I’ve been working as a Customer Service Representative here in the Philippines for some time now. I’m not tenured or anything. In fact, I’m just approaching my 2nd year in this industry. However, I believe that I gathered enough information, opinion, and thoughts to make this post.
I’m fine with helping customers. It somehow gives joy to me when they’re issue is solved and if they feel happy at the end of the call. But we all know that it is not an easy job. You need to answer different phone calls for 8 hours while also taking into consideration your metrics such as the quality of your call, customer satisfaction, and correct resolution. It is even more stressful when you get a stressful customer who is, let’s say, their attitude is not in your favor. So, here I listed things I don’t like when customers do these. I’m sure others can relate.
1) Divorced and just can’t coordinate with each other
Since divorce is legal in America, you’ll get a lot of calls regarding a request for a name change, an assumption of the account, and other adjustments due to divorce. What is frustrating is that, whether the divorce decree is finalized or not, customers of both parties does not want anything to do with each other that they somehow won’t coordinate with each other about what they want to do with the account, that their request is not possible if certain things aren’t done. For example, a had a call about the ex-wife asking me to block the ex-husband from the account. Later I found out that the divorce decree is not yet finalized. We can’t do that until it is finalized because both of them still have rights to the account. But that’s not really frustrating compared to a divorced couple who won’t coordinate with each other. For example, the ex-husband wants his name off of the account because he’s not living on the property anymore. For it to be done, the ex-wife has to assume the loan by filling up an assumption form to solely take over the account, and pay an out of the pocket closing cost. The problem is that, the customer does not think the ex-wife will fill up the form. He asks for other options to have his name removed or at least for him to assume the property and for the company to forcedly remove the ex-wife from the property before he assumes the loan, refinance, short sale the property, or just surrender the loan. The problem is that, for most options he was asking, both of them still need to sign and agree on it, in which the customer was sure his ex-wife would not sign. Also, he was already considering making the account delinquent to proceed to foreclosure so that the ex-wife would have no choice but to leave the property. It’s a chaos! The customer wanted something to be done but it can’t be done if both customers don’t agree on it. And here you are, a representative expected by the customer to do something about it when it’s them who really have to make up their minds.
2) Customers who has a lengthy problem but talks to you like you already know it on set of the call
I don’t have a problem with lengthy, unresolved issue on the customers account. I’d still be glad to help them. I do understand their frustrations but, sounding like you already know what the problem is does not help at all and it just makes the representative confused. Some customers tell you their issue without starting from the top. They just start to narrate things starting at the middle of the story, leaving you no idea about what they are saying or sometimes, what the problem is even regarding to. To get an idea, you have to read lengthy chains of notes before you understand the source, what happened, and the latest resolution to the problem. I appreciate the customers who will tell everything from top despite the length of the issue. It gives you more idea about what you needed to do.
3) Closed Minded Customers
I hate it when despite all your clear, nice, and easy to understand explanation, customers would still be saying “You’re not listening to me!” or “You don’t understand!” or “You’re not hearing me out!”. Some of them are just so closed minded that despite your repeated effort of explaining in different ways, they only want to hear what they wanted to hear and would take no other explanation different from what they wanted. It’s like all they hear from you is Blah blah blah when the explanation they needed was already said. Worse it that, they tell you that you are not listening or helping them when you already are.
4) Discrimination to off shore representatives
Once some customers here that you’re a Filipino, they feel like you can’t help them. Although yes, I know and read from different articles that out shoring call centers make customers feel unimportant, I totally understand why some of the customers feel frustrated. Especially, language barrier problems take over, and they have to deal with your accent when they already have enough problems, it’s understandable. What I don’t understand is their mindset that on shore representatives can better help them. Some customers I had tells me that on shore representatives have more access to their accounts. Or, one time, my customer had a bad signal, and he tells me that it must be because I’m in the Philippines. When in fact, on shore and off shore representatives can do just the same and also have the same systems. Yet, they don’t give you a chance to assist them.
5) After getting what they want, they say bye and hang up
I feel like a machine when they do that. After you answering their questions, they just say “Ok thanks”, and then hangs up. I understand they are pretty busy sometimes but I also wanted to end the call with proper goodbyes. I feel like after I was used, I was turned off. Haha!
6) Gets sarcastic, shouts at you, or anything that makes you get a hind that they are in a bad mood
I hate it when customers takes out their frustration on you. They start the call sarcastic or shouts from end to finish. Some customers doesn’t like the verification process and is not very cooperative for you to solve their problems faster. When they get sarcastic, you just don’t know how to respond. And when they get to shout mania mode, they feel like they would get the issue solved faster when it gets harder for you to understand them with all the shouting. I get it, their frustrated. But how they act does not help me to help them. Another reason for that is what I read from another article from Cracked that when customers keep shouting at representatives, the agent goes into defensive mode and gets a feeling that the customer is a person they no longer want to help. Can you blame us? We’re also human. If you shout at us, we’re no longer comfortable with helping you.
Those are some of the things I don’t like when customers does them. Again, this is just on the agents side. I know we have to take the customers’ feelings into consideration, but it is also important to consider the agent too. It is best to cooperate with the agent to have the issue resolved because most of the time, they will want to help you. If you don’t help them help you, how will the issue be solved? Cooperation is necessary.