Bit of info – worked for 2 years at a call center, as a roadside assistance dispatcher. Your car breaks down, you call me, I send help. I’d like to post a few things that only fellow call center agents would understand. No matter what type of customer service industry you’re in, customer stupidity is universal.
- MY BIGGEST GRIPE EVER. Female customers trying to play the ‘I’m a woman on my own’ card, thinking it’ll make me feel more sorry for them or bust my ass to get them help. The quickest ETA we can ever initially advise is 60 minutes, and that’s in emergencies. I’ve had women who were safely in their own homes who’ve tried to pull that bs. I once had a woman call in for a flat tyre – she said she had a spare and the tools to change it, but couldn’t do it, because (and I quote) ‘I’m a woman, so obviously …’
Me: ‘ok, just to confirm, your registration is A for alpha, B for Bravo, six zero, C for charlie, D for delta, E for echo?’
Me: ‘so Alpha bravo, six zero, charlie delta echo?’
Customer: sighs like I’m mentally challenged ‘A … B .. SIX! ZERO! C. D. and … E’
Me: ‘yes, I’d like to confirm phonetically. Alpha bravo sixo zero charlie delta echo.’
Customer: ‘Yes. That’s it.’
Me: ‘okay, I’m not getting a policy on that.’ I confirm the reg phonetically again
Customer: *now angry ‘No, it’s not B for .. it’s not B for ‘BUCKET’, it’s V for .. it’s V! V for ‘vogue’! I’m on the side of the road right now, can you just do it now please?’
TL;DR; when customers confirm their details after I repeat them back to them, and then it’s my own fault when the details they gave were incorrect.
- Me: ‘sure! I’d be glad to help! Can I start by taking the last 5 digits of your account number please?’
Customer: ‘Yeah, it’s 123456789.’
Me: ‘sorry, just the last 5 will do.’
Customer: ‘can’t you work that out from the entire number?’
Me: ‘sorry, I can’t take the full number for data protection reasons. I just need the last 5 digits, please.’
Customer: sighs audibly at my idiocy ‘ok … so … 9 … 8 … uhm, 7 … hang on, let me cover up the first part with my thumb …’
CUSTOMERS SOMETIMES STRUGGLE SO MUCH WITH SIMPLE QUESTIONS. When a customer calls in, it’s either to report a new case of breakdown, or is calling about an existing file. Both are looked up/created by inputting the car registration.
Customer: ‘Hi, that was a long wait ha ha. What do you need from me first, is it my registration?’
Me: ‘Yes, are we currently assisting you or is this for a new breakdown case?’
Me: ‘sorry … Is this for an ongoing case or a new breakdown case?’
Customer: ‘oh … uhm … err … what do you mean?’ (100% not lying, customers would for some reason struggle so much to answer this)
Me: ‘so, are you calling about a new breakdown, or are you calling for an ongoing assistance?’
Customer: ‘well, I’d say it’s technically ongoing, since I’ve been having problems with this car since last June. So yes, it’s for a current assistance.’
Me: giving them the benefit of the doubt ‘ok, i’ll input your registration to pull up your file. … okay, I can’t find any record of assisting this vehicle?’
Customer: ‘that’s because you haven’t assisted it.’
Me: ‘I did ask if this was a current assistance and you said -‘
Customer: ‘yes, it’s because you’re GOING to assist it, obviously.’
I have a lot more than these generic issues. I have plenty of memorable customers, some good and some absolutely awful. Now I have nothing but respect for call center workers, and always think about the crap I had to endure daily, when I have to call one myself. I’m never mad about wait times (sometimes we’d have 50 calls holding, but according to management, it was because we were just ‘too slow’, not short staffed), and I’m always conscious of t ]he fact that when I need to call a center, the agent I’m speaking to is most likely reading from a script to fix my issue, and is in no way technically trained (we were told certain issues with vehicles were not an urgent issue, and to tell customers the same thing. I always hated doing this because I don’t even drive, and felt bad for assuring people their car was fine to drive when I didn’t know for sure).
Anyway, managed to get myself a job as a PA. My last day at the CC was a mixture of euphoria, sadness (made some amazing friends), and fear. Mostly fear, because even though I was miserable at the CC, I stayed there for longer than I should’ve, because it was comfortable and familiar.
Sometimes i think about doing an AMA, but don’t think there’d be much interest. Everyone who’s worked in a CC would give similar answers to myself.
Stay strong, guys. As mentioned before, I got nothing but respect for CC employees.
P.S. sorry for bad formatting.
submitted by /u/Dumbledoree