Kindness Has Found Her Calling

, , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2018

(I work in a call centre that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve just experienced a huge snow storm, which is completely out of the ordinary for Ireland, and the call centre had to close for two days. When we reopen, it is incredibly busy, and customers are furious at how long it is taking to get through. Then, I get this lady.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to customer services. This is [My Name] speaking. Apologies for the long wait, and thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry about me. You’re obviously very busy today.”

Me: “Yes, I do apologise about that. We’re just experiencing a backlog after being closed because of the snow. I can log a complaint for you, if you wish?”

Customer: “Oh no, no, no. I used to work in a call centre myself. Tell me, what’s your target handling time for calls?”

Me: *confused* “Um, five minutes?”

Customer: “Okay, so I’ve been speaking to you for just under a minute. That means I can continue to talk to you for four minutes without ruining your stats.”

Me: “Okay. And what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Oh, nothing at all. I just know how awful the customers must be treating you today, so I wanted to ring and have a friendly chat so your day isn’t all bad. I’m ringing the call centres of any suppliers I use and doing the same thing. You shouldn’t be shouted at all day because it snowed.”

(She genuinely had no query, and just filled the next few minutes with idle chit-chat. She just wanted at least one person to get a nice call on what was an otherwise awful day. We were so busy that she must have waited nearly an hour just to be nice to someone for five minutes!)

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