After a great many of years as a CSR I am confident that I am qualified to write this.
There is usually a recording after the phone is answered. It would behoove you (and us) to listen to the recording. If you have reached the wrong number, don't argue with us and expect us to know who you are trying to call, what number you SHOULD call or to transfer to something that has nothing to do with the company you have called. Think of it this way, don't call Pizza Hut and expect them to deliver a Big Mac to your house. That's NOT what Pizza Hut does.
1. PLEASE LISTEN TO THE WORDS SPEWING FROM OUR PIEHOLES! There is a reason we ask the questions we ask and I PROMISE we will get ALL of the info we need before we hang up the phone. This may be your first time calling, but we do this alllllll day everyday and really, we know what we are doing.
2. Don't 'yes or 'ok' us to death. Really, we can tell when you aren't listening.
3. When we ask "How can I help you?" Please briefly describe your issue. No need for your life story when I ask this question. Even if you know we are going to ask for something, Please say hello. There are times when you spew something like "555-555-1212" when we say "how can I help you"; That doesn't tell us how we can help you. It tells us you know what your phone number is. Way to go! When you tell us what you need, we can tell you what WE need. It's called a conversation. If you just give us numbers and we enter them, we discover we don't need the number you have just given and we have spent 10 minutes getting the same info from you that is contained within a reference number (weird that it is called a REFERENCE number) you got the first time you called, that you could have given when we asked "How can I help you" If you work with us we can get through this with minimal brain damage and aggravation.
3. If we ask for your name, PLEASE give us YOUR first AND last name. Not under whom the account is listed. We have a standard form that we have to fill out. I PROMISE we know how to do our jobs if you will just listen at what you perceive as dribble that comes out of our pie holes, we will get everything I need from you before the call is disconnected.
4. Don't start babbling your name and address after the phone is answered, we have to type in the information and you will have to repeat it again.
5. Please don't ask if we HAVE to repeat certain things. The answer is ALWAYS yes. We are REQUIRED to be repeat info back to you; most companies are. Do you really think if we didn't HAVE to repeat ourselves that we would? NO we want to get you off of our lines as soon as possible and answer the next 50 calls waiting.
6. If we ask a Yes or No question, a 15 second diatribe by you is not necessary. I don't need to know WHY the answer is yes or no, so if by chance you have sufficiently answered yes or no, I will continue with my questioning talking over you not listening to everything else as you are babbling. Same for a direct question. If we ask "What is your address?" your reply should not be "Well, I was born in Germany in 1956, then moved to Ohio and got married." It should be "123 Main St"
7. Do NOT talk over us. You will miss some "interesting" stuff that we are required to give to you.
8. PAY ATTENTION! It is really annoying when we are repeating info that you just gave us back to you and ask you if that is correct, you reply with "Huh? Oh yeah that's correct." We want to say "How do you know if what I just said is correct, you weren't listening" Instead, we continue, because on the recorded line, you said it was correct.. it's all on you now buddy!
9. Give us the courtesy of your undivided attention. Don't eat, pee, have conversations with someone else, scream at your kids or pets while you are speaking to us. In order, that's gross, disgusting and rude.
10. Hitting on us isn't going to get you anywhere. We don't like you, this isn't a dating service.
11. Have something to write with and write on near you the whole time we are conversing, I don't care if it's a crayon, pencil, marker, pen, stick and sand, blood (yours or someone else's). Haven't you learned by now that you are ALWAYS given a ticket number or or reference ID number, trouble ticket, order number or WHATEVER?. Don't make us wait for you to dig for a writing utensil. Don't make me repeat the number because you weren't ready, it's very annoying.
11. When asked for your area code and phone number, that is not the same thing as a zip code, it has more syllables and more digits. LISTEN!
12. The best HOURS to reach you are not 555-555-1212 that is a phone number. 8-5, 12-5. 8-12 etc. THAT'S what we need. If you tell us 'ANYTIME' don't be mad at me if I can't sleep and call you at 3AM.
13. If you are hard of hearing, PLEASE put your hearing ear dog or a hearing person on the phone. Nothing is worse than us having to yell and repeat ourselves because you won't put in your damn hearing aids. Then we get yelled at by our bosses for yelling and being 'rude.' If you don't speak English very well, please use the option for an alternate language. You might give misinformation because you don't understand what we are trying to ask and we have to repeat ourselves
14. If you are on a cell phone and KNOW you are in a bad area, don't get angry at us because we can't hear you. Get in a better area or on a land line and call back.
15. If you call somewhere on a regular basis PLEASE have all of the info you know we are going to ask IN THE SAME ORDER AND EVERY TIME YOU CALL . . It's wrong to put us on hold because "I knew you were going to ask that, I should have had it ready" every three seconds because you don't have your stuff together.
16. 9 times out of 10, the problem you are having is NOT the fault of the person to whom you are speaking. Try not to take out your anger on them. We will be MUCH less likely to help you if you are irritable and cussing at us.
17. Please don't spell words unless we ask you to. Give us the benefit of the doubt on intelligence. Most of us can spell Pine or White. Half the time, we have already typed the word you said and are on to the next question while you are still spelling.
18. Please realize that even if you only call one business a day, that person that you talk to has to answer 100-200 calls a day. It is very stressful, so if you follow all of the above suggestions, it will make everyone's life a lot easier.
To sum it up, be nice, listen and pay attention, answer the questions we ask. These are things you preach to your kids on a daily basis. It will make the call smoother and take much less time than it would if you are guilty of any of the above offenses.
It's not that I haven't been working .. except when I was in South Beach for a little while at the beginning of this month. It's just that I have been Tweeting (though I swore I NEVER would) blogging on my other blog and playing Call of Duty 4 and partying pretty much every weekend.
Anyway, here's a couple of random things that really cracked me up this past week.
I was talking to a lady who works for a contractor. She is probably in her early 70's. After the 3rd ticket and asking the same questions on each one, she says "poopfart" when I asked her for an intersecting street and she realized she didn't have one. I had to stifle a laugh.
Thursday, I went into the breakroom to get some coffee. The BIG boss was in there too. I went to the coffee maker and the main coffee pot was gone. I looked and the burner was turned off and the coffee pot was rinsed out and turned upside down to dry.
I said "I can't believe this, instead of making a new pot of coffee, someone rinsed out the coffee pot"
The Big Boss looks up at me, grins and said, "I did that".
OMG talk about embarrassing. I know I turned 8 shades of red.
I recovered quickly, laughed and said, "And it will be the best tasting pot of coffee because it was clean! I am so sorry" Luckily, he has a great sense of humor and likes me. I'm just glad I didn''t say "some idiot or some dumbass"
He said, "That's OK, don't worry about it."
I replied, "Well I am not going to be hungry for lunch now, my foot pretty much filled me up!"
The rest of the day, when he walked by my desk, he asked me if he could get me some coffee.
As some of you know my husband has been temporarily without work. He got a job YAY!.
On Friday, about noon, he texts me at work to tell me he has to be in Miami that night, by 10 or 11 THAT night. It is about a 5 hour drive.
Anyway, I asked my boss for the rest of the day off so I can help get him packed and and stuff. She understood and let me go home.
On Monday morning she comes in and says "Did you get your man off?" I about died. As soon as the words left her mouth, she had a horrified "OMG that is grounds for a sexual harassment suit" look on her face. I just smiled a dirty little smile and said "Yes I did"
There is a woman that I work with who is really dumber than a box of doorknobs. We have had lunch catered in for the last 2 days. Today is sandwiches. This same woman walked into the breakroom yesterday at lunch time. We had spaghetti and meatballs , alfredo sauce and noodles and veggies. No lie.. she said.. "Oh is this the sandwiches we are having for lunch?" I looked at her, looked at the food on the table and said, "No Fiona, that's spaghetti and meatballs." She said "Ohhhhh" and walked out of the room. Later, she comes back in and looks at the alfredo sauce and asked the caterer "What kind of soup is this" The caterer gives her a weird look and said.. "uhhhhhhhh that's alfredo sauce" "Oh.. whats it for?" I had to leave the room at that point ... I would have been fired for laughing and calling her a dumbass
I am off today YAY. Heres a few tidbits from yesterday.
A company calls me and I notice his area code listed is different than the city his office is. So I asked him for the area code and phone number for the main office in that city. He gives me one.
I moved on to ask him some other contact information.
"Do you have a cell phone number?"
"It's the number I just gave you"
"I thought that was the main office number for your company"
"Well, it's a temporary number that was given to me"
"Is it the office number or your cell phone number"
"It's the office number."
"Do you have a cell phone number"
I move on to other questions.
What type of work is your company doing?"
"The company we are doing the work for is doing shoulder work."
"And is your company is doing shoulder work as well?
"No we are installing the construction signs for them" I am still speaking English right? I mean you all understand me.
"How long do you expect the digging to take?" (Ex. a month a year a day etc..)
"As soon as possible"
Really? You are this dumb?
I repeat.. "How long is the digging going to take?"
"What do you mean?"
"You are digging is that correct?"
"OK how long is the digging going to take? An hour, a day, a week, a year?"
"Oh.. Just a day."
Is there a physical address to where you will be digging?
"And the address is..."
And what is the address please?"
"It's on Smith Rd."
"I understand the address is on Smith Rd... I need the address for the property that you'll be digging."
"There is no address...."
The rest of the call was OK.. a few more things he was dumb about.. but you get the picture.
Later, his sister called.
All of the other questions she answered with no problem.
She gave me the address
"I asked for the intersecting street (you know the one at the corner closest to the property"
After insisting there wasn't one, because the road stretches the entire length of the county and there aren't any streets that come off of it anywhere, I made her look up the address on line. She gives me a name of a street and I ask her,
"Is that within 1/4 mile from the address?"
"I don't know; nobodys ever asked me if the cross street was within 1/4 mile before and I have been calling there for 5 years."
I told her, while laughing "I've aked it everyday of my life for the last 9 1/2 years, we ALWAYS ask if the cross street is within 1/4 mile when you give us an address"
She looked it up again and said, "Well its a corner property"
HUMPH!.. I thought there were no other streets off of this road anywhere in the county
Later a guy called and screamed at me because someone was cutting down trees in his yard. When I explained he had the wrong number, he said,
Well you people hired them to trim the trees"
"No sir" I explained who we are AGAIN.
He said well FPL hired the tree trimmers. I gave him the number for FPL. Then he tells me., "Well I was told to call the county"
So why in the hell are you calling me?
He told me "If I was back home I'd kill the sons of bitches for cutting my trees on my property."
I told him to have a nice day and I hung up.
I am so glad I am off today. HAPPY AND SAFE TOMORROW EVERYBODY!
Friday, right before lunch a call came into me. I said my intro and then the voice on the other end just started speaking in tongues. I was getting ready to ask him if he would like a Spanish rep, (although I was not quite sure if that was his language) when he started speaking perfect English:
"There are people out here digging on my lawn all the way up to my house. They are not supposed to be here. They are not the same sewer trucks that were her yesterday. These are the same trucks that were reported stolen to the county. This is a conspiracy, I have written Washington DC about this and I am suing the county"
I got the attention of my teamleader who sits right in front of me. She logged in to my phone to listen. I broke in to his ramblings, trying to contain my laughter. "I'm sorry sir, you have the wrong number." I explained to him who were are and what we do. I then asked him if he took his meds this morning how I could help him. He yelled, "I already told you how you can help me, you need to call in somebody rich to come get me. This is a conspiracy". I replied, "Sir if you feel like your life is in danger, you need to hang up with me and call 911"
"I told you this was a conspiracy, the cops are in on it too, that's why I can't call them. I explained again that there was nothing I could do to help him. He mumbled something in tongues and hung up the phone.
While I was at lunch, he called back. He got a male representative who reminds me of "The Stapler Guy" from Office Space So "Milton" answers the phone, and the same guy just starts spewing weights of the trucks and numbers. Milton explained again who we are and what we do. The guy said, "Yes I know who you are I OWN this company." Then he hung up. Next, he calls back and gets the girl that sits right next to Milton. She, too explains that he has the wrong number. When he starts cussing her out, she said "Sir, you do not have to be so inappropriate" My team leader IM'd her and told her to transfer the call to her. When she did, he starts cussing, my TL out as well. She copied down down his number before he hung up and had our tech guy block his number.
It is quite obvious the guy was mentally ill. I don't think THAT in of itself is funny. I am not making light of mental illness. But the conversation was too hilarious not to share.