So, an earlier post reminded me of this story, and I wanted to share.
For background, my AHT was consistently a little low, so whenever somebody wanted to rant or talk or whatever (which maybe happened 3 or 4 times a day), I would let them as long as was reasonable to help balance out my numbers. This usually meant about 10-15 min (AHT was supposed to be about 3.5).
So one day (several years ago, right before they instated instant messaging between team members and supervisors in the company I worked for at the time), an older lady called in asking to cancel her service because she was planning to spend the summer elsewhere. Ok, great, normal.
I worked in retention, so I gave her my brief spiel, knowing she’d say no, and then engaged her in conversation while I set her up to cancel (standard policy). At this point, we’re at about 2 minutes, and while I’m canceling her and chatting, she lets slip that she’s calling one company per day because she has no other human contact.
“Yes, you’re my only human today.” *dry chuckle*
Um, no. So naturally, like any customer service rep with a low AHT and an ounce of human compassion, I got her talking. I don’t even remember what she talked about. It didn’t matter. We were both part of a silent conspiracy to extend the conversation as long as we could get away with.
15 minutes pass, and my supervisor comes over to check and make sure everything is OK. I give her a thumbs up, and sign that I have it handled.
20 minutes pass, and she comes back. She looks a little worried this time, probably because I was NEVER on calls that long. So I pull up a notepad and type out: “She said I’m her only human today – my AHT is low.” And made a pouty face at my supervisor. She looked at the screen, looked at me, looked at the screen, looked at me, nodded, and walked away.
28 minutes. She came back, making the “wrap it up” gesture. I gave her pouty face again. Pointed to my AHT on the screen. She shook her head and made the gesture again.
Sigh. OK. The next time the lady paused, I said, “You sound like a really sweet lady, and I would love to spend the rest of my shift chatting with you, but your service was canceled awhile ago, and I’ve got my supervisor standing over my shoulder telling me I have to wrap this up now.” She chuckled, thanked me very eloquently for the chat, and ended the call.
Final call time: 29:37. I still remember the number. Didn’t have to worry about my AHT for the rest of the day. And that is the story of how my longest call ever was also one of the most pleasant.
Tl;Dr: Chatted with an old lady for half an hour because she was lonely.