Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
No I don't want to take your stupid survey!
#1
I seem to have gotten a huge number of requests to take surveys after phone calls lately. You almost certainly know the sort. After managing to navigate the phone tree, then waiting on hold for a while, because the call volume is higher than usual, you talk to a human being, finally, and maybe they can actually answer whatever question you had, or maybe not, but you can stay on the line afterwards for a short survey.

You are then prompted to tell the computer, on a scale of 1 to 5, whether or not the poor schlep who just answered your phone call was good enough for your tastes. Some time ago, I was informed that unless you answered 5 (highest) rank, to every question, the phone operator was in trouble.

So, some dumb schmuck in a corporate office decided that what was really necessary was to have some way of finding one more excuse to abuse their underpaid call center staff in case someone was merely "satisfied" instead of "very satisfied" with the call service. Of course, the corporate schmuck compiling the data and abusing the staff with it will never, ever, actually be forced to talk to customers who have waited on hold for an hour because of higher than average call volume, but they can judge the people who have to do it.

Or, of course, you can skip the survey altogether, but I feel like I might be short changing the call service employee, who is being judged on it. I feel like if I skip the survey after someone gave me great service they won't get whatever reward they deserve. In other words, the corporate weasels have found a way to put me in charge of their performance evaluations.

Has all this monitoring improved customer service? My impression is that, these days, the person on the other end of the phone is generally totally powerless to do anything for you. They can look up the status of your account, which you can often do online by yourself. Meanwhile, they maintain completely and totally pleasant demeanors, even if you are swearing at them*, because they are required to do so by corporate policy, and they don't want you to take the survey and fill in "3".

Bah!


*For the record, I only swear at those people on special occasions. Like yesterday, I made a call to a new insurance company to find out the status of my new account, except I dialed 800-XYZ-ABCD, when the actual number 2as 866-XYZ-ABCD. I got to a corporate call center spoofing number. They were people who didn't actually use the Blue Cross name, but tried to sound like they were probably Blue Cross before launching their sales pitch. After realizing that the person reading the pitch was under strict orders no to accept no for an answer, I did say, "Oh, go fuck yourself, and I don't mean you, personally, I mean the asshole who is monitoring this call for quality ensurance purposes!"

And why is it you never hear, "Due to lower than average call volume, your wait time will only be about a minute. It's kind of slow today. Feel free to ask all the questions you want with the person who answers the phone. She had been told to take all the time she needs to take care of you."
Reply
#2
Excellent points!

Smart companies have a call-back system in place where you can leave your number and they call back when it's your turn.

It's been going on for years, and just about everything to do with customer service is designed to piss you off enough not to call an actual person, because they have to pay that person a wage.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
Reply
#3
(07-27-2022, 11:58 AM)The Atheist Wrote:  Excellent points!

Smart companies have a call-back system in place where you can leave your number and they call back when it's your turn.

It's been going on for years, and just about everything to do with customer service is designed to piss you off enough not to call an actual person, because they have to pay that person a wage.

I've been a phone monkey* for many years, and I've seen pretty much everything. What I can say is that if your call centre is managed well, it can be very good. But if it isn't, it's pretty much a nightmare for anyone who has to try and use it. Unfortunately, the bad ones seem to outnumber the good ones these days. Managing a call centre, especially a busy one, is very hard.

*Literally. My password for logging on to the phone system is "Monkey". That's not a security breach - it's everyone's password, and you'd only ever steal it if you wanted to take some of our calls, and even then you'd have to get through at least seven other layers of security first.
This is Australia. You could start a fire with a lukewarm reception to your comedy routine.
Reply
#4
Ugh. I'd slit my wrists rather than do that a job.

Kudos to you for sticking at it.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
Reply
#5
(07-28-2022, 04:17 PM)The Atheist Wrote:  Ugh. I'd slit my wrists rather than do that a job.

Kudos to you for sticking at it.

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do it for as long as I have. Most of the time it's an entry-level passthrough job that people do part time while they're studying. It's unusual for someone to do it for more than a year. As a result, those doing it usually don't know much about what they're doing - they have a script and a template, and their job is just to get the information from you so that an actual technician can look at the issue. I think some people need to understand this and be a little more tolerant when the person on the phone asks if you've rebooted.
This is Australia. You could start a fire with a lukewarm reception to your comedy routine.
Reply
#6
(07-28-2022, 05:44 PM)arthwollipot Wrote:  I think some people need to understand this and be a little more tolerant when the person on the phone asks if you've rebooted.

Some people have the patience of a saint.

I have the patience of a very hungry tiger looking at a goat.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
Reply
#7
I don't answer the phone.
Reply
#8
(07-28-2022, 05:44 PM)arthwollipot Wrote:  
(07-28-2022, 04:17 PM)The Atheist Wrote:  Ugh. I'd slit my wrists rather than do that a job.

Kudos to you for sticking at it.

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do it for as long as I have. Most of the time it's an entry-level passthrough job that people do part time while they're studying. It's unusual for someone to do it for more than a year. As a result, those doing it usually don't know much about what they're doing - they have a script and a template, and their job is just to get the information from you so that an actual technician can look at the issue. I think some people need to understand this and be a little more tolerant when the person on the phone asks if you've rebooted.


Tech support is a little bit different than the ones I've been dealing with lately. I'm dealing more with consumer issues. "My order is wrong." or, with the insurance change, "I need to schedule this treatment soon. I know I haven't received my card yet, but am I in the system and can you give me the appropriate numbers?" My impression, and perhaps you have some insight into this, is that more and more, the person on the other end of the phone has a script and a template, and the corporate Powers that Be want it that way. It just seems they have less power, and are basically there to record data. With tech support, presumably there's a little bit more to it.

And...there's the survey thing. They will definitely ask about that survey, and, like I said, I feel like they're outsourcing their performance reviews, and I feel like if I get lousy service from the company, but great service from the guy on the phone, I really don't want to give a -7 rank to the process, because I know that the corporate jerk will use it as an excuse to blame the phone monkey.



For tech support, specifically, I, and I'm sure a lot of others, try to come up with canned things to say to persuade the person on the other end of the line that you aren't a complete idiot, so that, if the tech support dude has some actual knowledge, he can avoid asking all the "stupid" questions. Back when my most common reason for calling tech support was because the gizmo I bought, like a CD drive, for instance, wasn't working. If they told me to take the cover off of my PC, rather than saying, "I already have.", which was true almost all the time, I would say, "Ok. Let me get my grounding strap." This would push me into the "Oh. This guy probably knows what a modem actually looks like" category.
Reply
#9
(07-29-2022, 09:41 PM)Meadmaker Wrote:  Tech support is a little bit different than the ones I've been dealing with lately.  I'm dealing more with consumer issues.  "My order is wrong."  or, with the insurance change, "I need to schedule this treatment soon.  I know I haven't received my card yet, but am I in the system and can you give me the appropriate numbers?"  My impression, and perhaps you have some insight into this, is that more and more, the person on the other end of the phone has a script and a template, and the corporate Powers that Be want it that way.  It just seems they have less power, and are basically there to record data.  With tech support, presumably there's a little bit more to it.

While it is true that tech support is a slightly different form of customer service, it's still customer service, and the same basic set of skills. Tech support monkeys have maybe a little more knowledge about changing passwords and (very) basic troubleshooting, but the job isn't a tech job. It's a talking job.

(07-29-2022, 09:41 PM)Meadmaker Wrote:  And...there's the survey thing.  They will definitely ask about that survey, and, like I said, I feel like they're outsourcing their performance reviews, and I feel like if I get lousy service from the company, but great service from the guy on the phone, I really don't want to give a -7 rank to the process, because I know that the corporate jerk will use it as an excuse to blame the phone monkey.

I've done the surveying thing, and they (usually) aren't used as performance reviews. They've got metrics for that. It's used for service delivery evaluation - basically, are the scripts and templates we've got sufficient for the task, or do we need to review them? They (usually) don't match the feedback to any specific call. You can (usually) provide honest feedback without worrying about the welfare of the monkey.

Actually I feel like I should stop referring to them as monkeys. Though it's how I self-identified as such above, I think the term carries some racist connotations, so I'll drop the term and use the correct term agent from now.

Also, notice the liberal use of the word (usually). This is how I understand surveys to be used according to my experience. There will obviously be variation.

(07-29-2022, 09:41 PM)Meadmaker Wrote:  For tech support, specifically, I, and I'm sure a lot of others, try to come up with canned things to say to persuade the person on the other end of the line that you aren't a complete idiot, so that, if the tech support dude has some actual knowledge, he can avoid asking all the "stupid" questions.  Back when my most common reason for calling tech support was because the gizmo I bought, like a CD drive, for instance, wasn't working.  If they told me to take the cover off of my PC, rather than saying, "I already have.", which was true almost all the time, I would say, "Ok.  Let me get my grounding strap."  This would push me into the  "Oh.  This guy probably knows what a modem actually looks like" category.

Most agents wouldn't even know what a grounding strap was or what it was for. But yes, there are things you can say upfront that will help you bypass the first tier.
This is Australia. You could start a fire with a lukewarm reception to your comedy routine.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)