Knackered!

Customers were going mad today! Call after call after call. Not pleasant, especially when half of them came through to the wrong department. We were ripping our hair out by the end of the night.

A lot of them were quite rude as well. And deaf. When my colleagues phoned me I had to ask if I was shouting or speaking too loud. I had to do this with several customers so it seemed like it was becoming the norm.

I had a customer yelling at me saying we had phoned her 3 times today. However, it wasn’t us it was some other company. She just got our number off the internet so decided to call and vent her anger. Thanks lady. Very clever of you.

I had an elderly customer asking why we had taken a payment out of her bank. I asked her what company name was next to the payment. Yes, you guessed it. It wasn’t us. That call took 20 minutes. I explained several times that the name of the company on the bank statement was who the payment was made to. A very simple deduction. She couldn’t take it in. She kept going on about a letter she had received with our company logo. I kept pointing out that the letter was not her bank statement. I had to speak loudly to this customer as well.

Now I’m knackered.

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Vitamins?

Someone tried to place an order with me for multi-vitamins today. I politely advised her that we sold insurance. Maybe she thought the vitamins would provide insurance. Insurance for a healthier life perhaps?

Surely a healthy diet would be better. Organic and free range produce better still. Afterall, would you spray a carrot or a pork chop with fly spray and then eat it? Would you dip your chicken in an unflushed toilet before you eat it? But then again it’s not for me to say. Maybe other people would do that. You never know what happens behind closed doors.

Maybe she wanted a boost to her energy. I could have offered a good kick up the backside. That would have given her a flying start. Her energy would have soared to new heights. She could have been singing soprano.

Alas! I failed in my customer care. I did not offer this free service.

Yet Another Lawyer

Our call centre seems to be a beacon for wannabe lawyers. Not sure why. I sometimes wonder if they have plans to sue the company, for something. Not sure what.

Over the years I’ve been working there I’ve seen the comings and goings of several lawyers. Some of them are fully qualified while others are still studying. I’m sure the customers would be extremely polite if they knew they were talking to a lawyer! That would be interesting.

It’s an ideal place to study. Although quite busy most of the time there are the quiet periods when we are able to get a book out. You often see people writing away with very complicated looking tomes next to them. The flexible hours are also convenient for those attending university.

Working at a call centre also gives young people the experience of dealing on a one to one basis with the general public. This is a prerequisite of many careers.

We are called upon to show a multitude of traits – knowledge, specialism, empathy, sympathy, to name but a few. We deal with all walks of life, cultures, ages. We have to deal with angry customers, pompous customers, grieving customers, sick customers, or just plain thick people. We have to know our products indepth as well as being uptodate with the laws on DPA and the regulations of the FCA.

It’s not as easy as the general public think. We are expertly trained with many qualifications, from outside and inside the company. We are frequently treated like diret by customers who don’t know the difference between a drain and a clean water pipe, and we are constantly being asked about other companies – something that we cannot discuss.

And we get paid better than a lot of other people.

Deaf Customers On The Telephone

A customer phoned through a few days ago and advised me that she was profoundly deaf. She wanted to renew her policy. I dutifully raised my voice by several octaves until she could just about hear me.

Because we are registered by the FCA there are scriptings that we have to adhere to. With my thoat aching and my voice beginning to fail I began to start on the one paragraph for renewals that we need to read out. The customer immediately began to complain and told me that she ‘hadn’t got a clue what I was on about’. I spoke louder and tried a few times to read this paragraph, and got the same response each time. She then decided to have a got at me.

She began shouting at me saying that all she wanted to do was give me her card number to renew her policy, and I was refusing to take it. I wasn’t. I was trying to do my job. While she was ranting and raving at me, which took several minutes, I decided it would be best to stay silent. When I had had enough I told her to send it in the post.

At this point my colleagues were doubled up with laughter. I was trying to keep a straight face, which was increasingly difficult, and the customer still said she couldn’t hear me and didn’t know what I was talking about.

If someone is that deaf why do they insist on using the telephone when they can send something in the post? My voice had almost gone by the time I had finished. She couldn’t hear me and didn’t understand anything I was saying. So why did she phone? The renewal letter has a reply form. Why make life difficult for herself and for other people? Did she think that she could just ring someone, give her card number to a person she couldn’t hear and it would be all safe and secure? The outcome of that kind of situation does not bear thinking about. Some people are definitely a threat to themselves.

Something Fishy

I had a customer by the surname of Tench phoning me today. I thought there was something fishy about the call. He didn’t clown around. He got straight to the sword point.

‘I’m after the gold at the end of the rainbow,’ he told me.

‘Stop carping about,’ I replied, ‘I ray have to put you in your plaice. You are about to skate on thin ice.’

‘This is not a red herring.’ He sprat. ‘I’m trying to make a cardinal effort to tell you about the sharks of this industry.’

I thought he’d got off to a flying start, but then he beached. I could picture him going as red as a salmon. I waited for him to gather his wits and thought I would have to go to the spout for a drop of water. As I glanced over to that area I noticed shoals of activity. Reminded me of a tin of sardines. Haddock! I realised I would have to wait.

The customer continued, climbing on to his perch. I thought he was as slippery as an eel. I couldn’t trout what he was saying. It was like sand running through my fingers. I realised he was trying to whale me in, so I let him know that his barbs weren’t stinging and his harpoons were far off the mark.

‘Well,’ he said, ‘let me stream line the current. There’s no point in lying around like a jelly fish. I won’t flounder. Cod you refund my money? I know the tide changes but this increase is extortionate. Do you think I’m Marlin? I can’t afford this. You’re a bunch of piranahs!’

‘We prefer Baracuda.’ I put him straight, reeling him in. I’ve never been known as a shrimp. I like to spear the victim on my pike. He tried to angle in another direction but I cut him off. It was like playing a tuna on double bass. ‘You can’t have a refund.’ I couldn’t help but bream. ‘I know it’s a cobbler. There’s no point in getting crabby. Elver, you moray lodge a complaint if you wish.’

‘Grouper.’ He replied, although it sounded more like a grunt. ‘I tetra I’m not the sole complainant. You’re a mudsucker!’

I cut the line.

Awful Accident

Coming home today there was an horrendous hold up on the roads. Took almost 20 minutes to get 1/2 mile. Turns out there had been a very bad accident by the roundabout. Both sides of the dual carriageway had been blocked off. Loads of police, several ambulances, a fire truck.

I was with my daughter, on our way to the creche to pick up the grandson. As we were crossing the road we heard a young lad say that two kids had been hit by a car. Both under teens. Paramedics were treating one lying on the floor at the side of the road.

As we crossed the road I had to wonder about the throng of people who were standing around watching. They couldn’t help so why were they there? Did they enjoy seeing a child injured? Did they really hope to see a child die? Sick bastards!

We had to walk up another road to the creche. A road where people had parked. Some of the drivers/passengers were standing around watching.

Getting to the creche we collected my 2 year old grandson. As we were there 2 helicoptors – air ambulances – landed outside. The grandson saw the helicoptors but didn’t know why they were there. We weren’t going to let him see either. Other people weren’t that bothered about their kids. Whole families were coming out of their homes and walking down to the accident to have a good gawp. Some had young children with them. What were they thinking? Lets give our kids nightmares. Lets show them kids lying in a mangled mess in the road so it stays with them for the rest of their lives.

The amount of people standing around getting their kicks from some poor kids accident was totally sickening. Almost as horrific as the accident. Do these people not have any compassion? Do they not care about the children in the accident? Do they not have any thought about the driver and what s/he was going through? Do they not care about the families desparately hoping that the injuries aren’t fatal?

These people obviously have loads of free time on their hands. They should be rounded up and given charity work to do or community service. That way their free time would be spent do something worth while. Not sick.

DPA?

I felt compelled to cut someone off today.

A person rang and said that he was ringing for someone else. He then gave me a policy number. I asked him to confirm the DPA – a legal requirement. Silence. He then asked if the policy was active. I again asked for DPA. Silence. He then said it wasn’t needed as the customer was in a nursing home and he (the caller) wanted to know if the policy was active.

I informed him, in a very curt manner, that because he was refusing to do DPA and he was not the customer, I was not obliged to answer any questions or speak to him. I didn’t give him chance to say anything else. I ended the call.

DPA is a legal requirement. Gone are the days when anyone could ring up a company and fire a number at them, and then expect to get as much personal information as they could. We can no longer speak to all and sundry without the policy holders permission. This is safer for the policy holder. And safer for us.

If you wish to ring us on behalf of someone else you’d better make sure that if that person is living then they need to give us permission to speak to you. I don’t care if you have their permission to speak to us on their behalf. You can rattle on as much as you want. I don’t have permission to give you their details without speaking to them. I’ll sit in silence and then cut you off. You talk to the dialling tone as long as you want.

This is what Power of Attorney’s are for. You send us a copy if you have one for a relative/friend. If we haven’t seen it you are not going to get any information. If you don’t have POA then write a letter and get the customer to sign it, or phone us while you are with them so that we can speak to them. It’s very simple.

Not to mention the fact that telling us who you are is also good manners and politeness.

Want To Gain Weight? Join A Call Centre

If you want to gain weight start working for a call centre. Sitting at a desk for biggest part of the day anything you eat goes straight on the hips. Because you’re sitting most of the day your butt begins to flatten with the weight bearing down on it. Food and drink can’t get past the butt. Your legs begin to swell because the blood supply begins to get cut off. Not good.

It’s the worst place for eating junk food. We always have a drink with us. Talking all day long is very hard on the throat. You get hungry quickly so the tuck machine frequently comes in useful. Then there’s the cafe selling a variety of sandwiches. And cakes. And not forgetting the free tea and coffee. Out the machine of course. No proper milk. Only milk powder. Healthy? No chance.

Some days can be extremely stressful. So what do humans do when they’re stressed? They eat. Chocolate makes you feel happy, and gives you energy. Some days can be extremely boring. So what do we do when we’re bored? We eat.

I went up 3 sizes and 3.5 stone since joining the company. I lost 2 stone last year. It was very hard. I’m trying to keep up with drinking water and not coffee. I’m trying to take my veg in for dinner and not have sandwiches. I’m trying to limit my tuck and keep it to low calorie items. Trying being the operative word.

The last month or so I’ve gone back to my bad habits. I’ve put 1/2 stone back on. Not happy 😦

Press The Right Option!

Had to work today 😦 Got inundated with people needing engineers. They had either pressed the incorrect option, or couldn’t be bothered to press any option.

I understand that it can annoy some people listening to the options instead of speaking to a real person. However, the options are there to help people get to the correct department so that their query/problem can be dealt with efficiently. The company didn’t just think: ‘let’s put some options on the phone to confuse or annoy people’. They also didn’t think: ‘let’s put some options on for something to do’. The options are there to make things easier for people – customers and agents.

During peak call time, such as lunch time and early afternoon, there is often a queue of calls waiting to come through. A lot of those people have pressed the wrong option. So they wait a few minutes to get through to an agent in the call centre who then has to transfer them to the correct department. It’s a waste of the customers time and a waste of the agents time. It also makes us as mad as hell.

Just imagine if you have water pouring through the ceiling. Are you going to press the option which states ‘if you wish to get an engineer…’, or are you going to press ‘if you have any other enquiry…’? The choice is purely the customers.

The options are very clear. It’s a simple thought process. It’s a simple push of the finger on the button. It won’t damage your finger. It won’t break your arm. It will get you through to the correct person. It will help you get sorted quickly. It will save you waiting in a call queue only to be transferred elsewhere. It will get you an engineer quicker. Customer’s choice.

To Work Or Not To Work? That Is The Question

A few days ago I wrote about whether I was actually better off working. With so many people on benefits getting things for free, getting subsidies for this, that and the other, I sometimes wonder if I’m being a bit dippy working.

Last night I watched a film called ‘Ill Manors’. Without giving too much away it was about the darker sides of life. Drugs, prostitution, abuse. It was an excellent film. Very hard hitting. I would definitely recommend it.

Needless to say there weren’t many people in the film who actually had a job. Money was coming in from other quarters. People were being abused, and more importantly were abusing themselves. I’m glad I’m working. I would hate to be in a situation that led me to live in that manner. Do whatever to pay to live. Ending up on drugs. My family suffering.

That film certainly made me thank the Gods for what I have. The fact that I’m safe. My family are safe.

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Sheer Rudeness!

Todays bad customer was an elderly lady who was extremely rude and ignorant. After giving me her name she started saying that she had received a load of ‘rubbish and crap’ and wanted to know what it was. She then started giving me a mouthful on how she couldn’t read it because it wasn’t in large print, and then proceeded for another 2 minutes with the rubbish theme.

After eventually getting her details and listening to another load of the ‘rubbish’ topic I was able to inform her, quite politely of course, that it wasn’t rubbish at all. It was her renewal letter. (If we hadn’t sent it she would definitely have something to moan about.)

Having politely informed her that she only needed to ask us for correspondence in large print, we could then make sure that it was larger in the future. She then indignantly stated that she was asking me now. She wasn’t. She was moaning because it wasn’t in large print. That is not a request. I could have ignored her. I didn’t. I changed the preference to large print.

I reminded her of the policy she had and gave her the renewal price. She was shouting that it was £400 and something. Again I very politely stated it was £48. She then started ranting and raving that she didn’t know where to send her cheque to. I reminded her that there was an envelope with the renewal, but I also gave her the address.

I have to say that quite a few elderly customers are extremely rude. Not all of them. Some are the exact opposite. But the minority seem to think that because they are pensioners they don’t need to be polite or ask for something to be done. After all how are we to know if something should be sent in large print if it is not requested? We are not mind readers.

People like this should know that they are likely to get better service if they are polite and friendly. When they are rude and abusive, like this customer, I can cut them off. I normally do. I don’t need to deal with this type of customer. I was just in a good mood today. She was a knob.

Margaret Road Wednesbury WS10 7QT 07505067286 naturalmatrixtherapy@outlook.com By appoint only, so please contact me to discuss available times.