Are you a human?

This is a short and sweet story of when I worked in live chat for a telco. (Edit, ok, so it wasn’t as short as I thought it would be)

For backstory/context: a lot of mobile plans woth this company have or had bonus add ons/bolt ons/credits/VAS on their service. The most significant one, and the one relevant to this story was bonus data bolt ons and monthly credit offers

When contracts end or when offers end, these things get begin to get taken off with an order confirmation email.

The problem that we’ve found from the customers’ perspective is that the email is a run of the mill automated email with generic wording – it has no indication of what these orders were specifically. They all would say “thanks for your order, this is your order number yada yada” so majority of the chats were customers concerned about potential unauthorised activity since they had no idea what these emails were actually about so we would investigate for them and let them know. It was always 50/50 with how these chats went. It’s either a quick touch and go education piece or it’s a cause for complaint (especially if there was a loss of a discount credit or data, etc). For me personally, I feel like it’s the company stitching themselves up by not customising the automated email to what the order type was.

Getting to the point of the particular chat in question, the customer, like the others, have to pass through a bot so the system knows what department to send someone to. This customer’s original paragraph was quite sternly worded and I just had all the signs of a painful chat. The meaningful connection score for this chat was already sitting at -70 (lowest possible was -100) as the customers ease of experience with the bot factors heavily into this score. I was on edge, feeling like I had to prepare for an attack.

I’m able to greet and authenticate without issue. I had a look on their account and I saw that they had severe internet technical issues a few months ago, so at the time, tech support bolted on some free bonus mobile/cellular data for 3 months, since cellular data is so much more reliable in Australia than fixed broadband). The order confirmation was 3 months to the day of the removal of this bonus data, as it had expired in the system.

I explained what it was and it seems like it flipped a switch in the customer’s mind. They thanked me, said happy that was what it was rather than something sinister. Then they say: “Thanks for confirming that, I’m satisfied with this information as it addressed my concern!”

It felt like they were typing into an NPS survey and not to me. I start the closing spiel about how I was happy to help and did you need any further help today yada yada. They said no thanks, but then says: “Are you a human, thebiggestyikesever?”

It felt like lighthearted banter (but when it’s a customer service chat, you never truly know), so I had a risky response by saying:

I feel pretty human I think (I’m in a -my city- based team) since the company has a notorious reputation for poor customer care/call centre experience with the off shore teams, with people thinking that “they are bots”. Not sure what’s like with the BPOs, but the on shore team, like the team I was in, was strongly encouraged not do scripted responses and say exactly we need to say to communicate what needs to be communicated.

I was kind of stressing about how this customer was going to respond to my banter, but they said: thank you so much for being so efficient in your response, you’re a star and I could never say that about a robot. Hope you have a good day, thebiggestyikesever from -my city- and thank you again.”

They proceeded to give me all 10s and named me personally in the nps survey.

When your call centre experience is generally poor, these small nuggets of good experiences stand out and I wanted to share the triumph.

submitted by /u/thebiggestyikesever
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