8 Sep 2004

I've Told You Once

Part Two in my master class in how to deal with Call Centres

If you are getting nowhere with the numpty who answered the call, you are probably tempted to ask for “someone in charge”. It’s the same impulse that encourages people to support hanging, there’s a sense of retribution if you are bending the ear of someone who you think matters.

The trouble is, the numpty who answered the call is not trained sufficiently to deal with your query, but they have mastery of deflecting complaints that are about to go higher. Like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, the killer instinct suddenly kicks in and there is no way that you are going to speak to their boss.

Stick to your guns. When they say, “Well, I am a customer/account manager, I can deal with your query,” don’t give in; they are stretching their job title to its limit.

Keep going. Ask for a manager.

“Well, they are only going to say the same thing, he is in a meeting at the moment, can you call back later.”

Keep going. Ask for a manager.

Tip: Under no circumstances should you say at this point: “Don’t worry duck. I haven’t got any complaint about you, I want to speak to someone in charge to let them know how angry I am.” It’s a sign of weakness. Another numpty will be briefed ready to take your call. “Hello, I am the most senior member of staff available at the moment …”

This almost certainly means, “I am the most senior person available within the nearest 5 foot radius of where I am sitting.”

Keep going …