The Lost 2000


I have it on good authority that we lost 2000 calls this week. Lost being the call-centre term for when a caller hangs up in frustration at not being able to get through.

Companies absolutely hate it when this happens as it means in many cases especially on our more order focused, as opposed to customer service, lines lots of lost revenue rather than just the less tangible loss of goodwill. During our inductions we were also told it means lost revenue for us the HR manager repeatedly stressing the need to be ready to take calls at our appointed start time. It may be only one or two calls they said, but it was all lost money.

Curious then that I heard our manager responding to a question about call volumes earlier in the week, no doubt inspired by a customers complaint that they had been hanging on for 20 minutes. No volumes were usual, our manager reported, its just we have less operators because of the cuts to our hours.

All week I have watched the scrolling display we have notch up previously unheard of numbers of calls being lost 60, 80, 1oo+. The statistics so unusual as to seem otherworldly; like looking at the football results and seeing Man Utd 15 Chelsea 27. As I watched these figures I wondered what our clients would be thinking. Sure we’d been told our hours needed to be cut to stem a cash-flow crisis, but the companies who employ us aren’t likely to be understanding of this. Many of them have paid huge-sums for full page ads in the mainstream press and will no doubt be furious that our mis-management has cost them money.

It seems everyone is unhappy. We are unhappy as we have lost money, many of us struggling to pay the bills anyway face being plunged into our own cash-flow crisis. Our customers are unhappy at waiting so long to get through “I think you need more staff” some say when they finally get connected.. if only they knew. Finally our client firms will be unhappy at their lost revenue….

But do the clients know about this? Some believe they don’t, in fact if they did know we would be in hot water, but what about the statistics, how are these being explained away and whatsmore how will they be explained away over three months? How will this also affect our long-term relationships with clients, if they think we’re not up to the job? I mean money speaks loudest of all in business and if they have an inkling we’re losing it for them by understaffing.. we’ll surely it’s not a good idea to upset the people who pay our bills???

p.s if anyone noticed I got the figure earlier wrong it is actually a staggering 2000 calls lost this week, not just the 1000 I thought earlier!

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