Remember, they are human too

call center operatorsWhen was the last time you got frustrated with a call center operator? It’s easy to do. First, it probably took you ten minutes to reach an actual human. The person at the other end of the line may have an accent that is hard to understand. They may not be trained to know the exact answer to the question you asked. They may not have the authority to refund your purchase price.

So give them a break. Remember:

1. They probably have little influence over the setup of their company’s phone maze.

2. They may be having a bad day too.

3. They breathe air and eat food just like you do.

4. They might actually enjoy sharing a cup of tea with you, given the opportunity.

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7 Replies to “Remember, they are human too”

  1. I once had trouble with my e-mail and had a frustrating conversation with someone on the other side of the world, who had a flip-chart to work from and could do nothing but read the canned answers to what they thought the question was. I called again and selected the Spanish option. I ended up with someone in the US who had access to the computer network and was able to solve my problem.

    I don’t know if that would work now; Spanish support is often farmed out to El Salvador or Mexico.

  2. While I agree in theory that being rude to a call center worker is not the best idea, they ARE their company’s representative. If we have a problem with the company or their product, and the company can’t provide properly-trained support workers, it is very frustrating. And there often is no one else to vent that frustration to than the call center person. They are the company’s employee, and it is always my hope that my frustration will go through them to the company, and there is a slim hope that it will accomplish something.

    1. Deb, I also have sometimes escalated my complaints — and I always wonder what effect it will have on their level of customer service.

  3. Regarding service calls I make AND incoming calls, I try to never be angry with the person on the other end, knowing they are just doing their job. I once had a co-worker who worked in telemarketing, but he would only do the kind where he took calls from people responding to one of those TV ads. So the customer was already interested in the product. He said it was a mercy to him and his colleagues when a non-sale call was ended quickly by the caller. I.e., he was being paid partly on how many sales he made per hour, so if he spent five minutes talking to someone who didn’t buy anything, his productivity would go down (i.e., time wasted). So I always say “sorry, not interested” before they get too far into their sales pitch.

  4. Imagine being in France, on a payphone with a pre-paid card, trying to stay calm as you watch your credit ticking away… that was the most frustrating experience I ever had with that. plus I had to drive 25 minutes to get to a “tabac” to get another card. this is about 12 years ago, I guess nowadays you just use a cell phone. and your bill runs up.

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