Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, May 15, 2004
  Alienation Part V

Before the standardization of customer service and sales through such things as large call centers that provided service to many companies, it was common to know your customer personally. And that still exists to a much smaller extent, especially in specialized call centers like mine. But relationships with customers is not encouraged, it is actually discouraged.

But in order for call centers to be profitable there must be high enough call volume to justify the staff level. There are many like mine where we are paid by the transaction by the companies we represent. Management of call centers are always looking at call volume and quick turnover of calls, they want to see each call finished as soon as possible so that you may take more calls.

But the problem is that in dealing with people things become complicated. Not every customer talks New Jersey fast, and many of them do not want to get on and off the phone, they have questions and concerns that they want handled a certain way. The point is in dealing with people, you cannot predict how long it will take to take care of each customer's needs accurately. So brusqueness, curtness, and plain rudeness becomes the way that many people achieve the high volume of calls their management asks for.

In many call centers there is no place for craftsmanship in dealing with people. Accuracy and customer satisfaction will always take a back seat to achieving high call volume, low wait time, and rapid turnover of calls. Just like the millworker, many of us feel like some sort of tool, except we are paid to be rude and unkind to people in order to earn our bread.
Click here to read part VI-Conclusion

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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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