Have you had any experience working in a call centre?

Malaysia
May 3, 2009 5:41am CST
Hi everybody Just would like to share my experience working in a call centre. I think customers are very fussy and demanding at times. I do understand they might be in a situation that is pressuring and they are not satisfied with the service but they need to always think the best way to resolve the problem would be talking and sorting it out calmly. Let me share an incident that took place some day back. I am in a banking insituition and there was this customer who wanted to withdraw at the atm machine but however the money was not dispensed by the machine. This kind of incident does take place and it was a weekend when I received this call. I did advise the customer that I would put up a report and the money will be credited back into his account back when the bank operates on a weekday. However he shouted and screamed at me using all kind of words he could find in his personal dictionary. I was very upset. I truely understand he might be in urgent but we cant do much and I have sympatized to him. have anyone felt this kind of situation dealing with customers. I hate working now cause I think I am paid for getting scolding moreover in a banking instituition. Thanusha
8 people like this
27 responses
3 May 09
I worked in a call centre and customers can be really rude. I recall one incident where a customer started off the conversation with "I suppose you're a moron that can't even blow his nose without his supervisor's permission". Another guy told me that he would drive to the call centre to shoot me! I don't think people aim to be rude but the problem arises from those consumer TV programmes that advise people to be strict with call centre workers. It's a load of nonsense because if a customer was nice with me I would go out of my way to help them - if they were aggressive or rude then I would do the bare minimum necessary. I wrote an article some time ago giving advice on calling a contact centre - I'll dig it out and post it on here as a discussion topic! The main thing with regards to your job however is not to let the customers get to you - once they've gone off the phone forget about them!!
• Malaysia
3 May 09
Yeah your are extremely right, we muct just end the conversation and not choose to think about it back. That customer who spoke to you in such way was really rude. How can he judge a person without speaking to them first. I think to handle this kind of customers we need to be very patients. Thanusha
3 May 09
It can be quite amusing to be sarcastic with customers - but you need to ensure that the supervisors aren't listening or recording the calls. And don't tell them your real name, use the supervisors!! But if you're going to do this, be careful and have fun!
• Cebu, Philippines
4 May 09
Well I'm currently working in a call center..And i must admit that there are some nasty and rude customers. It's very frustrating when you encounter a person like that.They are simple difficult one. But I had this caller who really likes talking to me and dont want to hang up but of course his concern was done already. He's telling me that my voice is like an angel and very enthusiastic. I always keep my voice alive as possible. ^_^ And it feels good when you help someone right? Right now i'm on my way to tech support from customer service upgrading my skills lolz!!!
• Cebu, Philippines
4 May 09
by the way How do you handle irate customers?
@SHAMRACK (8350)
• India
3 May 09
Dear friend, The incident you faced is bit bitter for some who do have less patience. Any how I do have friends who share sorts of incidents that they had in their call centers. Hope as the clients or customers of different kinds it might be bit careful while dealing them.
@marciascott (25557)
• United States
4 May 09
It really tskes all kinds, you might have to deal with anything, some people are pleasant and some are not, but people do get upset about there Money.
• Ireland
3 May 09
I work in a call centre..thank God Only part time. Fortunately I don't have to make outgoing calls where I have to ' sell' a product, in which case I would get more abuse. Its hard being' professional' all the time when the poeple on the other end are anything but. Unfortunately its part of the job ..a very ungrateful job! I read some research about call centre workers which found that the stress those workers experience is mainly caused by having to put on a front all day. Basically it means you have to leave your own problems at home and put on a front. This is mentally exhausting and I cannot agree more ! I hate this part of the job, too, and can't wait to get out of it! having to be a robot all day is not fun !
• Malaysia
3 May 09
Well I am sailing in the same boat as you. I am just looking for a chance to get out of this job. I guess I might need to go to a psyciatric if I saty longer. LOL Thanusha
@bodhisatya (2384)
• India
3 May 09
HI, I am so sorry to know that this guy was rude with you. I haven't worked in a call center but Boy! I have seen rudeness as rude as it can get. I reckon that maybe rhis guy was in a dire state, and he needed a person to listen to his frustration and he vent it out on you. And I am truly sorry for it. There are friends of mine who do work in callcenters trying to sell products in America or God knows what place. They tell some really horriffic stories about being bullied. Even here in India the domestic call center agents are ridiculed. People ie. some of them dont even hesitate to use some real nasty words over phone. I remember this girl who called up someone at 5 in the morning Indian time, she was tired of the night long shift, and this guy picks up the phone, she introduces herself and pitches her verbatim, the guy just went crazy and starts to hurl abuses at her. The reson for the guy to do so is that he tells it is his Birthday and how how dare she called him on his Birthday and sell a product. The girl was left crying for the rest if the shift. Personally I have had some real nasty experiences but I have to accept and move on. Moreover my customers throw abuses on me directly at face, even over phone so being patient and being diplomatic is the only way out I suppose. What say?
• Malaysia
3 May 09
Yes true I agree to it. It is harder to face the customer and I am sorry cause you have to deal with such customer directly. That is a tougher situation I would say. I am sorry for the girl. I dunt understand why this people behave in such way. I understand they might be in frustration but they need to have some courtecy of speaking to a third person who he/she called seeking for assistance. Its depressing sometimes and I always hated working because of this kind of people. We sometimes go down to earth to help them but they do not even say a word of thank you and just slam the phone thinking like we are their slaves and they are the boss. I have cried many times being scolded for a mistake not done by me but the service provided by my employer. Hate dealing with customers.
@nehmer (609)
• Philippines
30 Apr 10
yeah i heard this too are you the one in the facebook?? the was scolded by an old woman...??? not xur... if that was you.. anyway .. you shoud let it go and mov on they are only bad people who don't understand the meaning of being polite and calm.. just be patient my friend... =)
• Philippines
3 Jan 10
Hi there thanusha85! I have never worked in a call center. Given the chance though, I would take it but make sure I won't make or accept any of those calls. No inbound nor outbound calls please. I don't think I'd be able to keep my composure given the same scenario as what you have just shared. I have some friends working in call centers and they have had the same, if not the worst, experience. I know how difficult it is to work in such industry.
• India
16 Aug 09
Yes, currently i am working in call center under a telecom company in India which is the largest telecom brand in india. I am working in call center industry from last for years
@vicky30 (4779)
• India
24 Jun 09
Yes i have experience working in the call center.But i never used to handle calls.I was working in the technical support department.I used to handle computer problems and fix it.The first call center i worked with had a easy job.Not much problems used to come.The second call center i worked with had big escalations and i used to be in lot of stress.
@assunta (25)
• Philippines
7 May 09
yes, i've worked in a call center before. it took me only 3 weeks to endure. the first 2 weeks were ok as they were mere classroom discussions- accent improvement, how to go about a call, opening spiels etc. On the third week we had hands on training. we were handling the customer service for an online shopping company. most calls were due to misdeliveries, late deliveries, etc...meaning, inefficiencies on the part of the company itself. acting as the customer service, you will really get all the beating and harsh words even if it's not even your fault. i was traumatized to the point of not wanting to take another call. i decided to end my misery, find another job that would suit me. and besides, i want a happy working environment. call centers pay well but there are just some people who can't stand that kind of pressure and treatment. other than that - call center is not the end of it, there are other high-paying job where you will feel appreciated and improved.
@gr8life (6253)
• Malaysia
6 May 09
Hello thanusha85, I worked for a call center for about two years. It is not easy to deal with customers sometimes. Whatever happens, customers are still right (though you know they are not always right) One incident that I still remember till now was when a customer called up and scolding me on the phone without reasons. I asked him to calm down and tell me the story. He was not satisfied with our product and started to accuse us of cheating him. I didn't even raised my voice and talked to him calmly but he walked in the next day and told the manager that one of our customer service officers was very rude to him a day before. Since he didn't get the name, my manager promised to look into the matter. She asked each and every one who ever talked to that person and I told her the person she was looking for was standing right in front of her. I was brought into the room (like a culprit) and asked to tell the details of my conversation. At the end, the management realized that it wasn't my fault but I didn't like the statement that they told me - I was not persuasive enough though I was not at fault.
@csrobins (1125)
• United States
5 May 09
Wow, that’s ridiculous. You got to let people like that roll off your back…the rules and policies are not your fault and he knows that he’s just being stupid. You need to remember he is the one with the problem not you. I know it’s hard though. I never worked in an actual call center but I have been given long lists of people and businesses to call in my retail job, my internship, and where I am now doing data entry. You get all kinds of people for sure and I have been cursed out a few times. Although I will admit sometimes when I’m having a rough day I have to calm myself before I take it out on the same people who call me sometimes.
@fasyahime (634)
• Malaysia
5 May 09
yup! i can totally understand your feeling! that's why i can only stand to work in call center for 7 days only!sometimes customer they doesn't know how to be polite even in my phone,i can't remember how many times i have to very patient listen to their complain or nagging!sometimes they just love to cursing us despite it's not even our mistake!huhu! i really regret working at that place!
• United States
4 May 09
I worked in a call center before and I've had many experiences like that. I've learned that some people just won't let you help them. I can relate with you, it's annoying to get yelled at on the phone for hours.
@p1kef1sh (45647)
4 May 09
I have set up a call centre in the past. I agree that call centre workers should not be abused and indeed if they are they have every right to close the call. That said, call centre workers do not always help themselves by asking intelligent questions. Unfortunately too many are expected to stick to a script and these just do not reflect how conversations actually work. Personally I would ban all scripts and teach workers about the products. They should also have some leeway to make decisions. In the case that you described, if the bank was open, I would have allowed the caller to go there and withdraw the money from a teller.
@Maryam27 (412)
• Pakistan
4 May 09
Oh i am so sorry to hear that Thanusha, of course it is disappointing and we can just wish people learn some ethics. As for me, no i have never worked in a call centre but i have always been fascinated by this job, and i have always wanted to try it once in my life, maybe i like it and chances are that i might hate it :D Have you left that job now? just for this call??
@GY1106 (46)
• China
4 May 09
I am familiar with call centre though i never worked in a call centre, the agents in call centre are so nice, so patient.
• United States
4 May 09
Not for a call center, but I did work for a telemarketing place but is was hard since it was cold calling. It is better when they are set up for leads lol getting hung up on all the time is hard to keep positive attitude. And so I can kida relate to the rudeness of people but it's not the kin of job that is for everyone so I think you handled it well I probly would have been yelling right back which is not a good thing. Well good luck and great job on keeping your kool with the customer!
@benhilo (873)
• Tripoli, Libya
4 May 09
I have worked at two different call centers and was associated with a third. The worst to work for are cell phone call centers! I worked there for only six months and quit. It is a pressure cooker waiting to go postal.
• Philippines
4 May 09
I work in a call center and I agree that some of the customer's were really really hard to handle. Yes, they should understand that a company has an SOP and sometimes, we can't do something about their concern but they should wait for the mean time like your situation. I think that's why call center dudes and dudettes were paid much higher because they are a sponge of all negatives.