‘Hello Call Guy speaking, how can I help?’ No sooner had the phrase, repeated for possibly the 1000th time today, left the safety of my voicebox than it met with a shredding rebuke.
“That’s no way to greet a customer”
“I don’t like your attitude, you just sound so uninterested… I’m a customer, I don’t want to speak to someone who doesn’t care”
“well, sorry If I sounded that way to you, now how can I help”
“Look, I’m just trying to give you some advice… if I was your manager you’d be looking for another job”
“Well thank you for pointing that out thats a very nice way to begin a conversation, ok…. how can I help you”
Maybe they had a small point, of course the customer service handbook says I should answer every call with a cheery greeting, but then I’m not a robot I’m a human being. Not just that but, I’m a human being stuck in the work equivalent of a battery farm where any uneccesary movement of my limbs is frowned upon; Well excuse me for not being cheery half-way through another tough day!
I wondered what the customer thought my environment was like, something like the Willy Wonka factory perhaps, all bright colours, chocolate streams and oompa loompas cavorting. How dare you not be happy! The reality, for chocolate factories and call centres, is that work is a mentally and physically draining grind and the colour palatte only ever extends to grey.
Should the customer even care though? After all when I’m in Primark enthusing about how cheap my new pair of work trousers is am I concerned about the plight of the garment workers and their exploitative, even deadly, working conditions.
Maybe its time we should all start caring.