Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, December 22, 2005
  Lies That Never Work

I understand the use of lying in our culture, I don't think its necessary to use it as often as some politicians do,(both Republican and Democrats). Lying protects people's feelings, and can be a type of social WD-40. That said, I really can't stand bad liars, the sort of people who insult my intelligence with the sort of lies a third grader could top.

Here's some common lies that people tell call center workers:

"They didn't need that information the last time I called!"
This one just floors me. Not only does it assume I just started here off the street with no training at all, it assumes I am stupid enough to believe everything that people tell me.

"I've been on hold for two hours!"
What? Are you so stupid you don't know when people are ignoring you? Here's five dollars, go buy a clue! Kidding aside, all call centers have screens all over the building that show how many people are holding, and for how many minutes and seconds. There is a very slight possibility you may have got lost in a phone system and been on hold trying to get to an option that was not plugged in yet, but no one will believe you. Even if we did, by announcing this, you have put us on the defensive, and ruined any chance of really good service. What makes this a lie is that there are callers that think we will feel sorry for them when we find out they have been holding "forever"-bad move, it has just the opposite affect.

"Uhh...Joe promised me that I would get a discount the next time I called."
Puuhhleeze! Have you heard of computers? Any call center in existence will have a computerized system with the ability to keep notes on every customer transaction, especially those where there was a financial mistake. The next thing out of the agent's mouth will be, "Did they give you a control number?", so don't even try to pull this one.

"I have been hung up on three times and the last agent was very rude!"
The majority of call centers record every call, and keep track of calls lost, or terminated. This is one of the few lies that you might be able to get away with, but only if you have a name or operator number. The thing is, this is another one of those statements that immediately sours your chances for friendly service. The agent will be nervous and on their guard, because they think you are already mad, or you are the sort of person that deserves to hung up on.

All in all, you need to be extra creative if you are going to lie to a call center agent in order to get great service. If you must lie(it is a sin, you know), I suggest you lie in such a way that the agent will feel sorry for you, or make them think they are going to be a hero to you. Don't go over the top, something like "I'm sorry I can't remember that right now, I'm kind of sad after my cat died", or "I just flunked my math finals". If you give the agent a reason, a genuine motivation to go the extra mile, they will. If they can pull off some sort of customer service miracle and think they were the hero that made your day, both of you will hang up from that call happy.

Thanks for reading,

AC

Anonymous Cog

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