like 75,000 worldwide, and I'm quickly learning about their business model.

I had a conversation today with Avis' call center today, and they took care of me within 3 minutes and adjusted my bill accordingly. Normally, if you make yourself clear on call center calls and understand who you are dealing with and be patient, you'll be fine.


Ugh, that means they probably need to hire about 1,000 people per week just to stay staffed. And of course that is why the so dumbed down approach is needed. I have found the real issue is the managing it on a large scale. Any business needs metrics. So call centers have them for things like hold time and handle time. But even one call can throw off the metrics. I had someone who said he was going to think about killing himself if he didn't get the loan once. Another time I forget exactly but some woman had to get a car her daughter co-signed for from someone didn't want to give it up somehow. Took over an hour on that one, had to explain it was dangerous. So I take an hour and everyone's average is high. OTOH I get several in a row take just a minute to approve a sight draft and the boss says I am not taking time to "emphasize."

A piece of advice for your clients. If they do not do it, tell them to put up those screens that say how many people in queue, hold times, and handle times. I always asked why we didn't have this. I was like, "look, if we knew how busy things are we can adjust." My boss would shrug. Although I drove him nuts as one minute he is breaking my balls over some stupid checklist thing I missed and the next (literally) I might be discussing the Federal Funds Rate with him at a very high level.

The thing is to management a good call center employee is one who will DUADTCF (dummy up and do the call flow.) This is why I am taking welding classes. I would rather have even a low-level cert in a trade than go back to being a call monkey. Heck, after a few months of call work you start to think how relaxing prison is once you get over the firsts 100 days of it and aren't worrying about being stabbed.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 6th, 2014 at 11:56:35 AM permalink
boymimbo
Member since: Mar 25, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 619
The turnover rate for callcenters is about 20%, so more like 400 / week.

We are updating their financial software; I have nothing to do with the operational side of their business.
October 6th, 2014 at 12:07:37 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5345
Quote: petroglyph
You are not alone.

What I really really detest is robots calling me,


So do I.

Remember if you get a new phone number you have put yourself back on the nationwide "do not call" list.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
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