Shakespeare was right saying:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,…”
That’s the second job where I felt that I am acting in a movie. Why? Because when we are chatting between the calls with my co workers and me myself we speak our normal voices but as soon as we hear the beep in our headsets the voice and intonation changed to a very sweet and very confident. That made me laugh so many times.
It took me several months to write this post: one reason I wanted to avoid to sound like I am whinning or complaining, the other reason: we tried to bring Union to our site so I had to keep my mouth shut for some time.
I really hope you, my friends, won’t take this post as complain about the job. Please consider this post more “open eyes” and “moment of true” about the job you can get without big competition. It also helps to feel your capabilities and ability for stress resistance, as well as to get interesting experience working with people and at some point ability to manipulate of customers reactions (in a good way). Also, I like to hear various life stories so that I don’t need to watch soap operas here everything is so real from real people just listen…
We are all at some point customers but sometime have false impression about call centres. Some customers think that agents sit in a small room and know each other…
One funny question that I heard from customers: “Do you know A*** agent? Please, ask her/him why he told me that”
Ha! No, I don’t know that agent he/she could be employee of the other outsoursing company or other site. Even on our site there are about 200 agents working different shifts. It’s over 100 employees on the production floors the same time (production floor is a huge room, so huge that I was able to make about 3000 steps just to get to the washroom which is on the other side of the floor after just couple rounds :))), and no we don’t have phone extensions as we don’t have personal cubicles, every day we may sit in a different one, we also don’t have ID numbers that we should provide to our customers, we have names ))) (it’s not nazis consentration camp, lol)
No wonder Homo sapiens was able to move from the stone caves to brick buildings, having that amazing ability to adopt to any environment. I was able to get use to this job and laugh and have fun.
According to my observation, CSA agents can evolve not only professionally but also their attitude can evolve; either from “darkness of unknown” to positive “I can do and develop my skills” or from “don’t care” to negative attitude like “I hate this job”.
100% of agents want to quit and look for another job which happens a lot. In spite of that fact, company hires like crazy because of the 90% turn over and also they need to meet certain requirements to keep the contract, there is always a lack of agents on the production floor. So no doubts that this kind of turn over effects the quality of customer service. About 70% of trainee leave after the first three months. And that is why agents hear: “Your services are sh**t! The company is big BS” How service can be excellent if agents leave every 2-3 months, it’s not enough time to get to the point of proficiency!
I can secretly tell you some agents don’t listen all that nice “s***flow”, they put on “mute” and finish their chips, pizza or poutine or their lunch, or just make funny faces. Then, when on the other side customer is done to vent, agent says sacramental phrase: “I am sorry to hear that…. Or I understand your feelings…” What else to say of course you are sorry for another agent or technician who didn’t do the job properly )))
Not fun: Honestly, I find it humiliating, when someone abuses agent and the agent is not allowed to hang up the phone by policy. Would they do that if they could see you and look into your eyes? Would they do that if they saw you are pregnant or in a wheel chair? Would you as a civil person in real life listen all that abusive or jargon words? I doubt… Most likely you would just ask politely to shut up, turn around and go… But as an agent you can’t that’s the company policy. Nice!
Also, It’s Not fun to get stuck with unreliable an immature Team Leader who smokes weed at work place, jumps like an ape on the floor and cannot be trusted when promised something. Good thing when you are switched to a great reliable TL, who cares about the team, life gets better. )
I should admit that only few employees consider call centre agent job as a career job but a lot of my co-workers has their reason to keep this job. Just because they need it at this moment.
Not fun thing when you get to know great people and they quit…
I also should mention its definetly family unfriendly job. Shifts are either late or early, most weekends agents work, try to ask for accommodation Ha-Ha-Ha! I tried to get accommodation for my pregnancy, just to move shift half hour later, and get time for OB appointments, noway I could get it.
You can be stuck with one shift for more than one month so you see your kids when they are asleep or 45 min before school.
The other funny thing, some customers believe agent is a magician and can make 2-3 vip services for less then $ 100 and give refunds up to $1000 just as easy as to pee on two fingers :)) which is not true. The real true is the agents are limited to give refunds it reflects on the score card, also if they refund too often thay can be banned to do so for some period of time. The transfers to another department, length of the call also effects in the score card.
Agent cannot be late to log in to the system more than four minuts. Actually, you cannot be late at all or leave early it’s all reflected in their time cards and score cards. After certain amount of so called “Tardy” agent is asked to sign the Special form, when there are to many of them just get fired.
At call centre you can realize what a consumer society we live in. I always want to laugh out loud (hysterically) when I hear on the other of the line: “make me a great deal I’ll stay with your company but I don’t want to change anything on my account…. “Hey bud, I have only one promo available with upgraded services for higher price of cause, and I myself need to go and bow to LAs to get better deal for you.” So, that’s the “moment of true” I am not a magician…)))
And sometimes I get impression that we live a in society of adults who keep staying toddlers: why? Because some call and ask for ” a toy” for free right now, they think they deserve it for their great behaviour…and they make that fuss that toddler can do when thay are spoiled by parents.
Funny when “mature” guy calls with a question but keeps watching adult channel… He doesn’t care that the call is recorded, lol.
It is a false impression that if the call was recorded agent can go somewhere and listen to it. The records are mostly used for “quality and training perposes”. Manager or Team managers do have access to the calls only if the call was a success or there was a complain… Another reason the call cannot be retrieved is because they are recorded by the location, and if there are 10-19 locations… Noway the call can be retrieved to listen if it has been done at the other site.
Of all this above I want to ask you not to get scared of any job. There’s no perfect job what ever you do gives you pay check, experience, confidence, new friends and raise you over your head when you realize you can handle it.
Smile and move on with the high raised head!!