Unfiltered Story #56795

Unfiltered | April 17, 2016

I work the front desk at a car repair shop, directing calls and helping people who walk in. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand that we have lots of customers and vehicles on a constant basis, and sometimes our adjusters cannot always return messages on the same day.

Also, the shop has me come in approximately half an hour before most of the team, to answer phones and accept drop offs and help customers who are picking up.

Me: “Thank you for calling [shop]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, this is [name], from [insurance company]. I’m calling on one of our insureds’ vehicles. It’s for [name], and I need to know completion date and current status, please.”

Me: *looks up car in my front desk system, which just shows charges owed and if the car is here or not* “I’m sorry, it looks like I don’t have that information. But [coworker] is handling the file; he’s in the back working on another estimate, but I can have him call you back.”

Caller: “No, I need to know now. Can anyone else there help me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but several of the team are at lunch, and [coworker] would be the best person to answer your question. May I get a callback number and I’ll ask him to call you?”

Caller: *sighs* “Fine. It’s [number].”

Me: “Thank you, ma’am! It may be later today or tomorrow when he calls you back, but I’ll definitely pass this message to him. Have a good day.”

I put the message on my coworker’s desk, at the bottom of his stack of messages waiting to be returned. However, he is unable to return the call that day, as I find out the next morning bright and early. One of my first calls of the day comes through, and it’s the same caller. At this point in the morning, we have just opened up, and not all of the team is in yet.

Me: “Thank you for calling [shop]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, this is [name], from [insurance company]. I’m calling on one of our insureds’ vehicles. It’s for [name], and I need to know completion date and current status, please.”

Me: “Ah, yes. That is being handled by [coworker], who is not quite at his desk yet this morning. I can let him know you called, if you’d like.”

Caller: *suddenly gets very irate* “Well, I left a message for him the other day, and he has not called me back yet. I need an answer on this inquiry.”

Me: “I completely understand, and I apologize you didn’t hear back. Sometimes our team have more messages in a day than they can return before they leave. I can definitely let him know when I see him that you’re still needing a call back.”

Caller: “I do not want to get a call back; I want to speak to someone about this car immediately. It is inexcusable that he didn’t call me back.”

Me: “Ma’am, I gave him your message, but he did have a full day yesterday. Because our team return calls in the order they were received, it appears he did not get to yours before the end of day. Again, I can definitely -”

Caller: “I’m not going to risk him not calling me back. Get him on the phone now.”

Me: “I cannot do that, ma’am; he’s not in for the day yet. In fact, most of our team is still out. They should be arriving soon.”

Caller: “If I leave a message, he’s just not going to call me back. I need to talk to someone on the status of [customer]’s car right now.”

Me: *at my wit’s end* “All right, then, ma’am. Please hold and I’ll try to find someone.”

I put her on hold and check. Sure enough, [coworker] is not in yet. I just leave the call on hold, as not even the manager is in at this point. Thankfully, my coworker in question arrives in the next few minutes, just before I am about to pick up the call and explain to the caller why he cannot come to the phone. He takes the call and the caller (hopefully) won’t need anything further while that car is here!