Detecting A Disturbing Transference

, , , | Right | August 24, 2020

I work in the human resources office of the company I work for, which means that I usually answer calls from employees, though sometimes customers find their way through on the phones.

Me: “Hello, [Company] human resources. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Finally! I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to a real person. Can you help me?”

Me: “I can certainly try. What seems to be the problem?”

The customer launches into a ten-minute explanation of the issue. Although I can tell within the first two sentences that this issue can only be handled by another department and is outside of my ability to resolve, I do not interrupt until the customer is finished.

Me: “All right, I understand. Unfortunately, you’ve reached the human resources department. I can transfer you to the [other department] if you’d like, and they can help you.”

Customer: “What?! But it took me twenty minutes to get through your phones to talk to a real person, and you can’t even help me!?”

Me: “I understand, and I’m very sorry, but this is the human resources department. We only handle issues regarding our employees, and your issue is outside of my realm of influence. However, I can transfer you to someone who would be able to help you, if you like.”

Customer: “Well, would there be a person there? I don’t want to talk to another machine.”

Me: *A bit uneasy* “Actually, since we’re not open today, I’m not sure if there will be a person there or not. However, if no one answers immediately, you are welcome to leave a message with your name and number, so someone can contact you and resolve your issue as soon as they are in.”

Customer: “Unbelievable! Well, whatever! Just put me through.”

Me: “All right, I’ll transfer you now. Remember, if it goes to a voicemail, just go ahead and leave your name and number so they can get back to you.”

I transfer the call and think that’s the end of it until the same person calls back about two minutes later.

Me: “This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I just called and you transferred me to [other department] but there was no one there. It just went to a voicemail and so I called back here.”

Me: “Um, yes, I remember. Remember, I told you that there might not be anyone there, but if you left a message, they could call you back?”

Customer: “Yeah, I remember, but I wanted to talk to a real person. Are you sure you can’t help me?”

Me: “I’m sure. As I mentioned, I’m in human resources and I do not have the information required to help you. The only ones who can help you are in [other department].”

Customer: “Oh. All right. Well, can you transfer me back to [other department] again? I didn’t leave a message or anything so I need to talk to someone there.”

Me: “Sure, I can transfer you again. Just remember that if no one picks up, you should leave a message with your name and number so they will know how to contact you.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, I know! Just transfer me, already!”

I transferred them again and they didn’t call back, so hopefully, they managed to find someone to help them!

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