Saturday, July 22, 2006

Workity Workity Work

***You can ignore this it's a braindump/rant****

Since this blog was "reinvented" after I moved to London I've stopped talking about my job. Not because I'm ashamed to work in customer service, but because work is, in my opinion, just about earning money to survive.

But... customers are so stupid and I just have get this out of my system... Outside of work, especially when I'm around people who don't know my job description, all I ever hear is complaints about customer service. Entire websites are devoted to moaning, whinging consumers.

Trust me... if you came and spent a day listening to the calls and emails I deal with you'd soon realise customers are dafter than the workers!!! People complaining that they've received the wrong item... without even opening the box! People moaning about us taking a second payment when we should have refunded them ("Sir... I think you'll find only one of those is in the debit column...").

I usually start my calls with the standard "Good morning/afternoon, <company name>, Jason speaking, how can I help?" The following are the most common opening remarks from customers

1) "Hmph..." People seem to like to the start the call with a happy "I really hate you" sigh... If they'd been on hold for 5 hours I could understand... we don't have people on hold and we don't have those "Push button 1 for Flea Infestation" lines either... so why the fuck start a call off like that??? Learn some manners...

2) Is that <company name>?

3) Is that <not company name>? When politely told no they revert to the "Hmph" response...

4) What's your name? Of course by the end of the call they'll always think I'm called something else anyway so why they bother asking I don't know...

5) "My <insert random number here... could be a card number, date of birth, anything> is ..........." My usual response to this is Thank you, how can I help? Although in my mind I'm thinking "Thank you so much for that total irrelevant, and unnecessary, random number, perhaps next time you could respond to my question with a pleasant "Hello, I'd like you to..." " Is that too much to ask??? Just some common decency? Erm... 5 years in customer service has taught me one thing... it's far too much to ask.

6) "Do you sell <product>?" "Yes" "How much is it?" "<this much>" "And how long will it take to deliver?" "<this long>" "Oh ok... that's what it says here on the website" YES I KNOW! Do you really think I'm going to bloody contradict the website when we're a flipping online company???????????? Do you know where I'm getting my info... FROM THE WEBSITE! Why did you call to ask these questions if you already knew the answers???? WHY???

I really hate the fact that customers call with stupid, irrelevant queries. Why? Because I'm lazy? NO... because I'm a customer... every call they make means the price of some product I'm trying to buy goes up by some small amount to pay for somebody to sit there and answer their stupid question. Yes... it's true... if we only used customer service staff to solve real problems they'd be far less of them (probably a better percentage of whom would be intelligent) and things would be CHEAPER!

But then you wouldn't have a job, I hear the many naysayers out there say. In my opinion customer service agents should work with the ultimate goal of solving all problems and making themselves unnecessary.

And shall I tell you what annoys me most?? People who can't use Google. Most of them seem not to understand Google Adwords. Most of them will search for the name of some manufacturer of a product we sell. Because we have quite a good Google team we tend to be the top of any such search. People will click on our site. Despite the fact any sane person could see they've come to a retailers site they BELIEVE we are the manufacturer and will call us to ask technical questions, moan about the quality of a product they haven't bought from us, etc etc... I could NEVER imagine myself searching, for example, for a DVD and then when Amazon's site comes up contacting them to find out if I could get the autograph of one of the stars... that's pretty much what it's like. STUPID.

And they are so rude too.

Anyway rant over.

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  1. Heh, very good Jae.

    There are of course times when customer service personnel wind us up as well, though.

    Like when I call to complain about something and they end by saying thanks very much for your call when really they should be saying sorry you had to call.

    I'm always very nice to customer service staff and if I get a real real nice one I'll write a letter in telling the MD. I like the ones that chat and have conversation and don't rely too much on the scripts. However, my sister is a customer service manager for sky travel and she says they get in trouble if they break from scripts which is a shame.

  2. Thankfully my department is not your typical customer service department... no script, we can do pretty much what we like in order to please the customer, and we answers calls straight away and emails within minutes.

    I always end my call with an exasperated "GOOD RIDDENS!" ;op

  3. I can certainly sympathise up to a point. I find google searches to my blog to be indicative of lack of basic commonsense. Eg "You Tube Named Artist" - why don't they go to YouTube and use the search box. I had a spate of people leaving adoring messages for Agnetha from Abba because I had mentioned her in passing, once!

    And I don't suppose people tend to blog "I phoned X company with a query; it was dealt with quickly, sensibly and with the desired outcome."

    And there is a no excuse for rudeness, but when there is sheer stupidity from CS, which often happens, it's difficult to be entirely cool. The best was work's IT helpline once, when I had to end the call by saying "Under the circumstances, I think I shall end the call, now." The guy had started having at go at me for having Windows XP on my machine, although it's been standard for two years..! And as he didn't understand my question, rephrased five different ways, to the growing amusement of my colleagues, I figure dhe wouldn't know the answer.

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