At MyPlaceofWork, we do take incoming calls for air, hotel, and car rental bookings. However, for more complicated requests that take more time (cruises, tour packages, large groups, and itineraries requiring a lot of research), we have a support team that we email to assist and turnaround time can be 24-72 hours, depending on date of travel and how busy our support teams are.
A customer, let’s call her “Rose”, has zero patience. I get her call and she asks for me to book a cruise for her this fall. I tell her I will forward the request to our support team and they would get back to her no later than 72 hours.
She flips out immediately.
Rose: NO, I need somebody now! My friend is joining me too and we need to book that cruise before the space runs out.
Me: I understand, since you’re concerned space is running out, I will flag your request as urgent and somebody will be with you sooner-
Rose: I want to speak to somebody NOW. I have questions that need answers and I would feel better getting this booked as soon as possible.
Her travel dates weren’t for another 4 months and also your lack of planning doesn’t constitute an emergency. If the cruise was selling out, that should be a sign she should’ve called us much earlier. Also…she could literally book online if she couldn’t wait.
Me: If I could book your cruise right now, I would but I don’t handle cruise bookings-
Rose: Okay, then get me somebody who does. I’m not getting off the line until I know somebody is helping me on this.
Miraculously, I put her on hold and the line drops within 2 minutes as I’m reaching out. I call her back and it goes straight to voicemail. I leave her a voicemail, notate her account, and move on.
Just as I thought was rid of her, one of my teammates sends a frantic IM to me.
Teammate: Did you hang up on Rose? She’s on my line and she’s angry. She’s saying you hung up on her and she is demanding to speak to a cruise support agent now.
Me: The line dropped and she didn’t pick up when I called her back. I already told her we would send a request and a cruise support agent would get back to her but she wasn’t having it.
Teammate: Cruise Support team is saying they can’t take her call right now because it’s not a priority. They’re slammed with last minute requests (because none of our customers have proper planning skills) and they’ll get to her within 24-72 hours.
Me: What do you want me to do then?
Teammate: I don’t know, you know more about cruises than me. She won’t get off my line, she’s begging to speak to somebody, at least get some general information first.
Me: You know I can’t book cruises either, I would only be able to answer general questions.
Teammate: Nevermind, she hung up and I tried to call her back and got voicemail.
Me: Maybe she’ll take the hint and wait.
She doesn’t. She calls a third time and repeats the same story to another poor agent and says she’s going to leave a poor review about how our company enjoys hanging up on customers. But that poor agent somehow manages to get a cruise support agent who is willing to take the call and get her ass off her backs finally.