You guys are going to give me a stroke!

So I’ve worked several call centre jobs in my life. My second to last job was for an accountant’s office as an administrator, basically answering queries. Our clients were mostly independent contractors, and this included builders. The most abusive calls we got were from them.

On this one day, this particular guy kept calling in and wanting to speak to our accountants. His personal tax return information had been delayed. The problem was, the accountant who was doing his return was away for the weekend. The client hadn’t believed it from my other colleagues and came through to me.

I don’t remember exactly what was said at the beginning, beyond that he was angry and kept making noises like he was breathing in and out to keep calm, and listing other issues he had with our invoice software. I remember apologising and explaining that the accountant would be able to call him monday morning. The client laughed derisively and said: “I won’t be able to wait until monday, my head will explode! You guys are going to give me a stroke! But clearly you guys don’t give a damn.”

Now, this hit me hard, because at the time my grandad was in hospital from a similar problem. I took a second, then said ‘I do, Sir. I’m really sorry that you’re having these problems, but let me see what I can do to help’.

I proceeded to be on the phone for an hour and a half with this guy, talking him through all of his invoicing, his returns process, all the complaints he’d listed. It hit 5.30pm (my finish time), then 6pm. I was the only one left.

Finally, just after 6.15, he said he was done. He apologised for his behaviour and said I’d been very helpful. I left feeling tired, but like I’d helped someone.

Best bit? The next day my quality assessment coach emailed me and let me know she’d assessed that call, and I scored 95 out of a possible 100.

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