We have many hassles at the call centre, not just the normal job pains. Most of the hassles are from the various calls we take day in and day out.
At 8pm closing: ‘I know you close now and I’m sorry to trouble you, but could you just set up three policies for me. I know exactly what I want.’ (I know what I’d like to give you.)
‘I’m expecting an engineer from…(our competitor). Could you tell me when he’s coming?’ (Try ringing them.)
‘You’ve put the price up. This is extortionate! I’m a pensioner and can’t possibly afford this. This is just daylight robbery!’ (It’s gone up by 50p for the whole year!)
‘I’m not happy about this renewal price. You’ve put the price up by 10.257%. Can you justify this?’(Thanks for being so specific. Yes we can justify it. This is a business not a charity. We can put the prices up whenever we damn well feel like it.)
‘I want to take out a policy but I don’t have my bank details with me. If you set it up now I’ll phone later to pay.’ (Like hell I will.)
‘I want a job doing. A blow job.’ (That’s fine. I bite.)
‘What underwear are you wearing?’ (The colour wouldn’t suit you mate.)
Oh what fun we have!
Samsung Galaxy S5 SIM-Free Smartphone – Black
Apple iPhone 6 4.7″ UNLOCKED Silver / Gold / Space Grey 16 / 64 / 128GB SIM FREE (16GB, Gold)
Have you noticed how firms seem to be getting away with the ridiculous at the moment? Take illness for instance. It used to be classed as discrimination to fire someone because of their health problems, but now it seems that it’s a perfectly reasonable excuse to get rid of someone. All they need to say is that you are incapable of doing your job.
Off sick with cancer, pneumonia, or liver disease? Too much time off work means you are incapable of doing your job. Sight or hearing problems? You are incapable of doing your job. Bye.
Trouble is that some nice, friendly customers – i.e. normal people like you and me – are picking up on the ridiculous and joining in with it.
About two months ago a customer decided to complain about me heavy breathing. I had a cold and, unfortunately for me, I had the mouthpiece too high up so the customer could hear me breathing. He complained! Because he was the customer the company upheld the complaint. Ridiculous!
And to go one better…Another colleague of mine had the same complaint of heavy breathing. She suffers from asthma and was having problems getting her breath. The complaint lodged by a caring customer was yet again upheld. Ridiculous!
And to think that if the customers had told us that they could hear us breathing, we would have held our breath! If we die while at work our next of kin gets £25000, so it would have been of benefit to them.
Asthma (Understanding) (Family Doctor Books)
Stress Relief in One Minute. Holding Your Breath (Pranayama Yoga) Breaks the Pattern of Your Thinking (NLP), Always Resulting in Quick Stress Relief.
It’s so busy at work at the moment we all feel like a bunch of packhorses. Do this, do that, jump, jump again, stay in your seat. Their favourite one is ‘get on available’.
Everything we do that is not on the phone is questioned. Where are you going? What are you doing? Why are you not available?
There’s not enough staff to answer the calls and yet again our marketing department has sent all the mailings out at the same time. Fantastic wisdom. The norm at the moment is 20 calls waiting in the queue. It has gone higher than this at times.
We’re just waiting for them to ban toilet visits. I reckon they’ll be supplying us all with buckets soon.
A Packhorse Called Rachel
Gibsons Packhorse Bridge Jigsaw Puzzle (2000 Pieces)
It’s often very hard to think positive when you’re at work, something that people in a variety of jobs would probably agree with. I have been trying very hard to be positive these last few months. I’ve found it very easy when I’m at home!
Work has been extremely busy of late, and very exhausting. It’s difficult to stay in the positive frame of mind when it’s call after call after call. On top of that there’s the normal pressures of work – be on time, get things correct, etc. When you’re busy and tired you slip up. You find that you’re not thinking straight and that’s when mistakes happen.
I’ve been trying to take each call in a slow and calm manner, trying to shut out the previous calls and anything that may take my mind off what I’m doing. Most of the time it works but sometimes the stress of work clouds everything else.
I have to say that reading books about positivity, such as the law of attraction, have helped a lot. I’ve found things at work going a lot smoother, and more importantly I’ve been a lot calmer and happier. As long as I keep in a positive frame of mind I find that the working day is a lot easier to get through. I’ve also noticed that if I start to complain I get something else to complain about!
I’ve noticed that the law of attraction works. I am now be working on being able to retire early as a multi millionaire.
Gas central heating and boilers seem to be the most singular things that confuse a lot of people. Not everyone – there are those who know exactly what a boiler is, and all the details. It’s very refreshing when these people call in.
Every single day we get a least one person who calls in and the boiler or central heating is completely foreign to them. I always find it surprising that people don’t know whether their boiler is gas, electric or oil. Surely people know what bills they pay? Or do they have so much money that they can pay bills without even looking at them or being bothered what they are for? It must be great to be to be in that state of affairs, where money is no object.
If I had a £1 for the amount of times that I’ve had to ask someone if they have a gas metre on their property I’d be a millionaire now. And the amount of times a customer has said they don’t know – I’d have amassed thousands. How can you not know whether you have a gas metre or not? How can you not know whether or not you pay for oil delivery?
Surely if you own a property you would have some kind of knowledge of how it runs and works? Surely you would know what keeps it warm? Surely you would know what heats the water? Or am I being naïve?
This week at work was no different, except that I had a couple of other memorable calls around the boiler subject.
One person wanted us to go and do the annual service on the boiler. This is not unusual – we do many annual services. It would have been a straight forward request except that she wanted the engineer to turn the boiler on for her, as she didn’t know how to do it. She thought that getting the service done would ensure that the engineer would have to turn the boiler on to check it was working! Why she didn’t just read the booklet that comes with the boiler I really couldn’t answer.
Then there was the guy who wanted to take out a policy for his central heating. I asked if there was anything wrong with the boiler. The answer was a firm no. The boiler was working fine and there was no problem whatsoever. A bit further into the call I began to get suspicious so I asked again.
‘No, there’s nothing wrong with the boiler. I just can’t turn it on.’
I’ve not yet been asked for an electrician to show someone how to switch on a light – change the light bulb, yes – but not switch on the light. Time yet.
A customer called to ask the details of a particular policy. Turns out that his property was not suitable for the policy in question, so I explained this to him and gave him the details of a more suitable cover. He then decided to ask me whether the policy would change if he bought it.
Did he think I was lying to him? If he bought a policy that didn’t cover certain items would we cover them if he had called to claim? Do policies miraculously change from one thing to another when you purchase them?
The answer is no on all accounts.
I can’t lie about what is and isn’t covered. That would be blatant miss-selling and I’d be in very serious trouble. So would the company. And if we say that something isn’t covered then it isn’t. Simple as that. You can buy the policy and try to claim but you won’t get anywhere. Especially when our calls are recorded so we have it on record that we told you.
Oh, and don’t buy it on the internet. It still won’t change.
We’ve been very busy of late in the call centre. Almost at the end of the financial year so the company is trying to make as much money as possible. Trouble is there are not enough agents to handle the call volume. We are frequently getting call queues of double figures. The company gets fined if there are any abandoned calls, which there frequently are as customers do not want to wait 20 minutes or more to speak to someone. So what does the company do? Simple. They get all the other departments to answer the calls as well. As long as the call is answered it won’t be abandoned. So customers are going through to the wrong people and are then being transferred internally. The customer then has wait in another queue. But it stops the amount of abandoned calls and prevents the company getting fined. Simple.
It’s annoying for the customer and it’s sheer hell for those of taking the calls. We get extremely annoyed answering call after call that should be for another department. Of course the customers have a go at us. They’ve been waiting in a queue and then they’re told they’re being transferred. It’s not good for anyone, but it saves the company getting fined.
So next time you’re in a call queue, just bear in mind that no matter what options you have pressed, you may well get transferred when the call is answered. Don’t take it out on the agent. The agent has had their share of having to transfer calls and they’re as annoyed, if not more so, than you.