A short story of one of my funniest complaining customers from my time in call centres.
A call connects. Me: Good afternoon, Cha…
Customer: Finally. Put me through to your manager.
Me: Could you please tell me what the issue is? I might be able to help.
Customer: No, I want to speak to your manager.
Me: I do need to know what the issue is so I can tell my team leader.
Customer: I’ve been waiting for hours!
I’m confused. The rush ended about an hour ago, there’s been no queue waiting for 40 minutes and it’s actually been 5 minutes since my last call ended.
Me: I’m very sorry to hear that miss. There doesn’t seem to be any wait at the moment, maybe there’s a technical issue. Do you know what time you started this call?
Customer, sounding confused: About a minute ago.
Me: And how long were you on hold before that?
Customer: About 10 seconds.
Me: I don’t think I understand. Didn’t you say you were on hold?
Customer: No. I was waiting. I called earlier but they put me on hold so I told that woman to call me back and she didn’t.
We didn’t have a callback service at the time, only doing it if there’s a major system error, something we’d gone almost 2 whole weeks without.
Me: Do you have the name of the person who offered the callback?
Customer: No, but it’s that girl who tells you you are in a queue and someone will be with you soon.
I manage to mute myself before I laugh at the customer. She was describing the recorded message played on repeat to everyone waiting to be connected, a fully automated system with no recording, no one manning it, no one checking. I’m not entirely sure how I could resolve this and knew my team leader would get a kick out of it all so …
Me: I’ll need to take your name as well, then I’ll get my manager for you.
And yes, even after having everything explained to her she did still make an official complaint. We did hold a full review of the situation. IIRC the resolution was that since the complaint was not directed at any staff members or against the company itself we would not be able to resolve the complaint.
p.s. the customer wasn’t that old. She was under 50 at the time.