Oops (How to get good Customer Service)

October 27, 2011

Well, first things first, sorry for the delay. You know how it goes, you try to keep a blog, and immediately you get distracted by spending your riches, tuning your ’69 Firebird, and the hordes of women keep badgering you for sex, so you don’t get time to type up rubbish.

I've been practicing genetic surgery too. Haven't made a flying pig yet

But apologies aside, time for another advice column!

How to get good Customer Service

Everybody, at some point in their life, needs to phone a call centre, in order to sort out whatever problems they appear to have. This is a tradition which dates back to Ancient Egypt, when even the Pharaohs would shout abuse at some poor sod who really doesn’t give a shit about how they’d ordered a Pyramid, and been built something completely different.

Being buried under a prawn doesn't have the same level of dignity apparently

But here is how to be assured of some genuine help:

Be nice. Strange as it may seem, the person answering the phone is just like you. Chances are they have their own hopes, dreams, loves and losses, just like all of us, and unless his ambition as a child was to be shouted at from dawn until dusk, while trying to learn from Charles Manson’s mistakes, he doesn’t want to be on the phone just as much as you. So the resentment in his voice is completely understandable.

Above: The average call centre employee

Have everything ready. I cannot stress this enough. Picture yourself at a nice restaurant. You go to place your order, and the serving wench must scoot off to find a notepad. She comes back and realises she needs a pen. While on these extended trips you hear her cursing your very existence. This is what the average call centre slave goes through all day, but they don’t have a nice meal to look forward to as a result. Just sorting out your silly problem.

Speak clearly. This may seem an obvious suggestion, but for a poor skivvy chained to a phone, it is an important one. Most places will assign you a customer number or something similar. While to you it may not seem important (“I’ve told him my name’s John Smith, can’t he find me using that?!”) to the aforementioned skivvy, it makes life much easier. As such, mumbling such details will not win you any friends.

This man has an excuse to not speak clearly. You are unlikely to be the rightful King of France, so you do not.

Call at a logical time. Think about driving somewhere. You really, really want to get to your destination. Maybe you have a train to catch, maybe your wife is putting out for the one time this year, or maybe you have only a few minutes to save the orphans from Dr Sinister and his Machine of Death, whatever. The traffic light you know only changes for 8 nanoseconds has just flashed onto green. Now you have to wait as the swine in front of you doesn’t notice the change. Then there is rage. This is what happens at 4:59pm in call centres. The skivvy just wants to catch their train/save the orphans, and when you call at the last minute, you are personally endangering the poor children.

Now you have learned how to be assured of good customer service. Follow these simple rules, and the employee you’re talking to will still think you’re a dick, but might be a bit more efficient about dealing with your rubbish problem.

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