For preface, I work in face-to-face sales for mobile/broadband in the EU, although a lot of our time in the job is spent on the phone so it is more or less a call centre job with the bonus of being customer facing also.
I had an older customer come in looking to do a transfer of ownership to a niece as she is now old enough to have it in her own name, no biggie, let’s give the right team a call. After being bounced back and forth between different departments I finally get the right team.
I speak to them, shoot the shit, start the process, then get put on hold while they gather information. While waiting on hold, I had a quick browse through the notes to see if the customer had had any issues recently so I could gauge their reaction should there be any resistance from my colleagues on the phones. (I like to do this as I’ve been stung in the past by customers who have had horrific experiences recently that I’ve been completely unaware of leading into their experience with me.)
The customer had called in to cancel one of the numbers on his account as his wife had passed away the day before. The number belonged to her so he no longer had a use for it. The note states that they asked him if he knew anyone else that could use it? Nope. Not the worst thing to ask but still, c’mon. The note then says that they pushed to try and get them a better price so they wouldn’t cancel, and then ultimately they offered them a whole new package and the customer didn’t accept, so it was marked as a ‘loss’ and the cancellation processed. This honestly made me so angry internally, I understand the folks in retentions have a job to do but there has to be at least a little bit of compassion there.
That’s not even the worst part. The worst part was that the cancellation wasn’t even processed. I seen that a day later that an outbound retentions team had called him back to try and ‘save’ the cancellation. The note even says that the “customer was adamant” that they wanted to cancel. This means that this poor guy just lost his wife of however many years and someone has just called him begging him not to cancel his deceased wife’s phone number. Eventually the agent gave in and let the customer cancel, with another note marking it as a ‘loss’.
It begs belief honestly. I was reading it wondering if these folk have any moral compass whatsoever, or if this is a sad tale of extremely strict target setting combined with an awful, toxic work environment. Either way, it’s not okay. This happened a few days ago and I’m still thinking about it. I never mentioned it to the customer while I was reading it, I didn’t want to kick up any dust that I didn’t have any business being in but I genuinely feel for the guy.
TL;DR-customer calls to cancel dead wife’s phone number, thinks it’s cancelled, isn’t actually then receives a callback the next day trying to retain them again