So. I’m not in call centers anymore, but I’ve dabbled more than a bit. I am going to give my usual caveats that I am currently drinking & also on mobile
I was training to be a customer service person at one of the somewhat big names for cellphones. I’d gone through maybe 3 weeks of training, it was time to get onto the phones for real & see what life was like outside of the perfect world offered by training.
I was taking calls! I could understand bills (Note: even after extensive training there are times I cannot explain some bills)! I was ready!
I was not ready.
I had a person call in about his cell bill, which was in arrears. He had gone over both text & data (such a quaint notion now), and hadn’t paid. I explained this, and this was his response- as cool as you might say, “I guess I’ll have a salad”:
“I am going to burn down your call center, and piss on the ashes.”
It shocked me at the time. I had no words to give him. Fortunately, death threats got escalated pretty immediately, and I was able to pass it through the line to others who were *slightly* better at dealing with it than I was.
In all of my time working face-to-face customer service, I’d never had a death threat at that point. This changed me, and I’d like to say it was more positive than negative- I’m a manager now & I don’t accept people yelling at my agents.
But… What if I never needed to develop this emotional carapace?