A colleague recently shared a link with me for a webcomic named ‘pictures for sad children.’ Their eye must have been caught by a particularly funny sequence featuring a call-centre which deals with multiple clients and bears just the slightest resemblance to our own piece of the call centre universe.
The sequence in question features a ghost named Paul training Gary who is a new member of staff. I particularly love the part where having listened to a call in which for want of a better description Paul fobs the customer off Gary then appears slightly disillusioned with all that he has just witnessed. The dialogue which follows is thus:
Gary: So. People talk to us to feel better.
Gary: Though we don’t change anything
Paul: It’s like prayer. Except you can hear us
Gary: I think when I call a company this is exactly what I suspect is going on.
I love that scene because it is so right. As an operator I often find myself promising customers that their concerns over some aspect of a product or the way a company does things will be passed on, but I know from experience that anything I do pass on will get filed in the waste-paper basket.
Most recently a customer called with a complaint about a product. I managed to deal with this quickly and easily by organising a replacement, but the customer also asked If I could pass on the details of her complaint to the managing director of the company. “Just knock on his door and let him know” the customer suggested “you may even get a bonus for bringing this issue to his attention” they then added. I hadn’t the heart to tell them that the MD who I have never, nor am ever likely to meet, or in any case even speak to, is in a location over 100 miles away. Even if I could overcome this and knock on his door I am however fairly confident he is unlikely to be interested and that I would be immediately escorted from the premises.
Still. I had a nice doodle in front of me by the end of the call.