I work in a call center in Indianapolis, IN. I take phone calls day in and day out helping callers with their accounts and inquiries. After being here a little over a year, I have come to the realization that common courtesy has been shot to hell.
I consider myself a pretty decent person. I’m easy to get along with and friendly to friends and strangers. Not to sound narcissistic, but I wish more people would be like me (or like that).
I’d like to give a set of guidelines for those who have or will ever speak to a call center representative. A couple co-workers and I discussed some of our biggest pet-peeves and some of the things we wish callers would know.
Kindness will get you anywhere: Yes, when you are kind you are treated differently and sometimes better. We totally understand that you are upset about (insert situation here) but yelling at us doesn’t make a damn difference. Oh wait, I lied… yelling makes us even more angry.We are ten times more likely to go above and beyond for you if you are kind and patient.
We understand sometimes you can’t help but be upset and it will reflect in your voice. I always appreciate the callers that even take the time to simply say, “I know YOU are not the one to blame but I am just upset about…” This makes a difference. It means that you understand you shouldn’t be yelling at us but because of the circumstances you just can’t help it.
Nothing puts us off more than speaking to a rude, passive-aggressive and unappreciative person. Being friendly puts you in a good mood and puts us in a good mood. One of our biggest pet peeves is when a “have a great day,” gets no response. At least thank us or wish us a great day too.
If you happen to be speaking with a call center rep that is being rude to you or not helping you, calmly ask to be transferred to a supervisor.
We’re not your sweetheart: Please do not call us baby, sweetheart, hun, honey or any other affectionate term. It is weird and makes us feel uncomfortable.
Please don’t babble: Being a call center rep, we are always happy to talk to people. We get to know a lot about you through the conversation and that’s great. When the conversation veers off topic so far that it has been an hour and a half talking about your rescue dogs and how much you hate your husband we are ready to end the call. If your problem/issue/question/service takes us a three hour phone call to complete successfully we are happy to take that time. If your problem/issue/question/service takes us five minutes to complete and you keep talking for an hour longer while there are other customers waiting then please be courteous and understand when its time to go.
Know the rules: Every single membership, account, subscription has terms and conditions. Please read them. If you choose not to read the terms and conditions and you get hit with an auto-renewal, its not our fault. I will be honest, I don’t read ANY fine print on the subscriptions and memberships I have but I also wont blame anyone else but myself if I wasn’t aware of a change/renewal of that subscription or membership.
Yes, we have documented that: A co-worker requested to add this one… Yes, the last rep did document your conversation because we get productivity points. If we didn’t log our interactions we would not get the points, and points lead to money and money pays the bills. So, yes sir it has been documented.
Finally… if you liked us, let us know: If you have ever experienced a great experience with a call center rep, let him/her know. You can always ask to be transferred to a supervisor (or their voice mail) to tell them about your great service. Just like any other job, our supervisors like to hear the compliments just as much as we do and we get recognized for doing an outstanding job.
Many of these items are common sense but also commonly ignored. Bottom line is: call center reps are people like you. Treat those as you wish to be treated and everyone will be happy.
What’s in a name?
Growing up, I heard every single wordplay and pop culture reference involving my name.
The Great Outlaw Josey Whales: Yes, I suppose there may be many similarities between myself and this American revisionist or even Clint Eastwood (please catch my sarcasm), so I can understand why one of my dad’s friends used to tease me by calling me the great outlaw Josey Whales.
Josie and the Pussy Cats: Oh, everyone thought they were so original when blasting off a “Oh, like the Pussycats?” when I introduced myself. Yeah, genius, like the guitar-playing pussycat.
Josie Grossie: I would love to thank 20th Century Fox for making 5th grade a real pleasure for me after this gem came out. Just like in the movie, kids catch on to phrases real quick.
When Josie Comes Home: When I was in 7th grade, one of my teachers always sang this song when I was around. I kind of like it…
“She’s the pride of the neighborhood, She’s the raw flame, The live wire”
With lyrics like that… who wouldn’t : )