This Is Going To Be A Very Long Account

, , , | Right | July 23, 2021

I was helping an elderly customer making their first customer account on our website. They did try from the website on a tablet and then the app on said tablet; they didn’t have a computer. After thirty minutes of it not working:

Customer: “Would it work on the app from a phone?”

Me: “Yes, that should work, but it might be difficult now since you’re talking with me.”

Customer: “The phone is around here somewhere, but it’s been hard to find all day.”

I assumed they maybe had two phones for different purposes, so I just waited… until the customer realised that they were using said phone to talk with me.

After a forty-minute phone call without them being able to make an account, they would now try on their own and call back the day after. I ended up staying until well after closing because of the call.

At least the customer was nice to talk to and joked about their own mistake, so that was not as bad as it could have been.

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We Don’t Like The Tones Of This Caller

, , , , | Right | July 20, 2021

I work in a call center where we take payments over the phone. I have verified all account information with this caller.

Me: “How can I assist you today?”

Customer: “I’d like to make a payment.”

Me: “Okay, are we using a card on file or a new card?”

Customer: “New card.”

Me: “Okay, go ahead with your card number whenever you are ready.”

The caller starts pushing buttons.

Me: “Ma’am, are you there?”

Customer: “Did you get the number?”

Me: “No, it sounds like buttons were being pressed.”

Customer: “Yeah, I didn’t want anyone to hear my number.”

Me: “You have to say it out loud for me to get it.”

Customer: “I don’t think it works like that.”

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When Dementia Patients Make More Sense Than Customers

, , , | Right | July 19, 2021

Last night, I listened to some recorded calls for quality adjustment. I got to hear this gem since it was flagged for being overly long. The call agent has spoken for more than twenty minutes to a customer for a shoe where calls usually do not take longer than two or three minutes.

Call Agent: “Welcome to [Company] order line. My name is [Call Agent]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I want to order your new promo offer. I’ve never ordered from you before.”

Call Agent: “Certainly. Let me take your data and set up an account. Then I can take your order.”

Customer: “Why do you need my data? I just want to order! I don’t want an account with you!”

Call Agent: “We need to know where to send the items to. That is why I need your name and address and to create an account so I can then process your order, so the colleagues can fetch the items from our depot and send them to you by our postal services.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. Why can’t I just tell the postal service? Why do you need my data? This is ridiculous!”

This goes back and forth for a while until the customer gives in and gives her data. The agent is pleasant and friendly all the time. 

Call Agent: “So, you said you want our promo. That’s the shoes [Style A] for 125€ and the shoes [Style B] for 110€, and you’ll get 15€ deducted from your bill and [Item C] for free. What size do you want the [Style A] in?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “So we can send you shoes that fit you. Otherwise, you could get shoes that don’t fit.”

Customer: “I really don’t know why you need to know so much personal data.”

Cue some back and forth, but in the end, she gives the size.

Call Agent: “The second pair is also for you? It is the same size, then?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “Many people want different sizes because they want one pair of shoes for themselves and another for somebody else. I don’t need to know what you’ll do with them; just confirm for me that you want them in the same size.”

Customer: “I really don’t know why you ask so many questions.”

Call Agent: “I’ve now put in the same size as the others. Is that okay for you?”

Customer: “No! I want them in [different size].”

Call Agent: “That’s fine. I’ve put that in for you. You get [Item C] for free. It comes in blue, red, or green. Which colour do you like?”

Customer: “Why do I need to tell you that?”

Call Agent: “You don’t need to. I can just put in a colour and surprise you if you prefer not to tell.”

Customer: “No! You don’t choose for me! I want blue!”

Call Agent: “My pleasure. I’ve put that in for you! Now, your total would be 220€ in total after applying the promotional deduction. However, the price for [Shoe A] has changed. It’s no longer 125€ but is marked down another 5€, so you save even more and now have to pay only 215€. Also, shipping is free today, so that’s your price. Your package will arrive approximately in two to three d—”

Customer: “No! That’s wrong! The total is wrong! The ad says another price!”

Call Agent: “Yes, the ad says [Shoe A] is 125 € and [Shoe B] is 110€, right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Call Agent: “So that’s added, the bill would come to 235€, yes?”

Customer: “No! It’s 205€ after the promo code!”

Call Agent: “That promo can only be applied at the end once. To order both pairs of shoes in the ad, you get 15€ deducted from both shoes.”

Customer: “No.”

Call Agent: “I understand that that’s confusing. I have the promo in front of me; I’ll read it for you.”

She does so and the customer confirms that’s what she sees, too. They do the math again, and then everything goes through two more circles until the customer finally gives in. Still, the agent is perfectly calm and patient the whole time. She explains again and again, always trying to meet the customer halfway. And she finally manages to make her see that she saves even more because one of the shoes has been marked down again during the promo.

Finally, they come to an end.

Call Agent: “Thank you for your order. I hope you’ll enjoy your new shoes and have a good day!”

Customer: “I’m still not sure that this is at all the right price.”

Call Agent: “You’ll get your bill. You can see it on paper before you pay and send it all back if you don’t think it’s a fair price. Now, have a pleasant evening and goodbye.”

The agent terminates the call. She is perfectly friendly up until the end and follows every single company policy except not to terminate the call. But honestly, I can’t blame her for that. I have no idea how she managed that, since I’d felt the need to strangle the customer after the tenth rinse and repeat. I call her between customers, speak through the call with her, and ask.

Call Agent: “Oh, before coming here and starting this job, I was a nurse for elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’ve had worse and it doesn’t bother me. I just quit because I couldn’t take it due to my declining physical health anymore, but I miss the challenge. She was a good chance to use my skills again.”

I marked the customer’s account for immediate transfer to escalations so other calls wouldn’t ruin our call handling time, and I put my agent in for promotion to that department, too, which would also include a nice rise for her. I’ve never heard anybody who’d fit that department better than her. 

The last thing I’ve heard from her is that she’ll get the job and she’s very excited about it.

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Industry Is Not His Industry

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

I work for a relatively large industrial supply company that is known for its large selection. We sell, for example, over 1,500 different pressure gauges.

Caller: “I was wondering if you sold a pressure gauge that has a 1/4 NPT connection and can go to 3,000 psi?”

Me: “Sure.”

Narrowing by just those characteristics cuts down to 157 options.

Me: “Do you prefer a liquid-filled gauge or a dry gauge?”

Caller: “Uh… what’s the price difference?”

Me: “We’re not narrowed down quite far enough to compare yet, I’m afraid. Liquid-filled tends to give better readings for high-vibration environments. Is that what you need?”

Caller: “No. I guess dry, then?”

We are now at 78 options.

Me: “And did you have a preference for the size of the dial?”

Caller: “Uh… 3,000 psi.”

Me: “Well, that’s the pressure range you need it to measure, but did you need a particular size for the dial? Like, is it going into a big space where the size doesn’t really matter, or do you need to fit it in a tight space?”

Caller: “Umm… doesn’t matter, I guess. What’s the price difference?”

Me: “Still need to narrow it down. Do you need a bottom connection or a center-back connection?”

Caller: “Um. What? I don’t even know what that means.”

Me: “A bottom connection screws on at the, well, bottom. The connection on the center back is… well, in the middle on the back of the dial.”

Caller: “Oh… bottom, I guess. Whatever’s cheapest.”

At this point, I pick one randomly and ask if that’ll work for him.

Caller: “Well, I’m looking at one online right now on a different website that I think is like what I need. It has ‘B-A-R’ written on the gauge. What does that mean? Do you have one like that?”

Me: “Bar is a different scale for measuring pressure. You’ve been telling me psi all this time.”

Caller: “What’s the price difference?”

The scary part was that this caller was calling from a company that specialized in gas line installation. I seriously hope that this was the guy’s first day on the job or that he was just in purchasing and had no idea what he was talking about, in which case, put the end-user on the phone!

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Zombies Need Bank Accounts, Too

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

Me: “Good afternoon, thank you for calling [Bank]. This is [My Name]. Whom do I have the pleasure of helping today?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m [Customer], and I’m just calling to see if you all think I’m dead.”

Me: “Um… What?”

Customer: “I just want to make sure that you all don’t think I’m dead. You see, I recently had an issue with [Different Bank], and when I went in to resolve it, they informed me that I’m dead. But I’m not and I want to make sure you guys don’t think that, as well.”

Me: *Trying not to laugh* “Well, you sound very alive to me, but let me check your account.” *Checks the account* “Looks like we have you listed as alive and well!”

Customer: “Oh, good. You know, my mortgage is with [Different Bank], and if they’re saying I’m dead, then I shouldn’t have to pay on it anymore!” *Laughs*

Me: *Laughing with the customer* “It’s definitely strange that they think you’re dead.”

Customer: “Really is. You know… I should be careful. If everyone thinks I’m dead, my wife might just attach some cinder blocks to my feet, toss me in the river, and make it official!”

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