Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to be a good customer on the phone

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.

Thank you,


Call Center Representatives Around the World.

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