'Call centre staff are ANNOYING'

@marina321 (4561)
November 10, 2008 4:14pm CST
That was the title of an article in the paper I was reading. Apparently 'Call Centre staff irritate customers by being over-familiar and insincere. Tricks taught to staff to build a rapport, particularly the use of first names, were found to annoy customers' I do not think the above annoy me about call centers, it's more the fact that I will need to listen to a lovely selection of preset messages, press a selection of numbers, before I can actually get through to the 'please hold' section which normally has a twenty second clip of a song that will replay at least 10 times before I get through to someone! What about you? Do you find call center staff annoying? Do they annoy you because of the above? Do you find the call centers annoying?
6 people like this
17 responses
@Beruang (1309)
• Malaysia
11 Nov 08
I certainly do not find that the above annoying at all. In fact, I prefer to be addressed by my first name rather than my last. However, the are a few things that annoyed me when talking to call center staffs. The first one would be an inexperience staff due to insufficient training. Most of the time they gave me wrong information just because they were not really sure about the things that they are supposed to know. Secondly, the staffs that promised to call you back and never call back. Then when you called the call center again, another person would pick up and we have to explain to that other person the whole thing all over again... I had a chat with a call center staff few months back and she told me that, whenever a customer asked to speak to the supervisor or the person in charge, they would just pass the call to their next available colleague and then that colleague would pretend to be the boss. She said, the pretender would then basically tell the customer the same thing but since it comes from somebody who are supposedly to be the boss of the call center, clients are more willing to accept the answers given even though it was the same answer that they got earlier. How about that? They are in fact trained to play that role when the need arises.
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
Then why don't they play the role the first time around?! And I don't think it's true about them passing those to another colleague, I mean, how come the other person can explain further and with more sense than the first one? I've had a lot of experience with these agents and supervisors, I guess they just pass the calls to those who've been with the company longer than them. I agree with you when you said that they give out wrong information because they're not sure themselves. I guess that's the problem with call center companies, they can't retain their people that's why they have to train and train again, and sooner or later the new batch would just leave. There's good service for you.
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
I have had some of those scenarios Beruang, I think some just want to get you off the phone and do not bother double-checking before giving you wrong info
• Philippines
10 Nov 08
[i]I don't want to stereotype but yes, there are some. I worked in a call center before but I really don't see that particular issue existing in that call center, or maybe I was just being biased since I worked there. Anyways, there's this company which employs a call center to cater to their company's needs. I really don't like the staffs there. I was bitten once, i let it go, maybe it was just a bad day but having experienced it twice, then thrice is another story. These agents are really insincere. Oh they tried hard to be pleasant (and I understand they must be trying hard especially if they have problems, it isn't easy) but that's their work. But well, when she can't stand to be pleasant anymore, when she can't answer my questions anymore, she turns into an annoying nitwit who tells me to hold on "for a second" and then make me wait for more than 5 minutes on the phone! That's just plain rude! Really annoying. [/i]
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
What did you do afterwards?
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
hold on "for a second" and then make me wait for more than 5 minutes Aaargh, I've had that too maple-kisses and it drives me mad especially if I am using my cell and the other person is taking their jolly good ol' time
@izathewzia (5142)
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
Because they have been repeating the scripts for so many times already. It is no longer coming out as natural and sincere as it should be. But just like robots who are following their tasks. The feelings and true concerns are gone. But there are still some who are true enough that they show real care to their customers.
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
That's true Some call centers are a pleasure to deal with some are absolutely horrendous
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
11 Nov 08
I hate them but when I need info I wait. A speaker phone really helps My son hates them so much he hangs up. When and if he does get a real person, if they act like he is totally illiterate about the subject he will say ok, never mind and hang up. He gets irate when that happens. "They don't have to treat me like a moron, just answer my question. They tell me everything I have already done. Why can't they just listen to what I'm saying first!!!" is what he says to me.
2 people like this
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
Oh, they do like to act like 'why are you complaining or querying it? it's all ok!' Well, when you're paying for the call, the least you'd expect is to be listened to but they don't listen
• Australia
11 Nov 08
I know what you mean I had a call not long ago where after I said hello all I got was the rustling of some-one reading the paper and office background noises I was in one of those moods and hung on until a good 3 minutes must have passed before she finally came on and did her thing I waited till she finished then hung up on her. Yes press this press that and at the end of it ,its not the one you want ,the ones that annoy me is when you have to enter a pile of numbers and then some and you take to long to do it and get sorry you did not entre any numbers we have placed you in line for the next available operator grrr.Thankyou for letting me vent on this one.
2 people like this
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
Oh, they are annoying... if you want to pay a bill press 1, for other queries press 2 blahblah.. to speak to someone in our team press 8!
1 person likes this
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
Aside from what you mentioned about the call waiting tones and all, the main thing that I hate about call center staff is the fact that they don't know anything. Well, please do correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that they're just there to take down notes and don't really have information that could help you solve a problem. I do have friends in that area and all they say is that they have lines to say for everything, they're somehow no longer given freedom to think for themselves. There are even people saying that call centers are just 'decorations' because they weren't real jobs ~ Hey, that's not from me ok? It comes from someone who had problems with his mobile carrier and all the call center staff did was to apologize and not say anything else to help him. That's weird. They seem to be more of the secretaries who just jot down notes and forward them to those who really 'knows'. I mean, why not go direct right? In my own personal experience, I had to fight over a lot of call center agents who doesn't seem to know what they're talking about. For one thing, it was with my DSL connection here at home where I paid a lot of money and yet the service wasn't very good, when I called them up they repeatedly told me (there were a lot of occasions) to turn it on and off. I told them that connections shouldn't be like that, it shouldn't be refreshed every time because what's the sense of having a connection if it would only work well at certain hours and be bad again after that? Well, she told me that's how it is, well it made me angry and she really got a taste of my tongue-lashing. After the incident, I was forwarded to the technical team and ALAS! There was a solution after all!! Incompetent fool! Another occasion what when I had problems with my mobile. It was weird because if I set my phone to receive 3G, after a while the signal would be lost and messages would be delayed, but if I switch on the normal mode, the service would be ok. I called them up to check on the matter (since my cellphone carrier told me it wasn't hardware but due to the system) the call center agent told me to just go with the normal mode. I mean, what a very intelligent answer that was ey?! My phone had the capability to receive and send video calls but the agent tells me it's better not to use it, not even trying to figure some sort of way to check if there was a problem with the system or what?! I demanded to talk to the supervisor, and there I got my answer, there was system adjustments with the 3G capability of the network and he sent me a link so that I could refresh my phone features aligned to theirs and alas! it worked! You see, I don't mean to be rude with these agents, but they have got to know their field. They should know what they're talking about and not act as if they're some smart Alec who thinks that their callers are stupid. But I could say there are those who are really good at their job and I salute them, but I guess that's just 1-10.
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
Yes Laydee, I agree they should know what they are talking about or at least check before giving wrong info... or escalate the issue if they do not know. The one you mentionned about 'system adjustments' would have been common knowledge in that contact center as it would obviously affect many clients and that agent should have known or at least checked first Some do act like the caller obviously hasn't a clue about what they are querying..
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
11 Nov 08
Oh yeah I have an entire list of things that annoy me about call centers and their staff. 1. Over familiarity. I will let you know if you can call me by my first name. Until then it is Ms. [insert name here]. I am the customer and am due respect. I don't care that you find my name difficult to pronounce, try. 2. The abysmal ingnorance of the staff. Please if you are hiring staff for support of a software or hardware product, train them to support that product with a modicum of knowledge. Just a smidgen more than I have. By the time I call I have tried all the normal things to correct the problem, usually I have searched the internet as well. 3. The assumption that I am stupid. I am spending my money to call you. Revert to number 1 on my list, I am the customer and am due respect. Even if I am stupid you should still treat me with respect. 4. The phone systems themselves before I ever talk to a live person. Enough to filter out anyone but the most desperate. Really, I don't usually have a temper but there are times I find myself screaming at the phone. By the time I have a live person I already have a bad attitude. 5. The desire for "positive" feedback. What if it wasn't a positive experience? Do you want to hear that as well? I didn't think so. 6. The lack of language skills. Ok if you are going to serve a English speaking community can you make an attempt to speak English? I don't care that you speak it with an accent, but slow down and try to speak clearly. I find myself having to constantly ask people to repeat half of what they say. This is not my problem it is yours. My list goes on, but those are the highlights.
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
I think many will agree that they face the same issues you put across
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
11 Nov 08
I find them really frustrating because it takes SOOOO long to actually speak to someone who can help! I've phoned banking institutions, phone companies, etc., and have had to repeat my information time and time again before anyone can help me. My husband deals with lots of these centres, and it drives him mad. Sometimes he's been kept waiting over an hour trying to sort out clients' problems.
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
Yes it is annoying listening to all those messages and keep getting asked to press this and that number for this and that option, even more annoying is when you've gone throught to wrong option and they say hold and they'll put you through
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
11 Nov 08
Both are equally annoying to me.. lol =D BEcause the reason i called the call centre is because i have a problem and i really wanna it to be solved fast.. Thus, speed and efficency is what it matters to me.. Rather than talking all sorts of rubbish or playing music, it's a total waste of time.. ANd if the call cnetre is too busy, they can open up more lines to handle their customers, or if not, it will be their service is real bad that everybody is calling to complain.. lol
@marina321 (4561)
12 Nov 08
[i]it will be their service is real bad that everybody is calling to complain.. [/i] hmmm, that's a good point
1 person likes this
@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
Well not really.. I don't usually observe how call center agents talk and how they deal with their customers. I'm more concerned of my purpose why I call. And as long as they are not rude to me and answer every question I asked there'll be no problems. I only get irritated when it takes too long until someone takes my call. I think the reason why call center agents uses first names of customers is to make the conversation more casual. Just like talking to a friend. Ciao!
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
Yes, I think they do it to make the customer feel comfortable..does not bother me at all, other aspects of cal centers do need the patience of a saint
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
I used to work as a call center agent for different accounts. I can't take the pressure and working night shift. They don't annoy me because I understand where they're coming from. It's not an easy job, you deal with different people and provide them answers to whatever their issue is. Sometimes you get yelled at, you had to endure even if you're verbally abused already for something that you didn't do but have o take the responsibility because they're complaining about your company. You talk to hundreds of people everyday that you don't know and you have to manage your time no matter how long the issue is, you keep it to 3 minutes or less average handling time. It sucks to be a call center agent.
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
I know it's not an easy job and someone's got to do it but some call center agents do not really care and customers get wound up when they're not listened to and when there's no follow up on queries.. I work in a small IT support center and we have a call logging system that helps us keep on top of things, I do not think many call centers adhere to some sort of call tracking and time to resolve queries and update the customer of a resolution You will find you may have to go through explaining the same issue from the beginning time and time again, it takes patience.. and that's why many customers get wound up..
11 Nov 08
Hi marina321, Yeah! I'm like you I cannot stand it when I want to speak to some I get all the crap! and I'm hanging on to the phone while my momey is ticking away and to top it all I get someone who cannot speak properley and I can't understand a word they are saying, that really bugs me as I have to get my husband to see if he can work it out and he usually can. Tamara
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
So annoying isn't it, even more annoying when you're calling on your mobile and thinking the call is probably going to cost you a fortune but you have to wait till you speak to someone or else it's a wasted call and time too
@gauthami (137)
• New Zealand
11 Nov 08
Some people are annoying and some not.as per u said abt that twenty sencond clip song will replay 10 times before get through some one its really annoys me...if we are urgent also we will get same thing i want to throw my phone in the water..such a irritation...my bp will raise ..and some staff will be grumpy while they answer the phone...not properly answered...and sometimes it holds me for 1/2 hr becoz staff are not avalible at this moment..what the hell ??
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
haha! It is unfair for clients to wait that long on a paying number, even on the mobiles...crazy. I hate it when you finally get through then get put on hold again while they check, aargh
@luminouz (32)
• United States
11 Nov 08
I must say, I have had my run-ins with some annoying call center reps. Sadly, it was with a company that I WORKED FOR! It's sad when a company that SELLS 'telecommunications' can't even train their staff/department correctly. It makes customer's look at the WHOLE company like we don't know what we're doing, how the hell can you sell/promote you products?! I mean, if you can't even communicate internally, odds are, the complaint list will build and it's really management's fault. However, I have to admit it is very irritating when you're calling, especially for customer support,and you're hanging in there for a good 10 minutes just for the recording to tell you "all representatives are still busy, please stay on the line and the next availabl representative will be right with you". Once, I think I was on hold for nearly 30 minutes. Now I think I'm crazy for staying on the line that long, but sometimes you just don't want to hang up because if you do, and you try calling, you just may not be able to get through even a recording! In the end, I would have to agree, some call center staff are irritating, and yes, very unprofessional. Call center support is supposed to be friendly, helpful, and convenient!
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
Yes, that 'please hold' message is annoying! Some staff are helpful and professional but some can't wait to get you off the phone even after waiting ages to get thru!
@coffeegurl (1470)
• United States
11 Nov 08
"Hello, thank you for calling Dell. My name is Bob, but I live in Sri Lanka and make $2 per hour. Thank you very nice for calling Dell. I am huddled in a small room with 30 other co-workers and a goat. Thank you for calling Dell. How may I be of service? Excuse me, what is your social security number, your name and the reason you are calling? Please hold........Thank you for calling Dell, who do I have the pleasure of speaking with? Yes, the late charge for not making payment for your computer on time is $40. I know that is a lot of money. I know it is..I understand madame..believe me..I understand..I could buy a herd of goats for that price..I know..but unfortunately, we cannot remove the charge. If it were not for the late fees, Dell could not afford to pay us at all. Then where would we work? Yes, Hello? Thank you for calling Dell! Have a nice day and thank you for using Dell!"
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
Hahaha! funny that! I work in an IT support center and we do often call Dell!
• Philippines
11 Nov 08
i also hate holding forever before i get to speak with anyone...but what i do not like most is getting non stop calls from telemarketers even if you've told them millions of times that you're not interested...i know they're just doing their job, i've worked in a call center myself but really----seriously---no just means no....
@marina321 (4561)
14 Nov 08
hahah! I think at some point you have to ask them to take your details off their database and never bother you again as no sometimes means they could try later, annoyingly, some never update their call logs and just put some sort of action showing they tried to make contact
• India
11 Nov 08
hi call center staff they work both in night and day. i was thinking what they will do if they get tired in call center do they take rest for some time when they work for long time in day or night
@marina321 (4561)
11 Nov 08
They do work shifts, so if they work nights, they're not in during the day and vice-versa.. The company would be breaking work directives plus health and safety rules if they let them work day and night