Is the worst Job in Your company in the Call Center?
If you work in customer service, or specifically in a call/contact center you should stop here because I am about to really bum you out. Being a call center agent sucks. It’s not just that a tiny minority of customers are assholes and your company won’t fire those terrible customers or that customer service pay is lower than most comparable departments. It is also because the very structure of work in a contact center has been set up comically to induce maximum suckage. Here are 3 ways you can tell that you may have a problem:
1.) Do they hand out ankle monitors to everyone in the Contact Center?
When I was a call center agent my boss would show me a report every week of how long my breaks were, how many times I put a customer on hold, how long my calls were and make me listen to a recording of the worst call I had that week. If you have ever worked in a call center, you will agree that call center employees are tracked more than federal prisoners.
There is not a job in your company as scrutinized as customer service agents.
They measure everything - I mean everything, your call center leaders not only schedule bathroom breaks, they how long their employees use the bathroom!
The ironic thing is every CEO talks about the importance of taking care of the customer then hires a bunch of people they clearly don’t trust and then put them in charge of making customers happy.
2.) Are you super proud of the fact that every rep has two Yuuuge monitors?
My god daughter is envious of her baby sister, she is 5, her baby sister is 3 months old! She thinks her parents love the baby more. Customer service is responsible for existing customers (the 5 Year old), the ones that are already paying, so all the attention is going to the prospects and newest customers (the shiny new baby). The contact center is the 5 year old, Marketing is the 3 month old.
As a consultant, I have been inside over 100 companies over the years, I can tell you that even companies with God awful technologies for their call center somehow manage to first invest in a high functioning websites to attract new customers. Meanwhile the customer service rep has 50 green screen windows open with very little insights about what the customer just called about 10 minutes ago!
Don’t you worry customer service agent, we have a solution - we will be upgrading your monitors to two yuuuuge monitors!
3.) Do they call the contact center a "bunch of heroes"
The CEO and other members of his team would show up to a town hall to pay homage to the “people with the most difficult jobs in the company” and say things like “we can’t do it without you”. The service department does not want to be heroes, recognition is nice but functioning tools, better pay, and oh yes stop telling me when I can use the restroom are far better than an empty shout out.
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