Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
  Sucker Punched!!

I have a lot of customers that I know very well. Because of my work with some of the larger corporations, there are people who I speak to on a regular basis and who I am essentially their personal customer service representative.

Because they do a lot of business with us, they get treated better than other customers. I'll do research for them that other investors don't get, I even give them a lot of information for free.

There is sort of an unspoken agreement between us. I go out of my way to take care of you, and you make sure when I do work for you there is no delay in payment.

That's what I thought until today...

Her name is Natalie, she is from Louisiana. She has a Southern charm that I find very disarming, but she can be a weasel from time to time. She is very powerful in her organization. She can get any purchase order I need for anything she wants to invest in.

Today she called me up.
"AC, I'm sorry, but I can't pay you the full price for that trade."
"I don't understand Natalie, it went through fine. It was even a better deal than we thought it would be."
"Yes, that's right. The thing is, our agreement with your company states that if you don't submit a completed purchase order within thirty days, we get a 6% discount."
"But it was delayed while we waited for a purchase order number. Can't you just slide it through?"
"Not this time Darlin' I'm so sorry about that, really I am. Well, talk to ya later. Bye."

Good commerce should be based on relationships that lead to mutual trust and looking out for your customer's and supplier's best interest, not just sticking it to them any way you can. She had paid us before in a situation like that, but she had decided to teach us a lesson on a very technical point.

Which was fine. I would teach her a lesson. I have a way to bill her for every call that comes in here. Any research, any query, I can charge her a minimum fee. It's one of the things that I have as my discretion as a senior representative.

Well, my discretion has changed. Its not just because I'm mad, its not good business. I thought I could count on my customer to make sure I got paid for what I do for them. If they want to nickel and dime me, I really have no other choice but to charge them every time I pick up the phone.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous Cog

Keep track of your minutes KC. But think twice before you charge her. You could start a war--besides it lowers you to her level. Another option might be to list all the tine you could charger her for, and why you tracked, and then tell her why you're not going to charge her for it THIS TIME. That would be southern charming her right back darling.

Thats a good point Liz. But I've been having this problem repeat itself with this customer. There's a part of me that does not care if they leave, or if they make someone else responsible for this particular customer.

Thanks for visiting,

Hi AC, I used some of the stuff you sent me in a blog today. Let me know what you think as I tried to keep it short. Thanks. James
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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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