Don't give us a hard time...we are just doing our jobs just like you.

@capirani (1841)
United States
December 28, 2008 2:43pm CST
We are call center agents. That means we can help callers with all kinds of information based on whatever business or organization we work for. In general, we have basic scripts to follow, especially for certain kinds of calls. If you reach a call center representative, how do you treat them? Do you get angry if you can't get the answers you want because they have to follow their script? Or if they answer your question within the business policies, do you get upset with the messenger rather than the one who sent the message? Customer service representatives have to put up with a lot of angry customers/clients especially during the holiday seasons. Are you one who remembers that we are only doing our job as we have been instructed to do so? Or are you one who decides we are there to be your verbal dart boards and that you can say whatever you want in whatever manner you want because that is what we are there for? Do you think yelling and being nasty will get your problem solved any quicker or better? Call center reps and customer service reps only have so much authority, which is generally very little. If you don't like what we tell you, please remember, we didn't make the rules or the policies. We are only the messengers.
1 person likes this
8 responses
@jzqt27 (541)
• Canada
28 Dec 08
hey capirani! i completely understand you situation. i mean i don't work at a call center, but i am in a field similar to that. i get yelled at once a while and i hate it. people don't understand that we just want to make living like them. most of the time would be people that are rich. they think they have the money they can do almost anything. i mean, they should try our job and see if they like it (like getting yelled at when its not your fault). i bet they will hate it and understand it better.
1 person likes this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all spend a day or two walking around in each other's shoes. There was once a mayor in a neighboring state who once elected took on the experience of spending a day each week doing someone else's job in the community so he could see what each person in his city did and understand them better. I thought that was such a great idea and have never forgotten that mayor.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Many years ago I worked for an organization that raised money for veterans organizations by operating thrift stores. In order to stock the stores they had trucks drive around in specific areas to pick up donations. I had two young children and I needed something that I could do from home so I called people from a list, informing that the truck would be on their street on such and such day and asked if they had anything that they would like to donate. I worked from a script, too, since I had to offer suggestions for donations in order to get someone's inerest. Later on I worked for a television and radio ratings company inviting people who I called on the phone to participate in the ratings surveys. This was done from the office. In both cases I ran into both very nice and very rude people. Because of these experiences I am always considerate when speaking to a customer service representative. I know that this person is trying to do a job and that my attitude can help make their day better or worse. Not everyone realizes this or cares but I do.
1 person likes this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Isn't it amazing what we can learn from our jobs so that we can carry that over into how we treat others who do the same kind of work? It is amazing what we can learn about people in general as well. I think doing this job has made me even more aware of how I talk to people when I am the caller. I can remember when I used to tease my ex-husband because he always made sure his paper money all faced the exact same way. I thought he was being rather obsessive about it. That is until I became a cashier at WalMart and found out that we were to place our money in the drawer facing all the same way. He had just picked up on that and that it makes it easier for the cashier if he/she receives the money facing the same direction for them to put it away neatly into the drawer. Now all my money has to face the same way in my billfold for the same reasons.
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12834)
• Australia
29 Dec 08
i perfectly understand what you are saying... i am a customer service representative myself and i have to put up with lots of abuse from the customers as well... the worst part is, i have to face them face to face... if i can just face them from the phone, i can straight away disconnect the line the moment they start shouting at me or abusing me verbally... but since i am a front line representative, it is hard to avoid the customers and i usually just get my manager to handle them if the situations get really bad... i really think that people should spare a thought for us and we are only doing our job as well... take care and have a nice day...
@capirani (1841)
• United States
29 Dec 08
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to hang up on a nasty customer. We have to just sit there and take the crap and try to get them to calm down so we can help them. We have a special line for harassment calls but those calls do not qualify for that line. I have only used the harassment line once in 15 months of work.
@ClassyCat (1214)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I too have been a telephone secretary (as the store preferred to call us) LOL - Same Thing. But this was many years ago. I worked for Dillard's department store, portrait studio. We had to call and interest folks, with a family portrait, and also to call and remind folks of their appt. times. I always tried to be polite and respectful. I hated to do the calling during the supper hours though. Whenever those 'recorded' calls come into my home, I hang up. The thing that gripes me though, is when you are on the "National Do Not Call" list - they still call you. The other thing that gripes me, is when you've said "no" - and they just don't want to give it up!! But I still try to remain polite. However, if they persist, I just hang up on them. It is just plain rude, to not take a "no" answer.
@capirani (1841)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I haven't had anymore telemarketing calls since I got on the list. It takes about a month or so for it to finally get through but over that time period the calls started to dwindle down and now I never get any telemarketing calls anymore.
@jesbellaine (4142)
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
Hello There! Well, I am working as a help desk in an airline company right now, I don't get so much calls at the moment since I am new... however, with my previous work, I was a technical support representative of Linksys... Ring a bell? Well, a lot of callers are calling because they are frustrated with the products. That is fine with me.. as long as they don't call me names or shouts at me... :) Yep, it is kinda frustrating though.. so when I call some call center as well... I treat the person with respect as well... "I treat the person on how they treat me". Do you think yelling and being nasty will get your problem solved any quicker or better? Definitely a NO NO.. the more you yell, the more it gets complicated since the agent will try to ease you down instead of going on troubleshooting your device... that is what I always say to my customers... Thanks for the discussion! Happy mylotting and happy holidays! Cheers!
@capirani (1841)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I have only had two times where I had to actually say something to the customer that I needed them to stop yelling at me so I could help them. One calmed down and apologized. The other one just kept yelling. I don't know if I would have gotten in trouble for telling them to calm down or not, but I tried to keep things as calm on my end as possible. I tell you it gets hard sometimes to keep calm when people are yelling at you and blaming you for all their problems when you had nothing to do with the problems and are merely trying to help.
@fasttalker (2797)
• United States
28 Dec 08
My theory with any person on the phone is that I treat them with the same respect that they treat me with. I don't normally get upset unless they refuse to put me through to someone who can help me if I'm not satisfied with what information they can provide, that drives me crazy. I worked in collections for several years and I learned that there are people that don't respect you (and probably nobody else for that matter) but for the most part if you treat people with respect they will you in return. But I know what you're saying there are some real winners out there! LOL In our office we used to keep a list and move people up and down on it every day and declare an "idiot of the day" at the end of the day! LOL We wanted to send them an award but we always tossed it in the trash and drummed it up as stress relief! LOL
@capirani (1841)
• United States
29 Dec 08
That is one thing (out of several) that I don't like about my job. I don't have the option of transferring to "my supervisor" or to anyone over my head that can take over the call if the caller is not happy with what I have to tell them. I don't feel backed up by my employer in that we are the ones out there on the front line so to speak with no one to take over if we cannot get an angry caller to just accept what we are telling them. We get told, just keep telling them what you have been...which is basically repeating the policy for whatever the situation is and apologize and try to get the call to end. It doesn't matter how angry the caller might be or what they are saying to us. We have to sit there and put up with it. I think that is not right. We do have our email option for situations that we cannot solve ourselves. We do send emails to the proper channels where the answers can be gotten. But those answers are not the kind of answers you can get over the phone right at that moment. All those situations require some investigation and often the caller is not satisfied with that. They want what they want right now even though it cannot be done without the investigation into what has happened on all ends. Let me talk to your supervisor....it won't happen at my job.
• China
29 Dec 08
so...really it seems most call into the customer severice office are fed up with fire and gunpowder, perhaps they think this department is just the place where they can shout and agrue as much as they can? your opinion are reasonble?
@Masmasika (1921)
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
I always treat people with respect because I want respect in return. I give credits to those who make good services for other people and always say thank you to people who give services. In restaurants, if I see those slip of paper for suggestions or comments I usually sign and give honest comments. If I experience being treated in a very nice way, I write comments about the good service of the restaurant or a saleslady or a salesman. I always try to do what is right to those people who are giving us service. On telephones, I talk to people with manners and I never shout at other people. I am very considerate in that I know how it feels to be shouted at and not respected by other people. Call center agents are very important. Imagine calling an office and nobody is answering because everybody is busy, that was long time ago. Now, we have much to be thankful about because every call is being entertained by call center agents and there is no need to redial or wait for a long time. People must be thankful that there are call center agents who entertain their calls and not shout or be rude.
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I know. I don't envy your job. Anything that has to do with public service is a very difficult field to maneuver in. I do get upset sometimes, but I don't take it out on the poor person on the other end who is only doing what they are supposed to do. It just seems that there is so much red tape and sometimes when you call somewhere with a problem, you need to explain your situation to 5 different people and finally someone tells you that called the wrong department. Its hard on both sides, but I for one appreciate your work and if I call I promise to be nice!