I just read a heart-felt rant from a Customer Service Representative who clearly needed to get a few things, without sugar coating it, off her chest. As a professional who has worked in call centers big and small for 15 years, I understand the frustrations of CSRs. The hours are long and the job is stressful. Nine very nice customers get overshadowed by one customer who goes postal on you. Change is constant. Supervisors are usually overworked and unavailable. Managers seem only to look at the numbers and care little for the customer.
You feel like Sisyphus as you struggle to help each caller, rolling that giant stone of service up the mountain of one-call resolution. You reach the pinnacle. Mission accomplished! Then the maddening tone in your ear, the next call rolls in, and you find yourself back at the bottom of the mountain with another stone to roll.
The blogosphere is a great place to rage against the machine. I get that. I’ve raged a few times myself. I understand when people need to get it out and blow off some serious customer service steam. But, like the one negative call that overshadows the previous nine calls, I feel that the silent majority of incredible CSRs going about their jobs with heart, diligence and excellence are often overshadowed by those who rage.
So, [grabbing my glass half-full and raising it in the air] here’s a toast to the CSRs…
- Who arrive at work on-time and, despite everything going on in their personal lives, serve customers with a smile on their faces.
- Who continually try to improve, using precious down time to research job related information which will help them serve customers better and who approach each call coaching session as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Who truly serve customers instead of merely taking calls.
- Who do the best they can with what they have been given and can pat themselves on the back at the end of the shift.
- Who understand that the customer is frustrated with the company or their circumstances, choose not to take it personally, and challenge themselves to turn the customer around.
- Who quietly choose not to participate in gripe sessions which profit no one and accomplish nothing.
- Who continually find the delicate balance between representing the company and serving the customer.
- Who, despite the challenges of the given day, maintain a long-term perspective and an indomitable spirit.
- Who are faithful to their team and examples to their teammates.