We have all been on the customer side of a call center interaction. Twice now I have been on the operator side. In 1988 I took orders for Home Shopping Network (HSN) for about six weeks. HSN was fairly new as was the technology. Back then shoppers could only purchase an item while it was being sold on their TV screen. Once the host moved on to a new product, the last one was no longer available for sale on our computers. Imagine what it was like to covet an item, call in, wait on hold, finally get through to an operator then learn the item was not available. That is no longer the case. They figured out how to capture those lost sales.
My most recent role as an operator lasted only two weeks. After one week of training; I took calls from Kentucky citizens applying for healthcare insurance over the phone. I enjoyed helping people find a plan they can afford. Callers may have been on hold for hours, or called several times before, or tried to apply on line. The least I could do was make the process as pain free as possible. I managed to score an acceptable number on my quality screening and kudos from veteran operators. My strategy was to talk to the caller as if we were friends, explain what I was doing during the process and have fun along the way, all while following the script.
I never intended to stay past the ten week assignment but unforeseen circumstances made it necessary to hand in my resignation early. More about that in another post, but it is all good.
The next time you have to call into a customer service center, keep in mind the person taking your call is just trying to do their job, has a script to follow and may be scored on how they handled your conversation.
“One ringy dingy…”