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Call Center Blues
Most people who worked at a call center know the frustration as well as the joy of it. Some would think it's an easy job. But, it's not. For those of us who've worked worked at one know what I'm talking about. Over the years I've picked up on some things that may or may not make your job easier.
Start with your work space. Do you have a cubicle? If so try to decorate or set up to your liking. When you come into work and see a bland lifeless area, it only makes you think "Ugh, why am I here". I know I've done it. Put up some picture of your family, pet, or maybe someone you really like or admire. Could be a celebrity or a historical figure. Something that would make you happy when looking at it. Maybe even putting a quote or inspirational message for you to look at. Plants are also something you could put at your desk. Real or fake. Just remember not to over do it to the point that you are distracted. Make sure to keep your work area clean and free of food. That could cause some other issues. Depending on your company's guidelines, most places don't allow food on the floor anyway.
Organize, organize, and...organize! Now I'm not telling you to be a neat freak, because I definitely am not. Unless you are, in so case you probably already have this part down. But keeping all your papers, literature, and all items in order helps cut down on clutter. A messy work space only makes you more sad to be there. Trust me on that one. Any call scripts you may have, or procedures make sure to keep them all in order where you can easily access them. /get folders, binders, or whatever you need for this. Their really inexpensive, you can get them from Wal mart, Kmart, Target, or any office supply store. That way when you need to find a specific paper quick, you'll know exactly where it is. Cutting down on hold time or phone time. Which I'm sure they are tracking
Now that everything is set up, time to get on the phone. Which you dread. Depending on the nature of the job, rather it be sales, technical support, billing, or anything make sure you are prepared. There is no way of knowing what the customer will say when they call you. It could be someone irate, in a rush, or a sweet old lady. Answer the phone the same in each situation. Some places require you have a pre written script, and that is fine. Try to make it your own so you don't sound like a robot. Keep a cheery tone, without sounding too obnoxious. Even if that person on the other line is yelling at you, keep your same tone and most of the time they eventually let up a little. It's easy to change to match their attitude, and once they sense you are annoyed or getting upset that can make a call go bad.
Try not to take it personal, I know easier said then done. I am guilty of doing this, and I must say this has made me depressed many times. Yeah they call you yelling, possibly cursing, and saying derogatory things. It's not you they're mad at, it's the situation. Usually it's something they can't get, can't get fixed, or something to do with money. Billing, collections, and sales are a few examples. Just try to maintain a calm and professional demeanor and they usually calm down after they realize what a fool they sound like. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the call they apologized to you.
No, the customer isn't always right. You aren't going to tell them that of course. But those days are over. If you have a good supervisory team behind you they will usually back you up. There are some things that are just beyond your control, and the customer has to understand that. You do the best you can to try and assist the customer, but if you can't don't feel bad about it. Just educate the customer on the best solution, or transfer them to whatever department handles their concern. If they still aren't satisfied with the information you've given them, offer to let them speak with a supervisor. Sometimes this makes people feel better speaking to an authority figure. Even if you know they are only going to tell them the same thing you did.
If you make sure you adhere to your guidelines and policies set by your company, keep these things in mind, this should make your work experience much more pleasant. You're gonna have days where you feel like quitting. But just remember, these people are on the phone. They can't see you, you can't see them. Just a voice. You can go home with a clear conscience that you've done your job to the best of your ability. And that is a most rewarding feeling.