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Calling All Comets: Part Duh

More Tales from the Call Center
(If you missed the first part, just click here.)

Today I will talk to you about the calls I receive from clueless people with high paying jobs. As you should already know, I work in a call center for a very well-known company. Thank God my job has not been outsourced… Yet, at least. I get to speak to many people every day. All sorts of people: old, young, men, women, French, Australian, Vietnamese, well educated, and not so educated.

If you’ll remember, I talk people through using my company’s website, and I also process credit card and check by phone payments. I speak mostly to accountants, accounts payable clerks, and even the owners of companies. I understand that people have different skill sets when it comes to navigating websites or even just using computers in general, but how can a person not even try to help themselves at all? Maybe I’m trying to apply my thought process to others. When I find something I don’t understand, I try to get myself through it with common sense, and when that doesn’t work, I will look up a tutorial. The last resort for me, is asking someone else for help. Okay, I shouldn’t assume that others would be like that as well.

Unfortunately, I do hope that others do the same as I, and that’s my downfall, and the reason I get so frustrated with my customers. Take this for example, and I’ve told this story a few times, so you may have heard or read it. I was resetting a customer’s password one day, and advised her to type the one she picked out, and she actually asked me if she should capitalize the numbers. She asked me at least three times! Finally I said, “Ma’am, if you can find a way to capitalize the numbers, then you go right ahead.” Oh, another one that stands out in my mind is a woman that called me because she accidentally set her copy machine’s menu to French. She wanted to know how to turn the machine off now that it was set to a different language. I said, “Um, you can press the power button the same as you did when it was set to English.” She thought that was very helpful. Wow!

Another password reset issue that my peers and I have had with customers lately is that we are evidently making the password too easy. We’ll reset it, and say, “Your password is now (our company name) all lower case letters.” They ask us if that is it. I know our company name only consists of small amount of letters, but it still meets the requirements that are listed on the sign-in page. The guy who sits next to me had to convince his customer for about two minutes that seriously, that was all she had to type. Finally, after listening to him over and over, I said, “Tell her the password is, ‘short bus’.” Then I followed it up by whispering in the Password game show-style, “The password is… ‘window-licker’.” My co-worker didn’t miss a beat; when the caller hung up he said, “Let me know how those windows taste.” Bwah ha ha ha!

Now think about the first time you register for a new website you want to access. You know better than to fill out the user name and password blank right? That’s right… Because you have to set up an account first. I get calls about this every week! Customers will say that the password they chose isn’t working. I then ask them if they registered, and they’ll say no because they didn’t know where to do that. I then tell them to look to the right of the two blanks they just filled out and locate the box that says…get this… “REGISTER”! They say ohhhhhhh! Again, wow! These people are probably getting paid more than I am!

Then there are customers who have way too much crap on their computers, because they click everything, download everything, and don’t know any better. They’ll have a Yahoo toolbar, a Google toolbar, and a variety of other needless stuff when they open their browser. They will complain about how slow our website is, when truly it’s because they have more cookies on their computer than even Rosie O’Donnell could eat in a week. I’ll tell them to go to mycompany.com and they will type that into one of the search bars rather than the address bar. You would think this would be okay, but the first site that Google pulls for my employer is our United Kingdom site, and of course that is what the customer clicks and it will not work for them because… You guessed it… They are not in the UK, they are in the United States!

The calls that really concern me are the payment calls. When I have the accounts payable manager on the phone, and she doesn’t know how to recalculate the tax when she only wants to pay a portion of an invoice, I want to ask, “Really?” Or I’ll have to sit and explain to a customer how a credit was applied to one of his invoices when there is a paragraph at the bottom of the invoice that states how it has been applied. I even have customers go through the trouble of calling in and waiting on hold to pay a zero dollar invoice!

Oh, I didn’t mention that a lot of these customers work for the government or are in the military. Now I know for a fact that military personnel do not get paid a lot, so I’m not upset with them in that regard. My concern in that case is if you can’t do simple math or maneuver through a website, how are you going to survive combat? I fear for their lives and the lives of those around them.

I know I’m far from perfect, and I’m sure I have plenty of my own duh moments, but it is still discouraging to hear so many of my customers having their own duh moments so often. I guess the best way to look at it is this: it’s job security. So I would like to thank all of the window-lickers out there! Your breath may smell like Windex, but you’re putting food on my table.

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