Call centre hell

10 Jan 2013

OK so I know the answer is money.

Or more accurately saving money. Lots of it. By paying peanuts to people who sit glued to a screen all day answering questions in a monotone voice from a spreadsheet of answers.

Execs save so much money  -  they can sit in their huge offices at the end of the financial year, surrounded by piles of notes and coins that they can throw in the air and shout 'I'm rich'!

My recent experience with Barclays Bank has made me hate these offshore institutions more than life itself.

After my bank card was cloned and I was frantically trying to cancel said card and get to the bottom of what was going on - the cold individual at the other end of the phone was talking over me trying to get her list of security questions answered.

Then to top it all I get a call from said bank - a DAY after the fraud took place - which promptly put me through to yet another Indian call centre.

I asked to be put through to a UK person, waited in a long queue and....yep, you've guessed it, was through to yet another Indian call centre operative.

I'm surprised my head didn't explode that minute as my blood pressure was so high.

Now I know it is not their fault. They are taught a script and stick to it. My God do they stick to it. They don't really understand any sayings or phrases that are not on their list and they are not intersted in how you are feeling. For example:

"Hello, my bank account has been emptied..."

"Can you tell me the last three digits of your debit card please?.."

"Hello I've just lost my husband/wife"

"Can you give me an example of a direct debit going out of your account?"

"My computer isn't built to the specifications I asked for..."

"Can you spell your middle name?"

And so it goes on.......AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!

Answer the questions and get off the phone basically.

Now, is this any way to treat customers?

Some moronic bean counter at the top of all these companies' boards is sitting there rubbing his hands with glee at all the money being saved by using these facilities.

While in the meantime, customer goodwill gets so low, they go elsewhere. And tap into the growing social media network to publicly voice their concerns.

Something I shamelessly do and will continue to do.

Whether it is a bank or an IT vendor - when it comes to dealing with customer-facing enquiries - these should be done IN THE SAME COUNTRY AS THE CUSTOMER.

It is all very well outsourcing back office functions to Mumbai - but when you are talking about human beings - a little compassion and understanding goes a long way.

You DO NOT get this in a call centre.

So Barclays, TalkTalk, Dell etc etc etc - ARE YOU LISTENING?

Didn't think so.

How did you spell your middle name again?


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