Hi, long time reader and first time poster.
Here is a little background before we jump into my story!
I work as a chat based Tier 3 Tech agent for a large cellular network provider. My job is to basically check to see if the issue the customer was having is something involving the network, or device. Now, one of the bittersweet perks of my department is that we don’t actually speak to customers. We speak to CSR’s and tier 2 reps from several companies under the one I work for (Kind of like reselling).
It’s in the middle of my shift and I get a chat. Turning my attention towards the new chat I begin to immediately take down the preemptive information the agent inputs in a pre-chat information sheet.
This agent is from a very well known company. One that you would assume trains their tech agents well. Let’s call this agent “Doe”.
Me: Thank you for contacting [company]. May I have your [verification method]?
30 seconds pass with no response from the agent.
Me: Are you still with me?
Me: May I have your [verification method].
Doe: provides the information
Me: Thank you for that. I am sorry to hear the customer is having issues with their calling! I will be more than happy to assist you in troubleshoot this today.
Me: May I have the customers device and number information to confirm we are working with the correct account?
Doe: provides the information
Me: Thank you sir! I have the account pulled up. What is the error message the customer is receiving?
Doe: Welcome to [service name].
Me: And what is after that?
Doe: I didn’t get that.
Me: Well sir, that is just the generic IVR greeting we provide to all of our customers for messages. The error message will be following that. I will need the entire message in order to accurately troubleshoot the issue with the customer.
Doe: Oh ok.
Now, the thing with my companies error messages, is that they are very conditional based. We get the entire error messages so we know what conditionals are being input for the customers specific issue. This can be for programming, suspended account, no service, fraud/billing etc.
Doe: Ok it says his call does not work.
Me: The customers error message says ‘Your call does not work’…?
Doe: According to the customer.
Me: That is not one of our error messages that we provide. Please have the customer double check that.
Doe: That’s what the customer said. Why do I need to have the customer call again?
Me: Sir, I believe the customer is not providing you the full message they are receiving. I’ve never troubleshot an issue with an error message of ‘Your call does not work.’ That is not one of our errors.
Doe: Ok one sec.
I follow or normal process of making sure the agent is still online with us by asking every certain period of time if he’s still there. Which he responds that he is still working with the customer.
Doe: Okay it’s ‘Your Mobile network is not available’.
Ok, this is a signal error message. Time to get the signal bars and check the coverage.
Me: How many signal bars does the customer have?
Me: When did this issue start?
Doe: About a month ago when the customer ported in.
Me: Thank you for that information. While we were waiting for that I tried to check the customers address in our mapping system and it doesn’t look like we’re populating any results. Can you confirm if [address] is correct?
Doe: Yes. It didn’t pull up in my map but that is what the customer said there address was.
Me: Well… sir if you aren’t able to map the address then I cannot map it either. In order for me to troubleshoot a signal issue like this I will absolutely need the address.
Doe: Ok one sec.
Again with my hold procedure
Doe: Ok I’m sorry da customer had the wrong address.
He actually put da
He provides the correct address. And sure enough… the customer is in a rural area that we don’t cover at all. Not even other carriers offer services here.
Me: Thank you for that. Unfortunately according to my coverage map, the customer is in an area where we do not provide service.
As I wait for him to respond it reaches 60 Seconds and no response
Me: Any questions about this information, Sir?
Doe: So what do I tell the customer?
Me: That they are in an area where we do not provide service.
Doe: Why is that?
Me: We don’t offer service there.
Doe: So you’re telling me the customer has been with us for over a month and they can’t even use service here?? Is that what you’re telling me??
Me: Do you have any additional questions?
Doe: No. bye
Me: Thank you for contacting [company]. Enjoy the rest of your day.
The chat ends
This chat took me 16 minutes to complete. In my project our average handle time for chats is 10 minutes. But normally this chat wouldn’t of taken me more than 4 minutes due to normal agents having all the information checked and ready before reaching me. But not Mr. Doe. I have many stories to tell you all about Mr. Doe but I think this will be a good introduction to him since he’s a frequent chatter.
My company and department has procedures for agents who are unprepared and combative. We submit a little description of the issue attached with our tracker for the chat to our supervisor. Who, in turn, emails the agents supervisor that spoke with me and gets them corrected.
You’d think, as a CSR or tier 2 tech rep… that you would have the common sense to get the customers error message, make sure their address is correct, and be prepared before contacting the actual network for assistance.
Sorry for any grammatical or spelling errors. On mobile!