Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Quotable Quote of the Day
Me: Express Post International is not a fully trackable service. There's nothing more we can do towards finding your letter.
Customer: So what can we do?

They'll never cease to amaze me. Customers. They certainly don't like to be told "no". I love the ones who call back five minutes later hoping to speak to a different operator and get an answer they like better. It's almost an accusation that the first operator was lying. It's happened to me several times - I give someone an honest answer, they don't like it. They call back a minute or two later, and get me again. They don't say "I just called" or anything, just launch into their story. I'm like, "Eric, I just spoke to you." Eric says "Ohhh..." in that way stupid people do when they don't know what to say.

But the ones that really bug me are the ones that just go on and on. It wouldn't normally bother me, just sitting there saying "Yes, mmhmm, I understand", that's fine by me. But when there's twelve calls waiting, you just want to get that queue cleared - deal with each call as quickly as possible. The International team is so small that we have difficulty absorbing abnormal call volumes or unusually long calls into the stats - those events have a real effect on us. So anyway, this call comes through. Some guy who just wants the price of a parcel to London. That's fine, I can do that. Then halfway through he remembers six thousand other things he wants to ask, and then his mobile rings and he asks me to hold. God it's tempting to say "I'm sorry I can't hold, call back later you moron!"

Then there's the ones who've lost parcels. You give them the bad news. Parcel gone, we can't track it, perhaps you should insure it next time. And they sit there going "Ohh... oh no..." and telling you long-winded stories about why it was important. "You see it was my mother's uncle's second-cousin's birthday present, and if he doesn't get it he'll think we've forgotten him..." The standard procedure to deal with that is simply "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do, is there anything else I can help you with?" but sometimes they just ignore you and go on and on and on anyway!

Ok. Rant finished. I promise. I've vented, now I'll be nice.

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