I am a customer service representative. During my typical day, I probably take 25 phone calls. We are trained to give good customer service. Here are three examples....all from today.....that explain why it's getting harder and harder to give good service.
1. An older man calls. From the loud background noise, it's quite evident he is calling from a car. (The bane of our existence. We can't hear you!!! AND you can't hear us!!!)
Man: I want to pay my bill.
Me: Okay, what is your account number?
Man; I don't know - I'm in the car
Me: Okay, what is your phone number? (no result) What is your name? (no result) Spell your name (no result). "Sir, I cannot find your account. Can you call back when you have that available?"
Man: (to his daughter who is apparently driving the car). Do you have your membership card? I need the account number.
Daughter: (yelling at man) Just call back later!!
An argument ensues - I listen to every blasted word. Finally the man recites a number and I pull up his account.
Me: Okay sir, I found your account and I can take your credit card number now.
Man: Oh, I don't have that on me. Don't you have my card on file?
Me: No sir, we only keep your card on file if you ask us to.
Man: Well, that makes no sense. (totally the opposite of the usual, which is "What are you doing with my credit card number? I never gave it to you!" To which I want to reply, "I didn't pluck it out of thin air, dumbass!) Okay, I guess I'll have to call back later.
Total waste of 15 minutes of my time.
2. Another man calls.
Man: I want to pay my bill.
Me: Can I have your membership number?
Thankfully, the man provides it.
Man: What is your name? (Which I provided when I first answered the call)
Man: What is your last name or your employee number.
Me: I'm sorry sir, we don't provide that information over the phone.
The man went ballistic!
Man: that's just bullshit! You have all my information and you won't give me yours?? I'm going to cancel my membership. RANT RANT RANT What if you do it all wrong and I have no one to call back? I offered to email him a receipt....nope!
Finally I interrupt -
Me: SIR - I cannot give you my last name.
Man: I guess you weren't listening! I said your last name OR - that's O-R, your employee number.
Me: I cannot give you either of those. (I could have given him my extension, but frankly I didn't want this obnoxious twit to have my information)
Me: Sir, I can give you member relations if you wish to speak to them further about this.
Man: RANT RANT RANT - Let me speak to your supervisor!
Without a word I transferred him to member relations. God Bless those folks for having to deal with these crazies.
Another total waste of 15 minutes of my time.
And finally - my favorite
My coworker received this call.
Woman: I want to pay my bill
Mary: Okay, can I please have your membership number?
Woman: Oh hold on.............
Mary then sits and listens as the woman takes someone's pizza order. Apparently the woman was at work at the the counter of a pizza place. Mary listened while the order was taken (extra cheese), the credit card was given, including the billing address and the order was completed. Now Mary figures finally the woman will come back and continue her call to us. Nope. Mary hears the woman again say, Can I take your order?
At this point Mary hung up.
Another 15 minutes of wasted time.
Sadly, this is not an unusual day! This kind of stuff happens every single day.
So, when you are waiting in a queue for hours for a service counselor to help you, it's not necessarily that we are understaffed, or not answering phones or whatever. It's that we have a bunch of doodlebugs taking up our time! And when your customer service representative is being cranky, take into account the 20 other calls she took before yours, and what she's had to deal with.
And my rant is over.....you shouldn't get me started!