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You’d Catch More Flies With Honey Then You Would With Vinegar……………..

  • Posted on October 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

You know it’s going to be a long call when as soon as you finish your greeting the first thing the caller says is ”We’re not getting off this phone until all of my questions are answered and all of my issues are taken care of.” Welcome to Monday. Back to back calls and angry customer’s is the perfect way to start your week. Not! And why is it that this type of call only comes 6 minutes before your break? So you know what this means? You’re going to be late to break, possibly really late, and there goes your adherence for the day.  Because no matter how many times and how many ways you answer this person’s question, they will find 50 more ways to ask you that same question just to get the same answer.

I’ll let all you customers in on a secret. We customer service representatives absolutely hate when someone calls in and “tells” us what we are going to do.  You just can’t call in making demands. I personally don’t take it too well being told what I need to do, especially in the rudest type of way. We get it. You’re mad, you’ve been lied to and you feel as though no one is taking your issue seriously enough. But please don’t fault me for an issue that I had nothing to do with. One time I had a guy call in to me and say, “You’re going to turn my service back now and not charge me for the restoral fee.” What I wanted to say to him was “I’m not going to do anything for you with that tone, I am not your child.”  But what I was required to say was, “I can understand your frustration sir, let me just bring up your account and take a look at it.” Apparently his service was suspended due to a broken payment arrangement. Per the notes on the account Mr. Customer called in 2 weeks prior to make arrangements to pay his past due balance on a certain day. He swears that he told the last rep to make it for the 16th of the month, but it was put in for the 15th. Either way he was in the wrong because we didn’t even suspend the service until the 18th. I really wish he didn’t call in yelling, screaming, demanding and pretty much ordering me to help him. I would have helped him out, but he was rude and technically he did fail to keep a payment arrangement. So no. You have to pay your past due balance to have your service restored. And guess what, you will see a restoral fee on your next bill. Next time you’ll remember that you’d catch more flies with honey then you would with vinegar.

Until The Next Call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid…………….

  • Posted on October 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Sometimes people can give you too much information. You ever had a conversation with someone and they just tell you a little more than you want to know? If not, then don’t worry. I’ve had plenty of them for you. Do you remember how when you were a little kid and your parents were saying something you didn’t want to hear and you would put your hands over your ears and make noises so you couldn’t hear what they were saying. Well, sometimes at work I wish I could do that when a customer is talking to me.  I swear to you some of the things that come out of their mouth is totally inappropriate and simply should not be said to a complete stranger.

Perfect example, I had this really sweet older gentleman call in. The conversation started out ok. He told me how it was his wife’s birthday and he had a really special weekend getaway planned for her. How sweet, right? Then he went on and said he needed to fill his medication early so that he could have it for the weekend. Normally that would be fine, we would  just look into maybe a vacation supply. Which most plans offer. But he wanted to get the “little blue pill” (if you know what I mean). And unfortunately his plan restricts the limit for that particular medication to only 4 pills per month, which he had already had for the month. Oh this sent him over the edge. He started yelling, “Who the hell do you people think you are? How are you going to tell me and my wife how many times per month we can do our business?” I kept trying to say, “Sir I’m sorry, what you can do is……” he cut me off with more yelling. “If I wanted to do my wife on the kitchen counter every night of the month, who are you to tell me that I can only do it 4 times a month.” It was a good thing he got so mad and hung up because I was utterly speechless.

Then I had this guy call in to me and the first thing he said was “Ma’am I went to the pharmacy to get this cream that my doctor prescribed to me, and the pharmacy said that I had to call the insurance so it can be covered.” I said, “Ok well let me look at your benefits.” Before I could say another word he caught me off guard by saying, “Please look at it for me ma’am because I really need this cream. My private parts are itching like crazy and the doctor said I got this itch from my lady friend.” I had to put him on hold before he went any further, and because I might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit. I mean really man, we’ve been talking for what 1 or 2 minutes tops! This is not information you should be disclosing to me. Oh no, before he could go any further I had to get him off my line. That was just way too much for me. Some things are better left unsaid.

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

I’m Not Going To Tell You Twice……..

  • Posted on October 23, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Let’s talk about phone etiquette tonight. Let’s talk about what not to do when you are talking on the phone to me or any other customer service rep.  I have said it before and I will say it again, the fastest way to “tick” me off is by eating in my ear while we are on the phone. I cannot stand those (reps and customers) who decide to have a full on meal while they are trying to conduct business. And not only do they eat, you can actually tell how much they love the food because they smack. For those of you who don’t know what “smacking” is, it is when someone is eating very loudly with their mouths open. Just imagine a dog eating peanut butter along with the sound of a baby sucking on a pacifier, but louder. It is the most irritating sound ever, it gets under your skin just like the screeching on a chalkboard. Another thing that will quickly tick off your friendly customer service rep, is when a customer calls in and they are clearly not paying attention. It really bothers us when are asking them a question or trying to provide them information but they are conversing with someone else in the background. Please focus. Don’t make us have to repeat ourselves 2 or 3 times. Because I can promise you buy the 3rd time of us repeating ourselves, there will be a slight change in our tone.

I used to work at a pizza restaurant years ago (for the purpose of this blog and to keep them anonymous we shall call them “Company Z”). So I worked for Company Z for a while and let me tell you, doing in-store customer service is just as frustrating as being a call center rep. I could never understand why someone would call a restaurant and not know what they want. You would think that someone would figure out what they want on their pizza before they called to order it. I cannot tell you how many times we got calls for an order and the person on the other end of the phone had to ask 50 different people what they want on their pizza. It makes you want to say “You couldn’t have figured this out before you called.”  Now you have me standing here holding up the line, and backing up orders, while you argue with Joe about how disgusting pineapples are on a pizza. I mean don’t get me wrong I don’t like pineapples on my pizza either but you could have had this conversation before you called to order.

Bottom line is folks, please be courteous on the phone. Just as you want us to respect your time, we as customer service reps would like for you to respect our time. Know what you need when you call in, be it for ordering pizza, talking about your prescriptions or talking about your wireless bill. And please don’t hold a conversation with everyone in your background. Pay attention! Cause I’m not going to tell you twice.

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

It’s Time To Quit Your Day Job…………………

  • Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM

I once saw a shirt that read “If every day is a gift, can I return Mondays?” LOL. No one really likes Monday’s, but Monday’s as a customer service rep are the worse. Not only do we have to deal with the normal ”Monday Blues” we have to have piled on top of us other people’s “Monday Blues”. Call volumes are higher, and so conveniently there was a system update over the weekend that causes our systems to run slow. First call of the day, before I could even get my greeting out, “I have been trying to get an answer all weekend and everyone keeps giving me the run around. And you better not put me on hold.” Deep breath, inhale……exhale.  The worse part about this is, she had every right to be upset because some dumb rep clearly didn’t feel like working and looking into her issue. And I know that they were just being lazy because the answer took me 1 click of the mouse to get.  The only thing that we customer service reps hate more than talking to an angry customer, is fixing another customer service rep’s mistake. That rep is the one who gave the incorrect information, who didn’t take the time research the issue, or who simply just didn’t care and figured “oh well, let the next rep deal with it.” That is the rep that makes customer view all customer services reps negatively.

Not only does it infuriate me when I have to deal with dumb reps while working, I hate it even more when I encounter them in my personal life. It burns me to call into to customer service for my own personal accounts and I get a dumb customer service rep. Like I said not all reps are dumb, but there are some out there who are and they make us all look horrible. It upsets me when I get a customer service rep who just feeds into the stereotype. I actually say to them “I work in customer service and I would never handle my call like you are handling this one.”  So to all you customer’s out there we know how you feel sometimes. Yes, I do have high standards for any customer service rep that I speak with. And that’s because I am held at a high standard.

I had a rep that I worked with in the past, who I swear I had to pay someone to get the job. She would ask me the same stupid questions every single day. Questions that someone who has worked for the company for as long as she did should know. Every time she called my name I knew it was going to be for a stupid reason. I would listen to her calls and think to myself “is what you saying even making sense to you?” She never listened to what the customer was saying, and whenever the customer asked her a question the answer she would give would have nothing to do with anything. One day I heard her tell the customer “I’m sorry, but I don’t really know what I am doing. I have been here for 4 years and this system still seems foreign to me. But I can get you a supervisor who will know how to help you better.” I’m thinking did she really just say that? Number 1 rule of being a customer service rep, don’t tell the customer you don’t know what you doing.  And if after 4 years you still don’t know what to do, it’s time to quit your day job.

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

Kill Them With Kindness…………………

  • Posted on October 18, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Congratulations folks…we have made it through the week. And what a week it has been. I know we have all been getting yelled at, blamed and in some cases disrespected. But we have made it guys. Give yourselves a pat on the back and a round of applause. Take a bow , take a shot…… do whatever it is you need to in order to congratulate and reward yourself for the week of hard work you put in. Even though customers don’t think that we work at all. They are convinced that we are all incompetent and rude. But we are not, we are simply just doing our job. Despite what you might believe, we don’t start our day out with the intention to “tick” people off. Sometimes we can brush off a bad call. But sometimes that call can be bad enough to ruin your whole day. It’ll just put you in a bad mood.

For example, my first call today.  At 6am by the way. This woman calls in for her husband, upset because the copay for his medication was $45. She tells me she was told that it was covered by the plan and he shouldn’t have to pay anything for it. So I am explaining to her that yes this medication is covered by the plan but he still has a copayment. And out of nowhere another lady, who is even angrier than the first, starts yelling at me. I’m thinking to myself “who da **** are you?” You can’t just be popping up out of nowhere yelling at me. I don’t take that too well. LOL. So while this person is yelling at me I am looking over the account to see if, besides the wife, if there was any other person authorized on this man’s account. And of course there are no other authorized users on the account, so that means I cannot talk to you nor can I provide any information about this account. I don’t care if you are his daughter. But of course I could not say this. Instead I replied, “I’m sorry ma’am I do not show any other authorized users on the account, so before I can go over any information I would have to get permission from the member in order to speak with you.” Oh that did it. From that point on they were both screaming at me. To the point where I couldn’t even understand what was being said. So I just sat there. Not saying a word. Why try and argue or cut them off. So after about 3 minutes of them both going back and forth telling me what I am going to do and how I am going to do it, it finally got quiet. After about 30 seconds of silence the woman said, “Now tell me what I want to know.” and I said in the friendliest voice possible “I’d be more than happy to provide you with that info, however I would first have to get permission from the member to speak with you.” Click. She hung up. The best way to get back at an angry person, is to kill them with kindness.

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

Keep It Simple Stupid………….

  • Posted on October 17, 2013 at 11:12 PM

You ever notice if you just sit back and let people talk that they will talk themselves out of something? Sometimes people just talk a little too much. Seriously I don’t want to know why you absolutely need this prescription cream. Really it’s none of my business. LOL.  And then I get the pharmacies calling with this long drawn out story about why the patient had to use more medication but didn’t get another prescription from the doctor because they tried to get there but missed the bus and had to wait another hour and blah blah blah blah blah. If I can’t do it then I can’t do it, no matter what the story or excuse is.  I really wish that people would understand that we can only go by what our company’s policies are. We don’t always agree with it, but if we go against it we could lose our job. And I highly doubt that if we lose our job, over something we weren’t supposed to do, that the customer or caller will pay our bills.

It’s always something. I don’t need a long elaborate story. Just give me the meat and potatoes and I’ll let you know if it can be done or not. I had a pharmacy call in and ask for me to allow a patient to get her medication early because she was down in Florida on vacation. Simple right? It should have been. 90% of prescription plans offer an early fill for vacation supply of medication, meaning they will allow you to fill earlier than normal to assure you will have enough while you are away. But no no no, she had to keep talking. I was going to give her the early fill until she said, “yea she just got down here to Florida and must have lost her medication on the plane…” (Pause)…just as well as 90% of plans offer an early fill for vacation supply, 99% of plans do not offer early fill for lost medication. So now because you just had to keep talking, you have just talked yourself out of this early fill. I bet you next time you’ll keep it simple, stupid.

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

The Ones That Make You Smile………………………..

  • Posted on October 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I know that I have been doing a lot of ranting and raving about being a customer service rep. And I just want to reiterate how blessed I am to have a job. And as much as it may seem that I complain, there are things about my job that I do enjoy. It’s not always bad. Sometimes you can have an ok day where nothing really happens. You just go through your calls, nothing too intense. Or you could have one of those days where it seems like every other call there is someone yelling and screaming at you. But every once in a while the customer service Gods shed a little sunshine on you and you get that one customer who brightens your day. That one customer who makes you say “you know what, this job isn’t so bad.”

I talked to this guy a few years ago and he is someone I will never forget. He called in because his wife lost her phone. He was really nice, but that wasn’t the thing that stuck out to me. While I was going over options to get his wife a new phone I could hear them bickering. It wasn’t like a serious argument or anything, but it made me laugh. Because they were bickering over something so simple, I think it was over where they wanted to have dinner. Never mind that fact that she has just lost her brand new IPhone and he was going to have to pay full price for another one, they were more concerned about eating at the same restaurant too many times per week. It was cute. Then he says to me in the calmest and most light-heartedness voice “My wife is a pain in the neck.” I laughed. I really laughed. So did he and I could hear his wife in the background giggling like a school girl. But that still isn’t what made him stick in my mind.  He then said “No really, I love my wife. She is my second wife and we have been married for 10 years, but it feels like I have known her all my life. She’s a pain in the neck, but I can’t live without her.” I said “Aww how sweet.” He laughed and said “yeah, yeah I know. And I also know that I am a lucky man.”  My reply was “it seems that you found your soul mate.” You know what his response was?  He said, “No I didn’t find my soul mate. I found my rib. And not everyone finds their rib.”  I was speechless and almost in tears. Found his rib? Meaning that God took one of his ribs and created her, just for him. Just as He created Eve for Adam.

See, you never know what you’re going to get on the other end of the phone. You just have to be ready. Ready for the ones who get your blood boiling, and grateful for the ones who make you smile

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep

A day in the Life……..

  • Posted on October 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Every day we walk in between those doors, scanning our badges at the entrance. Some of us taking the stairs and some of us taking the elevator. We walk that long walk down the hall to our desk or cubicle, turn on our computer, log in and wait to hear that lovely noise we’ve all grown to despise. *Ding*……. and then our day begins. “Thank you for calling……. (Insert Company).”  If I never have to say those words again it’ll be too soon. But unfortunately tomorrow morning I will be up bright and early, dreading the *ding*. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I am blessed with a job. It pays my rent, my car note and all my other bills. So no, I am not complaining because I know there are people out there that will give anything to be in my position. But let’s face it. Unless you have a job doing something you love, no job is perfect. Everyone has something they don’t like about their job. Mine just happens to be the stupid people I encounter on a daily basis.

Sometimes I swear that there are people who call in just to “punk” me. Like the lady I spoke to today. I work for a company that helps pharmacies. My job is to help the pharmacy technician or the pharmacist to process prescription claims so that the members insurance will pay for the medication. And whenever the pharmacy has an issue processing the claim (or as we call it, get a rejection), they call me. Your Friendly customer service rep. For the purpose of this blog (and to keep them anonymous) we will call this company “Company X”. So the pharmacy technician I spoke to today needed assistance processing a prescription claim. Her exact words to me were, “I am getting a rejection that says reprocess claim, and I am not sure what to do”.  (Pause) now I am by far no rocket scientist, and I have never worked in a pharmacy a day in my life before, but if I can’t get something to work and the error message is telling me to “reprocess” …to me that is pretty self-explanatory. I responded with a giggle. How could I not laugh?  My response to her after my giggle was “I’m sorry what exactly did the error message say?”  I had to have her repeat it, because I thought to myself that maybe if she says it again she would realize and understand what exactly it is she needs to do. And you know what she did? Yes!!!! She repeated herself. What could I have possibly said at that moment to not make this pharmacy technician sound even dumber than she already did?  So I said “Well, let’s try reprocessing it just to see what happens.”  And do you know what happened? Yes!!!!! The claim went through… it worked….problem solved!!! Now tell me I wasn’t being punked!! Was that or was that not the stupidest question ever? Or was it just another day in the life of a customer service rep?

 

Until the next call,

Your Friendly Customer Service Rep