MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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LadyTevar
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MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-12-20 04:04pm

link to the previous thread

I am working at a telesurvey company for the moment, and I am making Satisfaction Survey Calls to customers of a company I am not allowed to name.

So, I call one of the customers, go into my spiel as written on-screen, and get the following conversation:

(Old Man to Old woman, both on phone)
OW: She sounds like a computer.
OM: I think she is.
Me: No, I'm not a computer, I'm real. May I continue the sur...
OW: That's what a Computer would say
OM: Ask her a question! See if she'll answer
Me, trying not to giggle at the obsurdity: I am not a computer, really, I just want to...
OW: If you're not a computer, answer me this! WHAT IS A RAVIOLI!

Me: (starts laughing, can't help it, can't get anything out)
OM: Did she answer the question?
OW: No, she's not answering.
Me: (still laughing, in the phone, knowing she has to be hearing me but can't stop giggling) Ma'am... I'm sorry...
OW: You can't answer my question, then you're a computer. (BANG - hangup)

I have to leave the room and go hide in the bathroom to let all the laughter out before I could dial another call. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby FaxModem1 » 2015-12-20 06:49pm

That reminds me of a conversation I had while working as a telemarketer:

ME: Standard spiel that I'm not allowed to deviate from.
Russian Woman: Please, no. I have diarrhea.

I pause, and look to my book for the proper response to that.

ME: Standard response about what I am and am not allowed to say, recited without deviation.
Russian Woman: Please, I cannot do this now, I have diarrhea.

Because of how this works, I'm not allowed to hang up and have to wait for her to end the call, and I'm not allowed to deviate from the script at all, so I again repeat the response.

Russian Woman: No more, I will call back later, as I have diarrhea.

She eventually hung up, with the supervisor area chuckling as they were listening in to my call.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Purple » 2015-12-20 07:10pm

Am I the only one who does not understand the point of forcing you to use a script? At that point they might as well replace you with a machine.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby fnord » 2015-12-20 09:01pm

From what I understand, it's a lawsuit-risk-mitigation device.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Venator » 2015-12-20 09:20pm

Purple wrote:Am I the only one who does not understand the point of forcing you to use a script? At that point they might as well replace you with a machine.


Telemarketing has a tiny hit ratio to begin with. Removing the whole human element (for fluid call centers, the ability to actually talk and sell; for scripted ones, the touch of guilt for just hanging up on a human immediately) wouldn't help.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby bilateralrope » 2015-12-20 09:22pm

I'm trying to understand the 'not allowed to hang up' bit.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby FaxModem1 » 2015-12-21 12:06am

bilateralrope wrote:I'm trying to understand the 'not allowed to hang up' bit.


Might offend a potential customer, or ruin a sale or verification of a sale, in which case, you can't do it, as the firm you work for might lose customers, or appear to have rude employees. It is, after all, a customer service industry.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Raw Shark » 2015-12-21 01:03am

The one place I worked for where we couldn't hang up on clients, at all, ever, was balls-to-the-wall about morale, with an attempt at maintaining enthusiasm and determination at all times because our product (AT&T International Landline Long Distance service, Business Division) was fucking impossible to sell. Every time I actually managed to make a sale there, I had a little bell on my desk to ring for the manager to come over and give me a $5 on the spot. We all had gangsta rap-themed nicknames for the scoreboard. Lots of cheering and high-fives. It was so loud in there, I had to get under my desk and cover my ears over my headphones to pitch a live one sometimes.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Jub » 2015-12-21 01:21am

Raw Shark wrote:The one place I worked for where we couldn't hang up on clients, at all, ever, was balls-to-the-wall about morale, with an attempt at maintaining enthusiasm and determination at all times because our product (AT&T International Landline Long Distance service, Business Division) was fucking impossible to sell. Every time I actually managed to make a sale there, I had a little bell on my desk to ring for the manager to come over and give me a $5 on the spot. We all had gangsta rap-themed nicknames for the scoreboard. Lots of cheering and high-fives. It was so loud in there, I had to get under my desk and cover my ears over my headphones to pitch a live one sometimes.


That sounds surprisingly upbeat for a call center, but then again sales always did get it better than the poor schmucks in tech support and billing.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Raw Shark » 2015-12-21 01:28am

Yeah, it was pretty much necessary to minimize walk-outs. Long story short, the product was offered at a price point that many felt was disproportionate to the improvement in its quality, to a degree that many found laughable and/or yelling-at-me-able. This one guy bitched me out for like fifteen minutes one time, while the observation booth pointed at me and laughed their asses off.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Jub » 2015-12-21 01:38am

Raw Shark wrote:Yeah, it was pretty much necessary to minimize walk-outs. Long story short, the product was offered at a price point that many felt was disproportionate to the improvement in its quality, to a degree that many found laughable and/or yelling-at-me-able. This one guy bitched me out for like fifteen minutes one time, while the observation booth pointed at me and laughed their asses off.


I've been there worked in tech support twice.

Once for Shaw, a regional telecom that provides cable, internet, and VoIP-based landline phone service. I hated the paradoxes that job had, we're supposed to both stay on the line until the customer was satisfied while also keeping our call times as low as humanly possible. This might not have been so bad if our services didn't include remoting into the clients computer, usually some god-forsaken XP machine that only just met the system requirements at launch, and installing our bloated to hell and back anti-virsus software. Just getting the client, usually people so tech illiterate that they might not know what the start menu was, to follow the steps to let us remote in could take 15 minutes, then the install could take another 30, follow up and showing the customer how to use the software might take another 15-30 minutes. So a fairly common hour long call when our call times, with wrap-up for note taking, were supposed to be 10-12 minutes. They also wanted us to make sales where ever we could for pitiful commisions. I lasted just under a year.

The next was a smaller place, Liveport, that provided wifi access points to hotels. Our hardware sucked, our firmware sucked worse, but at least we were able to work from home. That was until they decided we weren't. I might not have had an issue if that didn't add 2 hours to my daily commute or if I'd known to expect working in a call center when I got the job... Needless to say I didn't stick around too long after that particular change was made without compensation.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby LaCroix » 2015-12-21 05:17am

When I did tech support, briefly, I actually had the following dialogue:

ME: Could you please tell me what you see on your monitor?
Customer: A flower pot.

I always thought that this was just a myth...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Jub » 2015-12-21 05:36am

I had a customer, an older lady probably suffering from dementia, who mistook her television for her remote control. I asked her what her remote control looked like and she said it was large, and glowing blue. Further questioning and suggestions failed to resolve the call and she had no help with her at that time. I didn't much like that type of call...

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Venator » 2015-12-21 08:25am

LaCroix wrote:When I did tech support, briefly, I actually had the following dialogue:

ME: Could you please tell me what you see on your monitor?
Customer: A flower pot.

I always thought that this was just a myth...


Were they on a medical monitor, or did they think that the kind of flower in the pot on their CRT screen would effect their computer? :S

I count myself as unreasonably lucky that I never worked in a call center. One of my former roommates did, and ended up doing credit card support.

His 'greatest hits' were split between,
- The time he took 45 minutes trying to explain the difference between 'credit limit' and 'available credit'.
- The time he took 30 minutes trying to explain why you can't pay off your Visa with a Visa-credit cheque.

Jub wrote:I had a customer, an older lady probably suffering from dementia, who mistook her television for her remote control. I asked her what her remote control looked like and she said it was large, and glowing blue. Further questioning and suggestions failed to resolve the call and she had no help with her at that time. I didn't much like that type of call...


At least you felt bad about it. I was touring a nursing home the other week and the head of operations showed me the in-suite systems we were changing by walking into the first room he came across and turning things on and off while describing them - ignoring the woman curled up in her walker lightly shaking entirely. The entire staff made my skin crawl.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Raw Shark » 2015-12-21 10:01am

In case anybody was wondering, my gangsta rap alias at AT&T's subcontractor was MAT-10. I've always found that kind of really funny.

The guy in the wheelchair was Slo-Rolla. The intense Mormon guy was More! More! The one hot girl was Miz Lava. This one dude who insisted on not being nicknamed got DSS because those were his initials. He also trained me. The guy was a boss salesman but also kind of really intense, which is not my sales style, but it was kind of awe-inspiring and educational to watch him just verbally bend people to his will for a day.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby LaCroix » 2015-12-21 10:43am

Venator wrote:Were they on a medical monitor, or did they think that the kind of flower in the pot on their CRT screen would effect their computer? :S


Office/warehouse drones in a parcel distribution service. And yes, she was referring to the plant she put on top of her CRT.

I also have them complain that the "Drucker" (german word for printer - literally translated as "pusher") was not working - turns out he meant the mouse - local slang "drucken" == pushing, so the thing he was pushing buttons all day with was referred as a "Drucker".
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Broomstick » 2015-12-22 04:34pm

Note to Insane Stockperson: There is a distinct difference between the "Star Wars" merchandise and the "Spiderman" merchandise. Why the fuck are you confusing the two?

Also, stop putting the L'Oreal shampoo bottles on the shelf upside-down. Do that again I'll make you clean up the resulting mess with your tongue.

And L'Oreal: fire that asshat who designed a shampoo bottle that it is possible put on a shelf upside down.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-12-22 05:08pm

Worst aisle in the store for spills: cleaning products (at Home Depot anyway). Some yahoo is always inevitably either dropping bottles of bleach or setting cases of detergent on their tops. The floor in that aisle looks like a crazy-quilt now as a result until whenever in the next year they have the floor-polish crew come through.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-12-22 10:11pm

Purple wrote:Am I the only one who does not understand the point of forcing you to use a script? At that point they might as well replace you with a machine.

In this case, where it's a survey, it's so that each question is given exactly the same, with no deviations to weigh the client's opinion one way or another. We're not even allowed to skip a word of the question -- if someone jumps ahead, we are authorized to say "I'm sorry, we have to read the whole question for the interview to be valid". Otherwise, it's tossed out as a flawed survey.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Broomstick » 2015-12-24 02:21pm

Based on how many times we had to re-stock the lip balm, cough drops, and condoms today at work Northwest Indiana has a cold and chapped lips, yet is still optimistic about having a good time Christmas Eve and Christmas. Spread the love! (and viruses...)
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Purple » 2015-12-24 03:02pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Purple wrote:Am I the only one who does not understand the point of forcing you to use a script? At that point they might as well replace you with a machine.

In this case, where it's a survey, it's so that each question is given exactly the same, with no deviations to weigh the client's opinion one way or another. We're not even allowed to skip a word of the question -- if someone jumps ahead, we are authorized to say "I'm sorry, we have to read the whole question for the interview to be valid". Otherwise, it's tossed out as a flawed survey.

A survey I can understand. But from my experience customer support is about sending passive aggressive emails to the customer (me) in legalese that I won't be helped but they won't tell me that openly. And always using a pre defined script.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby FaxModem1 » 2015-12-24 04:55pm

Purple wrote:A survey I can understand. But from my experience customer support is about sending passive aggressive emails to the customer (me) in legalese that I won't be helped but they won't tell me that openly. And always using a pre defined script.


For mine, I was doing third party verification, so we had to ensure that they knew what they were agreeing to, which paraphrasing would not legally cover. More than likely, our phrases were made so that their legal bases were covered, and to ensure that nothing we said could possibly reflect badly on either company. This was also a bit of a necessity, as the salesman that the customers were buying from, a majority of the time, didn't know what they were talking about and/or mislead their customers on what they were buying.

This usually lead to myself and others working at our firm getting yelled at for being a bunch of liars, when we were the legal requirement that prevented them from being bamboozled.
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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby InsaneTD » 2015-12-25 02:46am

Salesmen over here can be fined 10k+ if they mislead or lie to customer. As can the company (though their five starts at 50k) if it's found it was poor salesmen training.

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Raw Shark » 2015-12-25 09:12am

YOUR DRIVER: No dressing up this year?

MY FAVORITE STRIPPER: No, I'm completely over it. It's no fun, if we all do Santa Hat or Mrs. Claus.

YOUR DRIVER: You should've been like Naughty Elf or something.

MY FAVORITE STRIPPER: Maybe next year. I just wasn't feeling it. I have a lot of shit going on, and haven't even got presents for my family yet. My sister just had my first nephew, look.

YOUR DRIVER: Pretty cute.

MY FAVORITE STRIPPER: I want to get him something that's actually for him, not just practical shit that's really just a gift to [sister]. But how do I do that? What would a baby actually like?

YOUR DRIVER: You could take him to [strip club...]

MY FAVORITE STRIPPER: Of course! Titties! ...no, wait, there's so much coke there it's probably atomized in the air...

YOUR DRIVER: Okay, yeah: terrible idea. But I'm funny!

MY FAVORITE STRIPPER: True, but real gift ideas now, please.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker

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Re: MORE Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Postby Napoleon the Clown » 2015-12-26 12:59am

The things a newborn likes tend to be free. Namely, attention and play that doesn't require doing more than contemplating their tongue.

Really, for the first half year of life a baby is trying to figure out the basics. Like how to poop. Or not puke for no reason.
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