I work in a UK high street bank’s call centre. Today I was put on a ‘Performance Plan’ to improve my stats. I have been there 9 years now and have seen pretty much every scenario a customer can throw at you. I often get calls where they say “oh I spoke to three other people, but you are the first one to…” However this does mean I take longer on calls. This was okay during the lockdowns when it was a ‘do anything to help the customer/save them going to the branch’ situation. But this is a metric they can’t/don’t measure. Meanwhile I get coaching feedback on calls weekly, and it is always about how I could have said something extra or offered something; a product or review or just general advised to the customer to make their ‘experience’ better and turn them into a promoter. No reference to the extra time this takes.
Literally the only way I feel I can save time is act like a newby and ignore obvious problems and act like a drone, tell people to call back later, because the only thing that matters is time spent per customer, not whether you fixed the problem.
In the last 18 months people have just left and not been replaced. Other specialist teams have been taken off the phone or put on online chat. So customers call general service and I can’t always help them, minutes can be wasted with me telling the customer they have to apply for an account online, or use the messaging service if they have a problem, because the banks priorities don’t meet the customer’s expectations. We are having more and more lumped on our plates and still be pressurized to take no longer.
We have also been setting up Voice ID for customers. The number of voice enrolments target has gone up from 10 a week, to 20, now thirty and in Q2 will be 40 a week. That is despite the thousands of people we have already set up and are regular caller. Not just me but most other agents are now failing to get the target even though I am averaging 23 for the last 5 week. The target is 30 and getting a teeth gritted emoji from your manager and told you need 13 tomorrow is awful… I am wasting half an hour every day trying to pursued people who don’t want it to get this ID just so I can say I tried on every call. And they wonder why queues are going up.
The thing is I don’t want to/can’t even leave. My mother passed away in 2019 pre-covid and I have some savings from her inheritance. I’d like to apply for a mortgage, but can’t do that if I get the sack. I don’t have enough mental or physical energy after work to try and move on with some of these things. If I moved to another team in the bank I might just end up being made redundant anyway. And I’ve never been fired before, I’ve no idea how hard it might be to get another job that isn’t taking me back to the bottom of the tree. I fear losing what little I have and hemoraging my savings away if I lost my job. The more likely outcome if things don’t change is I won’t get a pay raise in April, which will be a paycut in the current inflation situation. And today when I raised some of my concerns about the other team closures reflecting back on us, or the difficult attaining the ID target the response is ‘business decision everyone else has to cope with,’ or pointing to someone else (very good) who achieved the target that week, not whether I am above average if we are collectively failing to meet the target. There is a pat answer for every objection. I feel trapped, and my only choice is to take another call and hope the next person wants something simple.