Call Centre Interviews

This page has been set up to feature interviews with everyone who is working, or who has ever worked in a call centre. The aim of this is to hear different perspectives from inside the call centre, compare experiences and find common themes.

If you wish to join in the questionnaire can be found at surveymonkey

Interview 1:

Name/ Nomme de plume:

Call Guy

Time wearing the headset & Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years. Inbound customer services for multiple clients – mainly mail order. Including household names.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Being able to switch off knowing that ultimately the job you’re doing doesn’t matter – except to make someone somewhere richer than they already are.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

My manager Peggy.

Most callers are..

Nice, reasonable, patient people. It’s just the 1% of them who can mess up your day.

Worst call:

I took a call from a lady who’s mother-in-law was waiting for a vacuum cleaner she had ordered. It had been delayed as someone had made an error putting in the postcode so I initially had trouble finding the order on the system. I managed to identify the problem and to get it resolved within about 10 minutes, but had the person being so nasty to me – really spitting venom that it left me shaking afterwards. It was a long time ago, but the thought of it still makes me shudder. It left me wondering what kind of person feels that having a vacuum cleaner delayed by a few days is justification for making another human being feel that way.

Funniest call centre moment:

The time a lady called to complain. Someone had sent her a set of bathbombs through the flower ordering company we took calls for. She had mistaken them for chocolates and had swallowed part of one. First call she should have made was NHS direct.

Call centres – good or bad?

Both

Why?

I’ve had great service from call-centres and have (though some may disagree) also in turn given good service, but I have also seen countless examples of bad service, bad attitudes, customers being messed around and lied to.

It’s not the call centre per-se that is bad, but rather I feel there are two call centres. The call centre of dreams and the call centre of nightmares.

The call centre of dreams is what the call centre was originally meant to be in its idealized form – a place focused on quality customer service a place where agents have the right training, support, motivation and the ability to make a difference. The call centre of nightmares is focused more on its revenues – a place where the primary concern is not customer service, but  simply getting through as many calls as possible. In this call centre agents are poorly trained, poorly motivated and suffer with empathy burn-out.

In reality, there are examples of both types.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, but things will be different. there will be less routine transactions and more dealing with complex issues and handling customers in a volatile emotional state. I think customers expectations will also be higher – the faster paced life gets the more people want things yesterday.

Interview 2:

Name/ Nomme de plume

JL

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

in total ~3 years

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

every day is the same.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

less mechanical

Most callers are..

just looking acheive a goal

Worst call:

woman needed to upgrade IE to log in to system, wiped all of her emails and setting by ticking an upgrade box. Nice old woman, and i wasn’t allowed to help her sort it out.

Funniest call centre moment:

Playing “word sneak” on last day. Everyone had to sneak a word past an unsuspecting Inland Revenue customer, guy next to me drew the word “rimjob” and did it.

Call centres – good or bad?

necessary… but flawed.

Why?

The urge to restrict staff to a script makes it harder for them to do the job, and convince customers that they are in fact listening.

Does the call centre have a future?

probably.

Interview 3:

Name/ Nomme de plume

Muddy_bum

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 hour shifts tech support

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Office Christmas party

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Expected average fix time (20 seconds) hardly enough time to turn it off and on again.

Most callers are..

Angry for having to wait in a queue. Grateful for a first time Fix.

Worst call:

Nothing springs to mind.

Funniest call centre moment:

Setting other workers boot up sound to something very loud. (oh the fun we had..)

Call centres – good or bad?

Good if there is enough people to answer the calls quickly and the staff are experienced enough to offer a first time fix rather than a format and ring back reply.

Why?

Companies always skimp on support costs.

Does the call centre have a future?

Internet support in the form of FAQ is becoming more and more common but companies don’t put up the answers if there is a known issue with a product because it is an admission the the product is faulty. Many companies are using overseas call centres where the staff can only fix problems that are on a set flow diagram. There are a few 3rd party service support call centres popping up on a subscription or payg.

Interview 4:

Name/ Nomme de plume

Peileppe

Time wearing the headset &Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 years inbound postsale (4) and presales (4) Tech support

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

You know you’ll do anything after that, not to work in a call-centre ever again

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Remove every phones and tell the people to sit down and think hard about their life and make them realize they really should find their dream job.

Most callers are..

Pretty nice as long as they don’t call

Worst call:

A blind transfer of a woman that just had all her mails deleted by a previous agent and there was nothing to do after that to recover them … it was just plain wrong, both of us were sorry and the agent that made the mistake and transferred the call .. he must have had a bad conscience about it. I don’t blame him, everybody make mistake, but he or she couldn’t take the responsibility and that was a tough call for me to break the bad news to the customer.

Funniest call centre moment:

When a water conduct running through the ceiling on top of my PC leaked and pour water over my desk

Call centres – good or bad?

Call-Centres are Bad and the management especially is pure evil.

Why?

Call-Centre sucks the life out of you. Call-Centre are the grinder that turn a nice fellow into a burnout zombie in matter of months

Does the call centre have a future?

No, If people would just wake up and stop working in these establishments

Interview 5

Name/ Nomme de plume

Len

Time wearing the headset &Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

1 day plus 1 year of sales admin

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Nobody pretending that the job is great just the creep up the career ladder. Everyone knows its bad which creates cameraderie

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Wages. My word is it right to be paid minimum wage to be abused?

Most callers are..

Not wanting to call, but have to.

Worst call:

Generally irate people in a difficult accent

Funniest call centre moment:

?

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad, exploitation of miseducated youth.

Why?

As above

Does the call centre have a future?

Not if the economy is to also have a future. Skilled jobs and production needed.

Interview 6

Name/ Nomme de plume

K

Time wearing the headset &Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

9 years, 8 hrs a day, 5days a week Inbound bank call centre in Australia

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Logging off at the end of the shift!

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Less sales

Most callers are..

On my hit list!

Worst call:

Far too many to count!

Funniest call centre moment:

I assisted a small-time Aussie “celebrity” apply for credit, and she was declined. Her reaction of ‘Dont you know who I am?’ was pretty priceless!

Call centres – good or bad?

Shit!

Why?

Duh!

Does the call centre have a future?

Unfortunately yes, because people as a whole are too stupid to survive without them.

Interview 7

Name/ Nomme de plume

friendly pariah

Time wearing the headset &Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years, outsourced inbound tech support doing level 1 and 2 support (that means I actually fix things) for a company

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people you work with, if you can get any downtime there is great craic

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

More agents/fewer calls, 9 agents taking 5,500 to 6,000 calls a month means absolutely no downtime and all through the month, we are getting screamed at to finish whatever problem they have and take another call (call times have to be less than 10 minutes, which is enough time to do opening script, find out what the problem is and try to fix it)

Most callers are..

Imbecilic morons, I don’t expect them to know much about computers but calling us and saying “it’s not working” does not help. What is “it”?, is “it” the cat’s mother?. Define “not working” if I drive a car to a garage and scream at the mechanic “it’s not working” first question is how is it “not working”, you drove it here. If there is an error message, read it to us. Tell us what you are trying to do and what it should do and what is it actually doing.

Worst call:

I was 2 months in. From the moment I answered the call, I had the feeling it would go bad. The voice on the other end was full of contempt, she wanted a printer moved so she didn’t have to walk into the print station (next room) to pick up her printouts. Needless to say that was not going to happen, companies are not going to spend money moving printers for one person. I tried to explain this as nicely as possible but as far as she was concerned the company would jump through hoops for her. She wanted to speak with a manger, I explained the problem, manger said tell her no, he wasn’t going to deal with it. Tried again to break this as nicely as possible and she goes ballistic. She gets her manager on the phone and he screams at us to log the ticket and get it done. I jumped through hoops in the call center to send it to the 3rd level (actual employees who don’t do much) and they send it back saying that won’t happen. I had to telephone her back with the news and it degenerated into the usual questions Q: Who did you send it to? A: The 3rd level team (generic name for anyone in head office who can make decisions) Q: Who are they? A: The team in head office Q: What are their names? A: I don’t have that information (A lie but we cannot give out their names) Q: Can i call them? A: I don’t have a contact number for them (again a lie, again we cannot give out that information as they don’t want to deal with the end user) Q: How do you communicate with them? A: I assign the ticket to the team Q: What team does it go to? (she thinks she has found a way to scream at them) A: (team name) Q: Who are they? A: the 3rd level team in head office and so on ad museum She eventually complained through her manager about us and I got a nice talking to even though i followed the instructions I had been given

Funniest call centre moment:

At the time it was hellish but we joke about it now saying at least it’s not (that guy) The company started supporting Macs, someone went out and got the most powerful macbook pro they could with a thunderbolt display and every random accessory They then proceeded to call up ten times the first day with how to use questions – we received no training on it (training costs) so we were unsure the second day was 20 calls, getting us to try and change settings so that it behaved more like a pc (it isn’t a pc, it won’t be a pc and no matter how much you scream it will never be) We still get a call a week from him with how to use problems and despite repeated suggestions he has not taken a how to use course

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad,

Why?

time passing in 9 hour shifts 9 hours of biting your tongue as the person on the other end hurls abuse at you because of things you cannot fix because they higher ups cannot be bothered 9 hours of the same problems day in, day out 9 hours of my life traded for a pittance

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, unfortunately It’s too easy for a company to outsource and forget about the people taking calls. Why should they care, they paid some other company to care and that company only cares about the bottom line. I know that companies have to care about the bottom line but does it have to be set so low?

Interview 8

Name/ Nomme de plume

Anonymous

Time wearing the headset &Type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 Years, Outbound.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The People you work with, Nicest people I’ve ever met.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Managers caring about their floor workers, It’s easy to say “GET YOUR CALLS” But, when thye don’t go they don’t go

Most callers are..

60/40 60 Rude, 40 Nice.

Worst call:

Someone threatning Suicide on the phone with me.

Funniest call centre moment:

Falling out of my chair from how slow the calls went through, TWICE in one day.

Call centres – good or bad?

Terrible, Absolutely Terrible.

Why?

They suck the soul out of the worker

Does the call centre have a future?

I hope not.

Interview 9

Name/ Nomme de plume

Tech Queer

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

3 months Inbound calls, 2 months as a customer service rep. for a very very big food company and currently doing tech support for another very very big aeronautical company since one month.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

What I like the most is the rotating shifts and my peculiar schedule (I’m part of a 24×7 team, so I have day and night shifts and some week-ends also)

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Just one thing? Hmmm, I would say the communication between the (upper and lower) management and the people actually taking calls. Stop treating us like irresponsible kids.

Most callers are..

actually not so bad. Very patient people! But of course, the ones that affect us the most form the small percentage of customers that are very mean and stressful.

Worst call:

One of my first calls was with a lady who had purchased a coffee machine and there was a void fill cardboard packaging inside the big package. She was convinced that this little cardboard box was supposed to contain a free coffee mug but I knew from the start that she was only referring to the void filling packaging because I had seen it millions of time on the test machines we had at work. The thing is, she wouldn’t understand that there was and had never been any free mugs given out with the coffee machines and she thought she was entitled to it and that I was just trying to rip her off because she purchased the machine using a voucher. I finally managed to get rid of her when she said she “thought” she had seen a piece of paper in the box talking about this said free mug (but of course she was not able to find this paper anymore since the call had started – how convenient!) so I just told her to take her time to look for the paper and call us back because we absolutely needed some “reference” that was written on it in order to know what mug to send her… Of course, she never called back.

Funniest call centre moment:

Happened today. I was on the phone with a woman and I was helping her setting up a new device she just had gotten. It was basically “push that button”, “enter your PIN number” when she very sincerely asked me, “but you, personnally, do you think that I might already have done those steps before?” I just bursted out laughing (thank you, mute button), I mean, what was she thinking? that I had been stalking her for the last 5 years, writing down every little thing she had done in her life? Yeaaaah, just let me have a look at my archives to see if I have anything about that new device you just got in the mail yesterday. 😀

Call centres – good or bad?

So, so wrong…

Why?

Everybody is being lied to all the time. The first thing I learnt doing customer service, even before learning how to solve any issue, was “how to lie to customers and sound convincing”. The people calling me have no idea of the horrible conditions we work in, they sometimes are very mad because they had to wait xx minutes to reach us but they don’t realize that we have nothing to do with it, the reason it takes so much time to reach someone is because we are understaffed and the reason why we are understaffed is because of the pressure, surrealist expectations of the management. Also, getting paid that low isn’t very motivating. So when the customers call us, they complain about the bad quality of the customer service, which they find oh so surprising for such a faaaaamous and well-known company, like if it was the customer service representatives (us, taking the calls) that were making it so bad when it’s in fact the upper-management of the call center (whom you’ll NEVER have on the phone anyway) who cannot arrange acceptable working conditions. The client (the company contracting the call centre) also obviously play a big role since they’re the ones who decide on the objectives but to estimate whether those objectives are humanely feasible and negotiate them is the job of the call center mgmt! From every side – CLIENT, MANAGERS, CUSTOMERS, the responsibility of the quality of the service falls upon the front line operators who are constantly blamed for their lack of professionalism… but we are no supermen/women, in the end, you can’t just get a quart into a pint pot! No wonder why the turn-around rates are so high. We’re people, not machines. E.G.: my job is to reset passwords for one specific application (a very simple task) but after weeks of begging, asking, sending e-mails…, my bosses still haven’t given me the proper access rights to do so. So when the customer calls to get his password reset, I cannot do it and I have to lie to them, saying the app is down for the moment, please call back… or anything, just to make up for my managers’ lack of accountability. Then that customer will of course complain to our big client (the company contracting the call center) that it’s always such a hassle to get some very basic service blahblahblah and the client will then OF COURSE complain to the call center management… whom will then come to us, simpering, and tell us that it’s not very professional from us to make the customers wait so long to get the service. Wait… what?!?!

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, but not a bright one, I’m afraid.

Interview 10

Name/ Nomme de plume

AS

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

7 hours, outbound, directory related

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

they turn on the heating for you

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

less monitoring for g*ds sake and more breaks, or offer of part time shift instead

Most callers are..

dont know most of them but people i sit by are alright

Worst call:

when people scream at you from the start or laugh at you

Funniest call centre moment:

just a few really funny calls

Call centres – good or bad?

absolute s*ite h*ll hole, wouldnt be if management treated staff better

Why?

because we aren’t slaves, we are humans and it is effing physically impossible to speak comfortably 7 hours a day monday to friday for g*ds sake

Does the call centre have a future?

sure it does,always people who need work, like myself just wish it were more tolerable also wish supervisors were more accountable for mistreatment or bullying

Interview 11

Name/ Nomme de plume

mari mari

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

1 year

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

talking with different people

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

the manager mentality of doing whatever someone higher up tells them they must do

Most callers are..

pleasant and patient

Worst call:

person who screamed at me because I could not hear his mumbling

Funniest call centre moment:

most of them

Call centres – good or bad?

good people and co workers in general bad – managers who have no experience

Why?

you get to experience life views from people who will never meet you formally, yet they are very truthful

Does the call centre have a future?

probably not since we are getting further apart from each other everyday

Interview 12

Name/ Nomme de plume

Amy

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Years in inbound for a utility company.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The mute button!

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The software that we use.

Most callers are..

Pretty cool actually.

Worst call:

When they have crappy reception on their cell phones. I can handle a swearing, jerkface guy any day…but if I can’t make out the words that a person is saying, it drives me crazy!

Funniest call centre moment:

We had a customer call in to report low voltage in her neighborhood. Said she had just gotten home and the lights were dim in her house… she also checked outside and said her neighbor’s lights and the streetlights were also all dim. When our troubleshooters got there they found everything to be fine. The woman had forgotten to take off her sunglasses. Seriously?!

Call centres – good or bad?

Eh… good

Why?

Why not?

Does the call centre have a future?

Absolutely!

Interview 13

Name/ Nomme de plume

Insignificant

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2.5 years, energy company inbound general/billing

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people you work with, that excludes those above floorwalker/coach level most of the time.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Mainly, but not exclusively, the management.

Most callers are..

Generally ok, usually elderly people or people who will tell you what they want and let you do it

Worst call:

There isn’t one there’s 3 that really stick out. 1.Woman outraged that she was snowed in in Scotland and we out of down right cruelty would not send out an engineer to her property to connect a phone line. I think the engineer was meant to have super powers to get to her. Also bearing in mind I was in the same area. Had to wait 45 mins for a bus that morning. With a half hour trek in calf deep snow. There was no need for her arrogance. 2. Man gave me no info no name no address no nothing but wanted me to ‘sort it’ explained I couldn’t fix anything without knowing the problem or his account details, as not willing to give name or address asked for account number. He replied, in absolute rage and disgust ‘how dare you discriminate against me I will have you hunted down and arrested how dare you ask me to read when I am blind’. Followed by abuse I will not repeat. 3. Was just last week. Shop didn’t put the top up on the key apologised as we could not make it go on without him going back to the shop. The most vile swearing and screaming and physical threats towards me directly. Was genuinely shocked! 3 most awful people I have has the delight of being nice to

Funniest call centre moment:

A quite heavy advisor, dropped pen and leaned down to pick it up, the chair landed on top of the advisor. Hysterical. A shame and it’s not nice to laugh at, but it was funny

Call centres – good or bad?

Rotten

Why?

Management have unreal expectations, yes sales are important which we all understand obviously we do! But that is no reason to enforce a mental beating day after day after day. You can’t do right for doing wrong as hard as you try it is never enough. And seriously a bar of chocolate is not much of an incentive to break you back selling!!

Does the call centre have a future?

Always. Customers will never wipe their own behinds for even the most trivial of things, and there will always be people who need a job to put food on the table. Needs must.

Interview 14

Name/ Nomme de plume

miss m.e freedom

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

inbound energy company

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

there isnt a best thing

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

to turn it into an ordinary office with NO phones

Most callers are..

patronising

Worst call:

customer repeating same thing over and over and loader and louder for what seemed like forever.

Funniest call centre moment:

seeing a manger who doesnt know how to work the systems take a call

Call centres – good or bad?

bad very very bad

Why?

bad for your physical health, your mental health, bad for customers as although you are there to resolve their problems, service the call you are pushed to make sales or risk losing your job. no matter how helpful and diligent a worker you may be all this will pale into nothing if you dont make the sales.

Does the call centre have a future?

i hope not

Interview  15

Name/ Nomme de plume

Name

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

About 6 months, inbound customer service

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Feeling intelligent, satisfaction of helping someone

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The long hours, short breaks, and time between calls

Most callers are..

Angry and don’t understand what they want

Worst call:

A guy calling in about a policy and disputing the charges saying that he “has a PHD in business” and I told him the policy is clearly stated in on the terms and conditions that we would have then had to sign. As he waited for a supervisor, I was friendly and told him the wait times for one. He proceeded to say I was a low life and I had a lowlife job. I muted him and let out small frustrations, then I came back and said “I do apologize that you feel that way” in the nicest tone. I realized that I’m the one working while he’s at home complaining about his bills

Funniest call centre moment:

When creepy men phone in for stuff but in reality just want to hit on you because your voice sounds good

Call centres – good or bad?

Good sometimes bad others. All depends

Why?

The good times are when you have nice conversations with people and help them out. The bad is when you have people freaking out and who expect you to work magic on their account

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, technology changes all the time. Therefore more people adopt it and need help because they don’t understand it

Interview  16

Name/ Nomme de plume

Claire

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

5 years, 4 different call centres. I’ve done it all, inbound, outbound, bit of both and everything in between.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

….. That’s a trick question, isn’t it?

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Inconsistencies in the workplace, with the policies and the nonsense that takes place at a higher level.

Most callers are..

A means to an end. The stupid people of the world keep me employed.

Worst call:

When I had a gentleman threaten my life over the phone, and then two weeks later I was woken up at 2am with that same gentleman standing on my door step to threaten me.

Funniest call centre moment:

Friend of mine was speaking with a woman of Oriental persuasion, and she was pronouncing “Cake”, as “Kah-Kay”. When he told us about it afterwards, I put my own customer on mute and yelled out, questioning, “As in BU?”, thus giving us, “Bukkake”…. I have never lived that down. We still laugh about it when someone calls in about cakes and treats…

Call centres – good or bad?

Great for the local economy when they actually source locally. Otherwise, just shite.

Why?

Because it’s a horrid environment most of the time.

Does the call centre have a future?

Unfortunately, yes.

Interview  17

Name/ Nomme de plume

GS

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

5 years assorted and now distant experience, inbound and outbound, insurance telesales and customer service.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Finishing time

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The entire fabric of it, it was supposed to be a palm fringed atoll in the South Pacific.

Most callers are..

Ordinary people who either want to be left alone while they’re eating/watching the match/feeding the kids or want somebody to their job and advise them how to deal with a problem.

Worst call:

Asking to speak to someone recently deceased and intruding on another’s grief.

Funniest call centre moment:

Waiting for the customer’s details to appear on screen thanks to a technological lag and at the point I’ve just begun to say; ‘Hello, Miiisstttteeeerrrrrr…..’, his full name appears. It was, I jest not, Mr Adam Full-Frontal Gay and he lived in a place called Lickey End in the West Midlands.

Call centres – good or bad?

Alright, better than driving a lorry 15 hours a day…

Why?

See above…steady hours, pretty girls, married women, photocopiers…

Does the call centre have a future?

Not with me it doesn’t, still, plenty more fish in the water dispenser.

Interview  18

Name/ Nomme de plume

Lauren

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Inbound, Retail/Customer Services, 4 years

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The others working on your team. You’re “in it together” through the lows and occasional highs.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Management to treat you like humans?

Most callers are..

Hormonal, screaming and shouting. Spending far too much on rubbish they don’t need and buying it at the last minute.

Worst call:

Several where people were so arrogant and abusive that reduced me to tears.

Funniest call centre moment:

None, really!! 😦

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad – unless management is better.

Why?

Poor management. Uncaring about their staff. Being treated like just a number.

Does the call centre have a future?

I certainly hope not, but it seems they’re still needed.

Interview  19

Name/ Nomme de plume

Melanie

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

1 year, sales for garden buildings and garden furniture

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The absolute variety of people within the office and (possibly just my department) the laid back attitude

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

free coffee! We would all be a lot more productive if we were all supplied with hot drinks and/or biscuits

Most callers are..

Incredibly stupid. Most of my ‘product knowledge’ comes from reading word-for-word off the website. The same website the person on the other end of the phone is also looking at

Worst call:

Being told I have an ‘attitude problem’ for not apologising to a customer for an error made by them.

Funniest call centre moment:

Answering the phone unusually loud that they were through to ‘sex, how can I help?’

Call centres – good or bad?

Overall.. good

Why?

They serve a purpose. They create jobs for a huge amount of people and allow flexible shifts so are idea for students etc.

Does the call centre have a future?

I would say so. With more and more people buying and doing day to day tasks like paying bills online, we will always need call centres as the backup for questions, queries and to do the job of the website when it inevitably breaks

Interview  20

Name/ Nomme de plume

Debt Collector Gal

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 1 year. Difference is I do the phoning.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

I get to work with my friends. We have quite a nice atmosphere in the office

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

I would actually have our calls recorded (it’s note cos we are a really tiny company)

Most callers are..

Obnoxious and surprised that we phone them to ask for money that they owe our clients

Worst call:

Some lady phones me to tell me I must stop reminding her to pay and get a life. Really? I must get a life and she cannot be bothered to pay her bills. Swell chick. Oh and pretty much any other call where I get called ‘lady’ “Listen Lady, I don’t have time for this now.” “I will pay when I can, okay lady?”

Funniest call centre moment:

One person threatened to take me to their conveyancer – for those of you that do not know, a conveyancer as an attorney that deals with property deeds transfers. So not exactly sure what her conveyancer was supposed to do to me?

Call centres – good or bad?

so so

Why?

Well It is annoying to get shouted at, but necessary

Does the call centre have a future?

Sure

Interview  21

Name/ Nomme de plume

Luisa

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

10 hours a day, 3 days a week on an inbound and outbound financial services call centre.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Nothing!!

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

It would be in a faraway land without me working in it!!

Most callers are..

Rude and obnoxious

Worst call:

Being told to eff off for trying to help someone.

Funniest call centre moment:

Having an elderly Welsh gentleman call in and tell me he was playing with his “pride and joy”

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad

Why?

No one is satisfied by the interaction. Targets and pressures make it too hard to do the job properly.

Does the call centre have a future?

I hope not (but it needs to until I can afford to leave)

Interview  22

Name/ Nomme de plume

Lizzy

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

No boss breathing down my neck

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

hours, dealing with customers

Most callers are..

jerks

Worst call:

too may to name

Funniest call centre moment:

drunk callers

Call centres – good or bad?

BAD

Why?

Soul-sucking work that will even effect your physical health

Does the call centre have a future?

God I hope not

Interview  23

Name/ Nomme de plume

Elizabeth

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years(insurance)

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

2 years(insurance)

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

I wish we had some back ground music

Most callers are..

Nice in general

Worst call:

Had to deal with a woman who’s husband had just died the day before and they were a young couple very sad call 😦

Funniest call centre moment:

Funny names make me laugh 🙂

Call centres – good or bad?

They can be both at times.

Why?

More downtime needed for the staff to switch off so that when they come back to their calls they are refreshed and motivated which would mean a better service for the customer.

Does the call centre have a future?

If they motivate and trust their staff more.

Interview  24

Name/ Nomme de plume

Disastra

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

6 hrs per day 5 days per week. Inbound enquiries

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Colleagues, camaraderie, team dynamic

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Targets

Most callers are..

Scarily idiotic

Worst call:

Today or since starting? Probably the chap who threatened very quietly to come around with a shotgun because I couldn’t speed up his application.

Funniest call centre moment:

Maybe not the funniest but the one I can think of right now: Caller: I’ve had a letter from you Agent: Yes what does it say? Caller reads letter exactly as printed (It’s a generic letter we have copies of Agent: You’ll need to reply in writing as they need a signature. Caller: But I can’t read or write.

Call centres – good or bad?

Good

Why?

Jobs. Not an automatic line that doesn’t quite answer your query.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes

Interview  25

Name/ Nomme de plume

Joanne

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 hours inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

free airline tickets

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

shift timings

Most callers are..

pleasant

Worst call:

an abusive and irate passenger who missed his flight and wasn’t able to get an immediate connection

Funniest call centre moment:

when the rep from amex wanted to take a pee break and requested to place the call on hold

Call centres – good or bad?

bad

Why?

inhumane and monotonous

Does the call centre have a future?

for the ones who believe in it yes and also this is a generation where the world never sleeps. the demands are increasing and there are many undergrads ready to earn quick money

Interview  26

Name/ Nomme de plume

Lee

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

7 hours

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Nothing.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Close it down

Most callers are..

Arrogant.

Worst call:

Those dealing with nasty customers who want more than you can or are trained to do.

Funniest call centre moment:

None

Call centres – good or bad?

BAD!

Why?

They take away any humanity you have and want you to be a robotic drone.

Does the call centre have a future?

Sadly yes.

Interview  27

Name/ Nomme de plume

iccleblog

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

35 hours a week for 3.5 years in this job insurance 4.5 years in last job technical support both inbound.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

talking to people, although my bosses think I should spend less time talking to each customer.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

removal of talk time stats and more of a focus on quality

Most callers are..

either full of stressed out people or lazy people who don’t care

Worst call:

too many to choose from.

Funniest call centre moment:

a customer called and said he could make calls from the phone he was calling from

Call centres – good or bad?

good concept – mostly mis-managed

Why?

There is always a focus on quantity not quality

Does the call centre have a future?

yes – hopefully a more helpful one

Interview  28

Name/ Nomme de plume

Downtrodden

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

inbound – nearly 9 years of daily torment

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

it pays more than Job Seekers Allowance

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

to destroy the Server

Most callers are..

Ok

Worst call:

Too many to mention

Funniest call centre moment:

watching Manager’s keep a straight face as they oversee another day of misery & try to justify the constant pressure & stresses they inflict on staff

Call centres – good or bad?

Worse than bad – closer to horrendous

Why?

Dreadful life sapping centres of utter despair

Does the call centre have a future?

Probably – the idea of squeezing the life blood out of people & controlling their every second is quite attractive for government & Managers alike

Interview  29

Name/ Nomme de plume

Colouringbook

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8hrs, inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

colleagues

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Poor it systems

Most callers are..

Pleasant

Worst call:

Being agressively sworn by cust as they couldnt provide security info I needed to help them.

Funniest call centre moment:

Call centres – good or bad?

not good for customers

Why?

targets and stats in call centres are for mgt benefit not customer.

Does the call centre have a future?

Not in current format.

Interview  30

Name/ Nomme de plume

Aaric

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

5.5 years working in Customer Retention Department taking calls for the largest telecommunications provider in the universe

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The disadvantages of working in call center may have a slight upper hand in winning this question

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Me getting a different position for starters

Most callers are..

looking to get the best value for the money

Worst call:

Varies on daily basis

Funniest call centre moment:

Customers who call in from their work phone and put me on hold indefinitely

Call centres – good or bad?

Necessary Evil

Why?

Certain demographic of people (elderly, retired) prefer to call to speak to human being, but companies are trying to push customer toward different self service channel methods to cut staffing cost

Does the call centre have a future?

Not in US, offshore call centers is the future

Interview  31

Name/ Nomme de plume

Lorie

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Inbound wireless

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Benefits

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

To not be surveyed

Most callers are..

Rude

Worst call:

Some ubfixable

Funniest call centre moment:

X

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad

Why?

Costly

Does the call centre have a future?

No

Interview  32

Name/ Nomme de plume

sony

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

7.5 hours daily Inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

No big changes happen

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

that it’s a call centre and it’s a good place to gain weight no matter how hard you try not to

Most callers are..

annoying as shit

Worst call:

that talk over you, or say ‘HELLO,? ARE YOU THERE” while you’re actually talking to them

Funniest call centre moment:

customers that are wrong and then you show them they’re wrong and make them feel stupid about it

Call centres – good or bad?

bad

Why?

because customers treat us like numbers just as they believe we treat them. They call and treat us like shit because they think the person who they called is the one who personally fucked up their life

Does the call centre have a future?

yes. as long as there are idiots, there will be people answering their calls

Interview  33

Name/ Nomme de plume

L.

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

about 6.5 hours a day, insurance

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

benefits

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

more time off the phone

Most callers are..

happy

Worst call:

yelling, cussing, screaming, or a fatality call

Funniest call centre moment:

unkn

Call centres – good or bad?

in between

Why?

Does the call centre have a future?

eh

Interview  34

Name/ Nomme de plume

Anonymous Millie

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Four years

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

People you work with and the friends you make

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Pay and conditions

Most callers are..

Depends on the query- if we can save them money they are nice- if we want money cos they have not paid their bill, not so nice

Worst call:

There have been many 1 death threat cos I would,nt upgrade services without increasing service charge 2 being told I was mean and had no soul cos I would,nt put services on for her grandchildren- pay your bill love and your grand kids can watch the telly to their heart,s content!( or they could always go outside to play!!)

Funniest call centre moment:

Saying ‘ yes sir ‘ throughout a call then being told by the caller she was a woman- oops!

Call centres – good or bad?

Soul destroying

Why?

Robotic- same thing over and over- and being pulled up by management for even daring to think outside the box to try and help a customer

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes unfortunately for the foreseeable future- definitely the new factories of today

Interview  35

Name/ Nomme de plume

Carlos

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people you meet

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Hours

Most callers are..

Decent

Worst call:

Hard to sell

Funniest call centre moment:

Computer screen got hit with ball.. Knocked it over

Call centres – good or bad?

Good

Why?

Working conditions

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes

Interview  36

Name/ Nomme de plume

JG

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

9pm to 6am Inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

that I am able to improve my speaking skills and my versatility to talk to different people.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

the people i’m dealing with. sometimes it is not just the work it is also to the environment like to your co-employees.

Most callers are..

americans, onset of the call they’re already irate.

Worst call:

those who cant understand your point and the company policies and also to those who want to talk to americans but you can actually talk to them in the same way.

Funniest call centre moment:

those people who were joking at you and understands your nature of work and of course to those filipino who speak tagalog and they’re not aware that you are actually understanding them haha

Call centres – good or bad?

generally not. but i admire those people who stay in this work for a long period of time.

Why?

because for 8to10 hours of taking calls, you have to forget that you have a heart i mean you have to be brave enough to answer those questions.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, I believe but you have to be dependent always to other companies, but that’s the nature of this job.

Interview  37

Name/ Nomme de plume

RL

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years wearing the headset, incoming insurance calls

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Everyone else hates it so I have people to complain with

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The people calling in, the number of calls, the management

Most callers are..

Financial advisors who have absolutely no idea what they sold their client and just wanted the commissions, who are generally assholes and know all the answers (even though they are calling you for the answers), and who are too lazy to use the internet to get the answer they need

Worst call:

I had a financial advisor who had gotten several confirmation letters about a rebalancing program on his clients accounts, since every single one of his clients had a rebalancing program that occurred on the same day, so he got a confirmation letter for each one. He was apparently too dumb to read because he didn’t understand them, and instead of allowing me to explain them, decided he would rather verbally abuse me, he swore at me and called me every name in the book (including some deragatory words based on my religion). He made me cry, a lot.

Funniest call centre moment:

I can’t recall any funny moments as my soul has already been destroyed by this place and any possibly happy or good memories have been wiped away

Call centres – good or bad?

To work in, they are bad, which in turn makes call center reps not as friendly and helpful as they should be, so bad for the people calling in too.

Why?

Guess I kinda explained myself in question 8.

Does the call centre have a future?

You would think with technology advancements that they wouldn’t, but in my experience people are way too lazy to go on a website and get something themselves, they would much rather call in and complain about hold times and make someone else wait on them hand and foot instead of doing something for themselves.

Interview  38

Name/ Nomme de plume

Karen

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

6 hours, inbound calls at a bank.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Free tea and coffee

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The blame culture, nobody is held responsible and if something goes wrong I am the only person the customer can talk to. Nobody is trained, we have people working here three months and then training new people, so whether or not we help the customer depends on who they talk to.

Most callers are..

As you’d expect. Reasonable people pushed to the extreme. Some do just phone you up wanting blood, but most are tolerant.

Worst call:

Today, this woman was phoned up by someone in the bank to tell her she has an account she doesn’t use (I work for Natwest by the way), my colleague gave her my number, but I can’t get her through ID because she didn’t even know she had an account. So she refused to hang up, and then started telling me she bets I try to kill myself because I work in a call centre. She’s not far wrong.

Funniest call centre moment:

Some kids called a few times to report a pigeon in a branch, telling us it’s pooped on the desks.

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad. Very bad.

Why?

Because we are usually untrained, I didn’t know anything about banking until I was put on the phones! It would be better to have teams who process the info to also take the call, so customers can talk to someone who knows what they are doing.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yep, it’s cheap.

Interview  39

Name/ Nomme de plume

Dr Bob Winston

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

7 hours

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

1 step up from the Dole

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

less chiefs and more indians. Less targets and threats to employment on a daily basis.

Most callers are..

Often fine. Its the small minority who are not

Worst call:

68 yr old Doctor. Took 35 mins to exlain a simple maths calculation on his bill.35 mins later Yippee the penny dropped !!!

Funniest call centre moment:

Drunk calling, thought he was calling his mate to come and get him as he was stuck in the Pub Toilet. Thought I was messing him about.

Call centres – good or bad?

Average to BAD.

Why?

Targets set my Suits who could not hope to acheive them if they were frontline. They would last 5 mins!!

Does the call centre have a future?

Its a neccesity till “IT” gets the automated process right, then it will be smaller scale with far less jobs.

Interview  40

Name/ Nomme de plume

Jay

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

4 years, inbound: ISP support

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Being able to help customers who really want the help, and hitting the DND button

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Management, its all politics and kiss ups

Most callers are..

Idiots

Worst call:

This customer didn’t want to talk to me because they was able to determine my ethnicity and requested another agent the moment they heard my voice.

Funniest call centre moment:

Can’t think of one right off 😀

Call centres – good or bad?

Both, it wouldn’t be my first job environment pick

Why?

Too much stress and monotony

Does the call centre have a future?

Sure it does, down down down errrrr into the ground!

Interview  41

Name/ Nomme de plume

pmartel

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 hours

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people I work with EXCLUDING managers

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

GET RID of nitpicking stats oriented managers who are often inhuman

Most callers are..

Reasonable, but you get incredibly STUPID people who SHOULD NOT have the product

Worst call:

Too many to mention

Funniest call centre moment:

Had a co-worker in stitches when he was on his knees working on his computer, I said ‘they finally got you on your knees huh, three of them keeled over laughing

Call centres – good or bad?

BAD, BAD, BAD

Why?

Too concerned about numbers and LOOSE the human element

Does the call centre have a future?

In it’s current state NO!!

Interview  42

Name/ Nomme de plume

Turgid

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years almost and Inbound calls

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people I work with who are all bar a few intelligent and interesting people who’ve ended up here not out of choice but necessity.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Pretty much everything. The insane amount of monitoring including adherence to the schedule, toilet breaks call monitoring. People in management sit around chatting even when we’re really understaffed and very busy.

Most callers are..

Angry but some are nice and pleasant and good to chat to.

Worst call:

Can’t really say due to DPA but the company had misplaced a woman’s incredibly important document and everyone before me had fobbed her off to pass to the next advisor. I told her the truth and all hell broke loose.

Funniest call centre moment:

Someone who didn’t realise i’d taken them off hold who sang me the entire main verse of relight my fire. Or when most people had gone and I was wheeled around in a post bin very fast.

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad, necessary but bad.

Why?

Needs to be less structured and more like one person talking to another rather than robotic and scripted.

Does the call centre have a future?

Unfortunately yes, there seem to be more and more of them popping up. Where I live other than driving a HGV it’s pretty much the only source of employment.

Interview  43

Name/ Nomme de plume

Ronald

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8 hours: outbound calls for auto insurance prospecting.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Going home, weekends and getting paid.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The ability to work at home and not at night.

Most callers are..

frustrated

Worst call:

Getting called a n—er on the phone by a guy who I was trying to save money on his insutrance…I could only shake my head and hang up.

Funniest call centre moment:

My group fantasizing about what it would be like to have an amnesty day where we could, with impunity, speak to the rude customers any way we wished.

Call centres – good or bad?

Necessary

Why?

They are convienent for the customers who need information abou tproducts and services

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes…unless the consumer, like in so many other areas, accepts the industry telling them that they must speak to robocalls and push this number for this and that number for the other…

Interview  44

Name/ Nomme de plume

MC

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

One year inbound telecoms customer service, 6 months working in car insurance customer support

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Availability! Being paid to do sweet FAIf I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be.

first, that we have no Internet access. second – most of our senior management team.

Most callers are..

Obnoxious morons who think they know your job better than you do. Most calls are either customers looking for someone to blame for their own stupidity, or trying to win an argument about prices/discounts.

Worst call:

Funniest call centre moment:

A woman arguing with me until she was blue in the face that nobody in the house had been watching expensive (naughty) pay per views because she had been on holiday for the past 2 weeks. Her tone suddenly changed when I asked if she had teenage boys in the house. All I heard was ‘GAVIIIIN’ then the line went dead. I hope that guy’s ok!

Call centres – good or bad?

They’re awful. And the worst of all are outsourcing companies – modern day slave labour.

Why?

. I feel great knowing I have a bachelor’s degree in history working minimum wage knowing some asshole who dropped out of school at the first opportunity is doing exactly the same job, and getting close to double the money along with a cushty little benefits package which we don’t see for smoke.

Does the call centre have a future?

Of course. Have YOU ever read your insurance documents? 😉

Interview  45

Name/ Nomme de plume

KH

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

I’ve been in call centres for 6 yrs; inbound call centres mainly Technical support and/or billing

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

NOTHING

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Nothing to be changed; it’s hell and always will be

Most callers are..

Stupid, Snob. and have nothing to do better in their lives than to make your life a living hell (few are good and understanding, but you may get those once or twice a day)

Worst call:

when people blame you for their own stupidity, and start to take things so personally as if YOU do not want to give them something or you are responsible for whatever happened

Funniest call centre moment:

I can’t recall “funny moments”

Call centres – good or bad?

definitely BAD

Why?

because it ruins you

Does the call centre have a future?

well… if you could survive then you might have a slight chance for a better future, however, in general I’d say NO

Interview  46

Name/ Nomme de plume

Gary

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

3 minutes

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

I’m always learning something

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

the stress and fake appreciation

Most callers are..

fair

Worst call:

Funniest call centre moment:

can’t remember

Call centres – good or bad?

bad

Why?

management

Does the call centre have a future?

they alway have fresh young collage students that need work and only last about 8 months so they can keep up with the work coming in but for those of us who have been there for years if they kept the same people they would have burned us out and be forced to close down but most of us keep at it like donkeys cause we need the job. I’ve seen people fall out of there chair ill because of the stress.

 

Interview  47

Name/ Nomme de plume

Jp

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

1200 Hours/ inbound sales

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Co-workers

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Management

Most callers are..

Alright/manageable

Worst call:

Bleh

Funniest call centre moment:

When I was talking about my kitten mittens to a co worker. I alsweres the phone with my verification script inadvertently introducing myself as mittens.

Call centres – good or bad?

Neutral

Why?

Because this is clearly the correct answer.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes.

Interview  48

Name/ Nomme de plume

Barbara

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

15 years plus. Inbound technical support (I say technical, that would mean more pay so we are just customer support people).

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The peers you work with.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Retarded management being the inconsiderate bastards they are.

Most callers are..

Human beings.

Worst call:

Any involving a customer who forgets I am a human being too

Funniest call centre moment:

Management telling you to focus on call quality and not call time, then when call time increases, telling you to decrease it or else

Call centres – good or bad?

Good, if ran correctly.

Why?

Happier staff equals happier customers.

Does the call centre have a future?

Unfortunately, yes.

Interview  49

Name/ Nomme de plume

Darren

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Currently just 5 hours daily. Inbound. new enrollment health insurance calls

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Pretty much just the pay

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The scripts

Most callers are..

Rude. Obnoxious. Frustrated.

Worst call:

When costumers are frustrated with the animated system and take it out on us

Funniest call centre moment:

Nope can’t think of one.

Call centres – good or bad?

Good

Why?

Allows me to have a good paying job, but rude costumers definitely put a damper on a good day.

Does the call centre have a future?

I guess as long as they keep a eye on what the costumers needs are and make sure to change the script accordingly they would allow for a nice work environment and less stress for employees and less frustrations for costumes who feels their needs are not being met.

Interview  50

Name/ Nomme de plume

Loz

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

3 and a half years, insurance, mostly inbound (some outbounding to existing customers).

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people I work with are a laugh, and for all the day-to-day stresses, call centre work is largely something I can leave in the office at the end of the day and not have to worry about.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

I can’t narrow it down to just one! More staff, better communication between bosses and advisers and company and customers, a more coherent self-image for the company, more recognition for doing things right (rather than just pressure when things go wrong).

Most callers are..

Deluded. “What gives you the right to cancel my policy just because I stopped paying for it?”

Worst call:

The customer who said he was going to kill himself and it was all my fault.

Funniest call centre moment:

A colleague standing up, tidying his desk and just generally faffing around with his belongings during a call, then leaning over to peer into a drawer, and his headset falling off. He picked it up, put it back on, and said to the customer: “Sorry, I didn’t hear that – my headset fell off!”

Call centres – good or bad?

Indifferent.

Why?

As an employee, I often feel like my soul is being whittled away. I can feel my brain atrophying. But the call centre provides me with employment in a difficult economy, daily routine and has introduced me to some lovely people. For customers calling call centres, the experience can be frustrating and infuriating, but happening across the right kind of adviser can make everything a lot easier.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes. Call centres are necessary. You can push your business online or face-to-face but if you’re a large company that deals with the public, however much you shrink your call centre, you won’t get rid of it completely.

Interview  51

Name/ Nomme de plume

maria

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8pm inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

high paying job

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

dogs eat dogs style

Most callers are..

in need of help

Worst call:

prejudice, racist callers

Funniest call centre moment:

spoken to vernacular unintentionally

Call centres – good or bad?

good of course

Why?

because i have the chance to speak different people, customers outside my country

Does the call centre have a future?

big future especially to the third world country

Interview  52

Name/ Nomme de plume

james

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years, 9 months

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Friends + going home in the evening. Oh, and the pay.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

to not work on the phones at all.

Most callers are..

idiots

Worst call:

Too many to even narrow it to 1

Funniest call centre moment:

tony payroll

Call centres – good or bad?

good, if you don’t work in one. And unless you like phone work, they are bad.

Why?

Just are

Does the call centre have a future?

Without me, yes

Interview  53

Name/ Nomme de plume

Yunus

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Dynamic enviroment

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The calls

Most callers are..

Irate

Worst call:

Billing

Funniest call centre moment:

When a client confides in you about there personal lives

Call centres – good or bad?

Good

Why?

Communication

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes,it is here to stay

Interview  54

Name/ Nomme de plume

M

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

4 years: Outsorce (Mexican working for American companies) Inbound. -Comcast -Hallmark -American Express

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Being able to solve puzzles with complicated cases.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Expectations.

Most callers are..

Nice.

Worst call:

Uhm, there’s quite a list, I guess worst calls are when you can either do nothing for a nice customers. Or when you are actually willing to go the extra mile to help a lazy customer who will not cooperate and keeps insulting you on top of that. I once had a customer who was so mad because her cable would take 3 days to be reconnected after she ‘forgot’ to pay 3 months in a row, that she started yelling at me, then threw the phone to the floor (and apparently started to jump on it) and kept screaming until she passed out.

Funniest call centre moment:

Senior lady who was trying to get an x-rated movie to ‘learn something new for her 50th wedding anniversary’… I instructed her on how to set it up, but she kept failing at it and would call back and hang up until she got me again (this happened like 5 times), then I finally made the movie available for her directly from the system and it turned out she had the TV on, on the EXACT channel with the volume crazy high… I could hear her trying to make sense out of what she was watching, then freaking out, then laughing then talking to her self, then the moaning (from the tv of course) went crazy and she started yelling over the phone asking me to turn it off hahaha the whole thing lasted about a minute, it was like 7 years ago but it still cracks a smile in my face when I remember. She giggled, thanked me and wished me a nice day…

Call centres – good or bad?

Let’s just say I do not pick up the phone unless I’ve been paid to do so.

Why?

I HATE talking on the phone. We are the front line for companies who sometimes are not willing to be flexible with customers and customers who want us to dye the moon pink because it would look prettier…. expectations can be way to high some times on both ends.

Does the call centre have a future?

I’ve heard they want to start having videocalls available in some call centers, I believe that would make things easier since customers would realize there IS a human being on the other side of the line. 😉

Interview  55

Name/ Nomme de plume

CS

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

9 months outbound market research. (2 months mostly residential & 6 business to business)

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

When I get to hang-up on the really really abusive respondents instead of the other way around

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

More breaks and better emotional support system

Most callers are..

Nice but too busy to figure out a good time to reach them and avoid further annoyance OR really really stupid but nice

Worst call:

Doing a qualifier survey about shipping, takes about 5 minutes and they do the rest online and get an honorarium for completion. Spoke with one fellow who seemed busy so I offered to callback at a more convenient time and let him know to tell me if he had to go at any point when he agreed to start anyways. So as I’m asking the questions he’s giving me extra info that we ask about later in the survey. So I take note of that and clarify at those questions and he just starts berating me about wasting his time and being stupid, etc. Normally I’d hang up but I need the complete and the survey’s almost over.. and he hangs up. I felt so seethingly mad and upset I took like 15 minutes to calm down. To top it off I had to take that time from break time and I felt stressed all the rest of the day.

Funniest call centre moment:

The current survey we’re doing. We ask contacts lense fitters about the types they fit. Almost all of the questions are answered in percent…. do I REALLY need to explain that percent means you are dealing with out of 100?? Apparently so. And they get mad at me when I can’t help them with the math and they’re completely off. (1 patient is somehow about to use 10% of brand A, 50% of brand B, 70% of brand C and 2% of brand E and 5% of brand F right?? lol)

Call centres – good or bad?

…….. bad? maybe good

Why?

they have the potential to be good but let’s face it, they’re all pretty crummy to work at

Does the call centre have a future?

unfortunately yes

Interview  56

Name/ Nomme de plume

Call Centre Girl

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

3 years

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Great colleagues with good sense of humour (needed in that environment!)

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

greater respect for staff/agents and what they have to put with for low wages.

Most callers are..

okay – simply trying to save money. Just a small minority of very aggressive/abusive customers.

Worst call:

Too numerous to mention – worst calls mainly where caller is shouting/abusive/arrogant.

Funniest call centre moment:

A lady wanted to know if she broke down whilst transporting sheep in a trailer, if we would recover the livestock if she put them into her car! Had visions of about 10 fluffy white sheep stuffed into a Nissan Micra…….

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad

Why?

From a business perspective they are a good way to save money/labour costs but from a human perspective – terrible, unless major changes are made to increase wages to reflect stress of the job (dealing with sometimes volatile customers), very short breaks, limited/monitored/ no toilet breaks (unless taken in personal time), pressure to deal with certain number of calls irregardless of what the call is about and some may require longer time to resolve, if you’ve had a difficult call there is no time to recouperate of catch your breath, you’re straight into the next call. Finally, calls are constantm ,in busy periods you have approx 3 seconds before the next call drops into your headset…..

Does the call centre have a future?

Unfortunately yes due to people needing work and businesses seeing this a cheap way to function. Studies already starting to show harmful effects of call centre working but may take a while for Unions/Gvt to catch up to protect workers.

Interview  57

Name/ Nomme de plume

na Manager

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

too long 4 years longest shift 11 hours

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The Bullying culture

Most callers are..

wanting a job done that you are not aloud to help with

Worst call:

lots of them

Funniest call centre moment:

loads

Call centres – good or bad?

good and bad

Why?

Managers want the impossible sometimes you just cant achieve the impossible demands. You are not aloud to treat people with respect they are tools and unfortunately you dont count only the figures do

Does the call centre have a future?

yes sadley

Interview  58

Name/ Nomme de plume

Ferret Friendly

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

8.5 hours a day outbound and inbound tv,bb amd talk

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The people I work with

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

System of management that reduces humans to machines Sliding shifts and shift changes with little acknowledgement to employees private arrangements or appointments Stop extreme target setting that is impossible to achieve and very demotivating Yes I know you said one thing.

Most callers are..

OK but repeated call backs upset them and us

Worst call:

Customer screaming that they had enough of the call backs and had asked to be taken off the system

Funniest call centre moment:

We do not have funny moments

Call centres – good or bad?

bad very depressing and

Why?

The room that I am in has seating for 600 call advisers and it is very noisy making it very difficult to hear the cusotmers

Does the call centre have a future?

I think most things will be handled online in the future via chat. and online customer interactions or face time

Interview  59

Name/ Nomme de plume

Qp

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

10 1/2 hours

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The money

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The way it’s run

Most callers are..

Ok

Worst call:

Most

Funniest call centre moment:

None

Call centres – good or bad?

BAD

Why?

They just are

Does the call centre have a future?

No

Interview  60

Name/ Nomme de plume

Julia

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Inbound insurance advisor-almost 3yrs

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

The team, without a good one you would be driven to madness… I know I used to be on a bad one

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Communication. That moment after 5 on a Friday where it has to wait until Monday as anyone who knows what to do/has the balls or authority to do it has gone home.

Most callers are..

Actually quite nice, its just that its only the badly behaved ones who register…

Worst call:

The man who called me a C*nt, because I couldn’t reduce his renewal price and was that upset over 4p I ended up offering to take it out of my own purse and post it to him.

Funniest call centre moment:

Everyday there is something new…Like I said I am lucky to be sat with a great team!

Call centres – good or bad?

Necessary.

Why?

Because customers are disasters left to their own devices.

Does the call centre have a future?

It does, following unionization and improved working conditions which will naturally follow.

Interview  61

Name/ Nomme de plume

Sam

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

4 months, inbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Fun with colleagues

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Longer breaks

Most callers are..

Miserable or stuck up

Worst call:

Funniest call centre moment:

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad

Why?

Irrelevant due to internet

Does the call centre have a future?

Hopefully not

Interview  62

Name/ Nomme de plume

Jennifer

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Since 2005! I know–I cant believe it either!! Mostly inbound, some outbound. Mainly tv & telecommunications companies

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

I’ve made some awesome friends

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Clean it!!! Seeing fleas & other bugs is disgusting!!

Most callers are..

Ok, but the rude & ignorant ones are super annoying & hard to deal with.

Worst call:

Every now & then a guy will get personal & try to pick me up. He’ll ask if I’m married, etc. Or one guy invited me to email him personally plus visit him. This is incredibly offensive to me! Hello?? You dont even know the first thing about me!! And seriously–the calls are recorded! I’m not going to say anything personal or flirty to you. Why would I risk getting in trouble for you??

Funniest call centre moment:

An irate customer called in & my friend took the call. The customer refused to be calmed down & my friend wasnt really able to help. The customer went on a tirade and at one point actually said to my friend she’s going to contact President Obama & get her fired!!! We laughed about that comment for days!

Call centres – good or bad?

They do fill a need. I get customers saying all the time they prefer to speak to a person rather than a machine, or do stuff online. Mostly the way they’re managed is bad.

Why?

The management. At my center now, there are too many policies and we “have” to do things a certain way. This is very unfortunate, but a couple times I have even been accused of not doing my job properly, when that’s not the case at all. Management is too quick to react without thinking. Bullying & harassment goes on too, which should never be tolerated. Our customers are for the most part very nice & I’m barely ever yelled at by them. Its the management that’s the problem.

Does the call centre have a future?

I think so, for a while at least. Like I said, it does fill a need. Until they create robots that can do the job perfectly lol

Interview  63

Name/ Nomme de plume

Anna

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

15. Inbound. Outbound. Credit control.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Break time.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Being allowed to go the toilet when needed.

Most callers are..

Trying to get compensation.

Worst call:

Condescending people.

Funniest call centre moment:

Person calling to tell us they had just had a big poo.

Call centres – good or bad?

Both.

Why?

Good. For customer to speak about their issues.

Bad. Institutionalised workers.

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes.

Interview  64

Name/ Nomme de plume

“Hi this is Karyn, how can I help you?”

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Only two months!

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

“Thank you so much, I needed this package for my wedding tomorrow, you saved the day!”

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Nothing, all my sups are wonderful and the company genuinely cares about making sure we’re okay before we can take care of customers.

Most callers are..

Genuinely frustrated, and just trying to get the answer they want to hear.

Worst call:

We’re trained to be very open with our calls. Nothing is scripted but our openings, and if there is a problem going on we do not hide anything, but of course customers don’t believe that. So I had a customer who had a problem with his package, and once I told him the option he wanted wasn’t available, after every sentence I said he screamed “You’re wrong!!”/”I don’t believe you!!” no matter what I said. It was that bad, but it was the worst I’ve had so far (in my little baby amount of time.) Super frustrating when you try to get the customer on the same page and they completely refuse to do that.

Funniest call centre moment:

“Hi, this is Karyn, can I have your tracking number beginning with 1Z?” “Um…. I don’t see that on here…” “Okay, do you see where it says UPS on it?” “US…P…S… Yeah I see it. USPS.” “Ma’am that’s actually the post office.” “… -click-” Also had someone call us (UPS) shipping a package through USPS using a FedEx box…

Call centres – good or bad?

I’ve had mental breakdowns nonstop for the last two months since I got here, been on the verge of quitting more than a few times. But if you can find a niche and friends and support, it gets so much easier with time. I didn’t believe my coaches when they told me that two weeks ago, but I had a really good day today, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this. To answer the question– good, if you have the right personality.

Why?

We had a woman quit the first week of calls because she couldn’t handle it. There is definitely a mentality you need to work at call centers.

Does the call centre have a future?

Definitely! It seems as though outsourcing companies and call centers have been growing more and more lately.

Interview  65

Name/ Nomme de plume

Keith

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

12 years on and off, put on my shackles when the cash flow dries up. Currently (and mostly) inbound Tech Support.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

I go in, do my shift and leave. In that time I’m rarely bothered by anyone except for the good craic with my fellow call monkeys. Co-workers are the best bit, diverse and very funny.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The ever worshipped and irritating ‘stats and targets’.

Most callers are..

Demanding, expecting and emotionally involved with the product.

Worst call:

Not at all an amusing one I’m afraid, but the last call I took at a well known company’s General Enquiries line, and the reason that at the time I swore off call centres for good (I wish it were that simple!). A woman who had taken her child and left an abusive husband was currently staying at a dump of a place while she tried to sort things out but had found herself lumped with a previous tenant’s debt, from my limited understanding of the system it appeared that someone had made a ‘mistake’ (I hope) previously when the caller registered herself with the company, but I could not see how to fix this at all or get around the system well in the first place. I tried to transfer and was refused even though I explained I had no idea what I was doing, when I asked in the call centre I was told I’d been on the call too long. It lasted an hour, she did not hang up happy, and I walked out of the door vowing never to return.

Funniest call centre moment:

Far too many to think of at the moment, transferring a dour, confused and agitated Yorkshireman on to a chirpy and wonderfully positive American girl in account security is a recent favourite.

Call centres – good or bad?

Where I am at the moment is quite good and the atmosphere is fairly laid back, we don’t generally get the ‘nightmare customer’ and have good freedom to offer a lot to them when they are severely pissed off (at our own discretion as well which is a nice plus). However, it was reluctantly that I even came here. Most of my previous experiences have been negative, bad for my mental health, and too demanding. A large energy company was by far the worst, with poor training delivered by a 20 year old and even younger ‘floorwalkers’ who were annoyed that they actually had to answer questions from someone who was using the system for essentially the first time, and had to face calls from people who were rightfully fuming at the prices and behaviour of the company. To come back to your question though! I think they are a neutral force that can be shaped to be good or bad, unfortunately like most things these days, the bad is embraced as it doesn’t cut into profits as much.

Why?

There are a myriad of ways the call centre experience can be improved, and as a necessary service for a lot of people (for reasons right and wrong) I see no reason why these efforts can’t be made. All the following improve the job for everyone: Relaxed breaks, flexible target expectations, shift alignment and sanity, experienced and professional senior staff and trainers (including the usually odious Team Leaders and ‘Mentors’), More customer service powers and options for those taking calls, higher wages generally and a respect for the work done that rarely exists at the moment.

Does the call centre have a future?

Oh most certainly, but I don’t expect improvement across the board.

Interview  66

Name/ Nomme de plume

Jessie

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

3 years

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

It’s warm and dry in winter!

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Unreasonable expectations!

Most callers are..

Very friendly and just looking for a kind voice at the end of the phone!

Worst call:

Violent Scotsman who just wouldn’t stop threatening his wife in the background!

Funniest call centre moment:

The ridiculous lengths and money spent for a royal visit lasting a matter of minutes.

Call centres – good or bad?

Concept good, methods bad!

Why?

They try to turn us all into androids saying the same thing over and over, when we are in fact people serving people!

Does the call centre have a future?

Yes, but the whole system needs a rethink!

Interview  67

Name/ Nomme de plume

Jay

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Cold calling, life insurance ‘reviews’ (de-facto sales)

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Good wages compared to other low-skilled work with strong commission structures

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

The fact that focus is on lead generation statistics as opposed to actual sales, as well as

Most callers are..

Bastards

Worst call:

Accusation of being a scammer with formal complaint being made to uncaring management

Funniest call centre moment:

Manager trying to explain to a lead that cold-calling is blatantly not illegal in the UK although the lead seemed to refuse to accept that it’s a fully-fledged industry, probably keeping the UK afloat

Call centres – good or bad?

Bad

Why?

High pressure compared to other low-level sales work such as retail

Does the call centre have a future?

“Call centres are the factories of today”

Interview  68

Name/ Nomme de plume

Lee

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

7 Hours Outbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Nothing

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Release agents from such stringent targets

Most callers are..

Obnoxious and rude.

Worst call:

People who still don’t get Data Protection! Guaranteed to start a call off badly and set your mood.

Funniest call centre moment:

Lady naming her pet goat after me after resolving her complaint

Call centres – good or bad?

BAD

Why?

They are nothing more than 21st century workhouses. Little freedom to be yourself and having to take far too much crap and insults from people on the phone all the time having to smile on through and remain overly polite and pleasant.

Does the call centre have a future?

Sadly it probably does.

Interview  69

Name/ Nomme de plume

Eden

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

40Hrs p/Wk; inbound TV and Internet technical support.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Fellow agents – in the same department because other departments can’t understand our plight (of course).

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

Lighting, seating, sanitation… It’s a fairly large room with over 500 cubicles and a disambiguation of seating, which means coming in before my 6:30a shift to wipe down a desk and find a way to organize my things only to take them down 8 hours later and not know what tomorrow holds.

Most callers are..

Sincere idiots who don’t want to be held liable for breaking equipment they don’t own.

Worst call:

What I can only ignorantly describe as an older male with a thick Middle Eastern accent and a name I could not pronounce (or recall) if I tried, demanding that I go through over 60 TV codes for a remote. As you can imagine, that was a long call. But the real cherry on top was that he didn’t believe I was telling him the correct steps or the correct codes after all 60 had failed. Even though I had attempted to show him an alternative way after the first 3 failed, even after explaining we can’t guarantee his model is compatible, even after offering a replacement… All because I was female. After an hour and some change, he finally asked to speak to my manager. Who, at the time, was also a female. 🙂

Funniest call centre moment:

Now that I’m a veteran at this place, I mostly take difficult technical calls that come in as a transfer from another agent. My greeting is “Thank you holding. My name is Eden, Operator ID with Advance Internet Support. How may I assist you?” I must’ve been out of it and tongue this particular day and instead I greeted “Thank you for holding me” – immediate burst of laughter from both me and the agent who was warm transferring. I recovered by reissuing the correct statement and hoping I had made her day.

Call centres – good or bad?

Necessary evil.

Why?

Someone has to guide these poor helpless customers and it certainly isn’t going to be a robot automated system. These people barely understand how to punch numbers into a phone it seems.

Does the call centre have a future?

Like I said, until an automated system or robot can solve ever problem under the sun, the call center is needed. And although many offer a work from home program, I think there would be a shortage of agents for the job. (I for one would never get any work done if I stayed at home.)

Interview  70

Name/ Nomme de plume

PlaneTalk

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

2 years, inbound, airline reservations.

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

Talking with people from everywhere in the world delivering excellent customer service. Then making fun of their foreign names that sound dirty in English.

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

About the office itself? Better suited lighting for staring at a computer monitor all day. About the job? I WANT SALES INCENTIVES. But the union won’t allow them 😦

Most callers are..

not as smart as they think.

Worst call:

Some idiot took up 2 hours of my time, greatly affecting my stats, being picky as hell about his flights, only to turn out to be a crazy guy who didn’t want to give me his real name and date of birth. Good luck getting on a plane!

Funniest call centre moment:

I had to call my ticketing department, which has agents in 2 different cities, so your call could end up in one of two call centers. One of my coworkers was chatting on his line about books with someone, and asking questions. Then I heard the ticketing agent sitting next to the one I was speaking with answer his question, so I could hear both sides of the conversation at once, happening in 2 different cities.

Call centres – good or bad?

Great! But not for everyone.

Why?

I love my call centre job. But some people just need the face to face customer service experience.

Does the call centre have a future?

I hope so.

Interview  71

Name/ Nomme de plume

Leanne

Time wearing the headset & type of call centre (e.g inbound/ outbound/ insurance/mail-order/ etc):

Headset worn 10+ hours, inbound and outbound

The best thing about working in a call centre is..

My colleagues

If I could change one thing about my call centre it would be..

I wouldn’t be on the phone

Most callers are..

Upset, angry, injured, fuming

Worst call:

Xmas eve, 21:50 (naturally I finish my shift at 22:00) guy did not understand the difference between breaking down (in his car obv) and what is classed as an accident. His wife drove his car UP a gradient wall on his drive (which is an accident) and he wants RAC to come help…but nope, he needs recovery and that means claiming. 25 mins later, he hangs up. Worst thing is, after 21:00 there’s no managers in the office. which he didn’t believe

Funniest call centre moment:

When a 65 Y/O woman told me her sex life has been affected by her accident as she is unable to get down on her knees

Call centres – good or bad?

Depends

Why?

Because after 7 years in a call centre I absolutely hate the public and their stupidity. But the People I work with are amazing

Does the call centre have a future?

For jobs sake. I hope so

7 thoughts on “Call Centre Interviews

  1. Pingback: Interview update | The Secret Diary of a Call Centre

  2. Nice compilation, glad you offered that opportunity of interviews ; God I’m glad to be out of this toxic environment – on a side-note the new WordPress theme you’ve chosen is pretty cool.

    • Thanks. I felt it was important to include other peoples experiences and perspectives on the blog, rather than just my own – otherwise I’m sure reading it would soon become tiresome. So far it’s been a really interesting exercise thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to participate. Congratulations for getting out of the call centre, in my opinion, it’s the best thing anyone can ever do I’ve felt so much better since I left.

  3. Pingback: Happy New Year | The Secret Diary of a Call Centre

  4. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there. Only been working 6 months but managers are pushing me to stay because of good stats. I like the job SOMETIMES but the rules and policies and pressures are crazy. It’s a little bit too much stress for me with my first job at 18! Can’t wait to be leaving there in September for school.

    • Hi India, Thanks for your comment and apologies for taking so long to reply. Glad you have found this section helpful too – you are definitely not alone. I liked my job sometimes too, in fact now I even miss it a little bit! Working in a call centre can be good as a means to an end and for me the flexibility around hours was really helpful, but as you say and as the interviews show the pressures are huge and until that changes my advice would be to get out as soon as possible.

  5. Pingback: Funniest Call Centre Moments | The Secret Diary of a Call Centre

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