talesfromcallcenters: I want to speak to someone who can't help me!
Me: “Thank you for calling Customer Support for Retailer, how may I help you?”
Customer: “A few years ago I was at your place, there was a woman in charge. I want to speak with her.”
Which woman? In what department? Which division? Which building? In my department of 100 people, there 6 women “in charge”. There are countless other women in charge elsewhere in the company. Whatever.
M: “I can certainly see what I can do, may I have your name so that I can better assist you?”
C: “You don’t need that, just get me the woman in charge.”
M: “Okay, do you have a name for the person you are looking to speak with?”
C: groans “How do you not know the person in charge of your place?”
Lady, I’m the lowest person on a five tier totem pole, I’m only required to know the name’s of people two tiers above me and only by luck do I know one person in the tier above that.
M: “I apologize ma'am, but there has been some reshuffling in management positions over the past few years and I have not yet worked here long enough to become familiar enough with all the associates in management positions. If you tell me what the issue is, I can certainly determine which of the managers would be best able to assist you.”
C: murmur useless shit.
M: “My apologies ma'am, I think you faded out for a moment, could you please repeat that so that I can assist you?”
C: “Why should I have repeat the same story a dozen times, I want speak to with the woman in charge.”
M: “One moment while I get someone.”
C: “Don’t get me some-” I put her on hold, and called my direct supervisor. While it is doubtful that she would be able to do anything, I did not have the number of anyone higher since that is not something I supposed to know to do my job.
DS: “What’s up?”
M: “I have a Customer that wants to speak with the female in charge of the place.”
M: “The customer wants to speak with the female in charge of the place”
DS: “I got that part, but what does that mean?”
M: “I don’t know, she says I don’t need to know her name nor why she’s calling, and she has given nothing useful to figure out what the best course of action is to help.”
DS: sighs “I’m not taking this call, I have things I need to do that are more important than a problem customer who won’t tell us anything.”
M: “I figured as much, do you have the email of the department head, I’ll just tell the customer that the department head’s on vacation and send an email with the customer’s information to have the department head contact her later.”
DS: “Funny story, Matt is actually on vacation. He’ll be back next week.”
Proceeds to give me Matt’s email address. I go back to the customer.
M: “Thank you for patiently holding, I apologize for the wait. Unfortunately the department head, Matt, is currently on vacation and will not be back until next week. I can send an email to Matt asking him to call you back to assist with this issue when they get back if you would like.”
C: “No, I would not like that. Your technical department screws up my computer, causing me to lose 10 years of files relating to my corporations business deals, and you want me to wait another week. No, that’s not acceptable. I have 5 major business deals that I have been working on for the past 7 years that I am supposed wrapping up tomorrow, that I need to refer to information from 4 years ago for 3 of them that I don’t know and I don’t have the paperwork to get these all deals accomplished. If the department head is not in, then get me their boss.”
Okay, there are a number of things wrong with what she just told me.
One: Why doesn’t her company, or god forbid, she have backups of this important paperwork.
Two: If these deals are so important, why don’t you have backups.
Three: For god’s sake, Backups!!!
My personal introspection about backups aside, the problem she’s having won’t be resolved by the department head’s superior, and that’s because Matt’s superior would be the division head, and all he does in crunch numbers to make sure that the departments below him hit their number targets. He knows literally nothing about fixing computers. If the customer speaks to him, she’ll get nothing but platitudes about how sorry he is and maybe offer to refund what she paid when she brought her computer to us for repair. That’s best case scenario, worst case is he’ll forward her the paperwork she signed that stated that she understood that she could lose some or all data during our work on her computer and thus we could not be held responsible for data loss if she refused to get her data backed up before having us work on it. The person above him? Another number cruncher who handles the regional numbers, and above that is the vice president before finally getting to the company president. None of whom were hired for their computer technical know-how.
The people best able to assist her would be someone on our department’s customer relations team; they’re the people above the supervisors’ of direct supervisors, but below the department head. More importantly, they have a lot of technical know-how between the team members.
M: “I apologize ma'am, but unfortunately Matt’s superior would not be able to assist with this issue as he does no have technical know-how on computers. If you need to speak to someone higher up who can assist you with this issue who has authority, you will want to speak with the Department customer relations team.”
C: “Absolutely not, I spoke with them earlier and they were terrible. They refused to help me and they act like they are always right and the customer is wrong. I don’t want to speak with them. Get me Matt’s superior.”
Well considering you and your company apparently lack the foresight and capability to create regular backups of your important documents, I can see why they would think you’re always wrong.
M: “I can understand your desire to speak with Matt’s superior, since typically going the next level up in authority will usually get better results; but unfortunately Matt’s superior would not be able assist with this issue because he does not have the know-how. He’s a number cruncher to make sure we hit certain goals.”
C: “You’re telling me that Matt’s superior would not be able to help me?”
M: “That is correct.”
C: “Bullshit. Get me Matt’s superior.”
M: “Ma'am, I as I informed you before - ”
C: “Get me Matt’s superior. Get me Matt’s superior. Get me Matt’s superior.”
She goes on like a broken record like this, refusing to let me get a word in edgewise; as if she says it enough Matt’s superior will just appear on the line like some number-crunching Beetlejuice. It’s at this point in time that I get an IM from the supervisor of my supervisor.
SDS: ‘Hey, I’ve been listening to your conversation. Transfer her over Emily in the department customer relations team. Don’t tell the customer that’
I briefly mute the customer’s side of the conversation so that I finally have blissful silence.
M: “Ma'am, unfortunately I don’t have a way to transfer you to Matt’s superior, but I can absolutely transfer you over to Emily; she’s the person in charge when Matt is not around.”
I unmute the customer.
C: “And this Emily can help me?”
M: “She would be the best person to assist you when Matt is not around.”
C: “Alright, and what is your name?”
C: “And your last name.”
M: “Unfortunately, for security reasons we are not allowed to give out last names. My employee number is 1234”
C: Grunts “And this is the same for Emily.”
M: “That is correct.”
C: “Fine. Transfer me over, but if Emily’s not able to help me, I will see you fired.”
I then transfer over to Emily’s line. I know it might seem silly, but I really want to know what was done to resolve this customers problem.