I work in a call center. I'm not thrilled about that, but you do what you have to do to pay the rent. And before anyone gets all snarky and superior, let me say that a year ago I was a decently paid professional in a highly specialized field. So let us be very clear about the fact that next year, it could be you.
I'm not writing to bitch about working in a call center. I made the decision to suck it up and that's what I'm doing. This is more of a public service announcement. I would like to educate the general public about the reality of the call center. First of all, nobody - NOBODY- has in-house customer support anymore. If you call for help about your phone bill, your rusty barbeque, your bank statement, or your fuel tax rebate, you are calling a call center. If you respond to one of those ads for private colleges, save the starving orphans programs, or lower-your-insurance-rate deals, you are calling a call center. If you call to complain that your Simoniz pressure washer is a piece of shit, you are not talking to anybody who is in any way associated with Simoniz. You are talking to some college kid, or some middle aged casualty of corporate restructuring, who gets paid nine dollars an hour to sit in a cubicle and take whatever abuse you feel like dishing out. Do you know that call center employees are Not Allowed to hang up on customers that scream at them and call them names? But you might as well walk down to the corner and yell at the crossing guard about your internet service, because he has just as much control over it as the person on the other end of the phone. Yes, the product is crap. Yes, the service is shitty. The person you're yelling at knows that, but can't do shit about it. And the people that CAN do something about it, DON'T CARE. They don't care if you never buy their product again. They don't care if you tell all your friends. Because there will always be more customers to take the place of the ones they lose.
Oh, and forget about demanding to speak to a "supervisor" or a "manager". There is no such thing in a call center. There are executives, sure. They DO NOT take calls from customers. That is not their job. They deal with the clients - the clients being the companies you think you're calling. If you do get to speak to a "supervisor", I can assure you that you are having smoke blown up your ass. That "supervisor" is just a kid in the next cubicle who's a little better at handling "escalations". There are also "team leaders", who don't normally take calls, but who will occasionally handle really stubborn "escalations". And they don't have any more authority to fix your problem than the first person you spoke to . Also, keep in mind that the higher up the food chain you go, the less that person wants to help you. People don't get promoted for giving the customers what they want. That costs the clients money.
The front line people know you're being screwed, and they feel bad about it. They will try to help you if they can. Sometimes they will even try to skate something through that they're not really supposed to do. Your best chance of getting what you want is in treating the person who answers your call like a human being.
|Thank you for calling, have a nice day|