just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Call Center Calls (or Calls, Part Deux)

There are, of course, things that we are supposed to do with each call that comes in.

One of these things is to use the customer's name. My only problem with this is that there are names that I just cannot get my tongue around. Or there are spellings that fool me the first time I see them (Caryn = Karen, btw). When I'm talking to someone, looking over their account information and trying to find what they want, all at the same time, sometimes my brain doesn't process a name correctly. Most of the time people aren't offended if I mispronounce their name. If the name really stumps me, then I just say "Please state your name as it is printed on your credit card." (And if I don't say to keep the card handy so that I can get the number later, most of these people will put it back in their wallets. 'Cause looking at it = giving me the number.) First name or last name? I usually use their first name because if there's a name that I can't pronounce, it's usually the last name. Sometimes I just get a sense that a customer wouldn't want me to do that, then I do go the Mr and Mrs and Mizz route. I don't remember ever having a customer reprimand me for calling me by their first name. Maybe it's because part of our call's opening includes giving them our first name.

One of my co-workers has a really hard time with this policy of using the customer's name throughout the call. She claims that half of her callers objected to her using their first name, and that last names are just too hard to pronounce. Besides, she said, with all the other things we need to do during the call ~ cross-sells, phone specials and getting things right ~ it's just too hard to use the customer's name during the call. So, even tho' her supervisor keeps telling her to do it, and it affects her monitoring scores, she won't do it. Sheeesh. She's been here for a few years, and she was at BOMC for a while, too. Should be old hat by now.

Oh ~ she did have a funny name story. Got a call where the names on the account were Shannon and Preston. The caller was a woman. Turns out that she was Preston and Shannon was her hubby. I know that there are gender-crossing names, but that's a first for me.

Oh, wait, I do have one more interesting name from yesterday. Somewhere out there, there is a little girl whose name is GREYLYN. Hmmmmmmmm

I haven't even gotten in to work yet today, and here I've posted already. Gives a whole new life to working at the CCC - keeping notes for blogging! hehehehe


At 7:49 AM, Blogger Doug said...

My parents tell the story that at one point, they wanted to change our last name to something simpler, because they were tired of having to spell it out and then having it mis-spelled and mis-pronounced anyway. One day, they ordered take-out and decided to try the name "Parks." When my dad arrived to pick up the food, they couldn't find the order. Finally the manager walked in with an order slip and said "Karks?" So I was born a Pascover as my father had been.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

LOL on Doug's story. I like hearing the different names.

I also like it that your upscale call center not only lets you talk to people, it seems to encourage it. Some people, even these well-to-do ones, don't have many folks they can talk to.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Fred said...

As a teacher, I see all sorts of different names. Occasionally, I'll get a first name that I just simply can’t pronounce. I try, I really do.

But, I'll get lazy and resort to calling them "Mr." or “Miss” and then their last name. That's assuming I can pronounce their last name, that is.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

"Greylyn"? Father was a British driver for Gray Lines, undoubtedly. And very loyal to the company.

Hey! I just noticed you're among the Pez people. Tan Lucy is one of my favorite people of all time.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Some call centres that were based here in England have been moved to India as it is cheaper. They hope the customers won't notice, although some can't speak clear English!

At 6:50 PM, Blogger actonbell said...

Hey, keeping notes for blogging adds some other purpose to the day, too! btw, did I tell you that I've met kindergarten girls named Heaven and Elvirah? (not sure I'm spelling the latter correctly).

At 7:40 PM, Blogger dddragon said...

Today I took an order from a woman named Sunshine - she didn't sound especially young.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger GodlessMom said...

I went to school with a girl named Sunshine. She looked a lot like the "You wanna take a bath" girl in The Wall.

I used to work with a girl named Sundae. I often wondered what in the world her parents were thinking.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Good grief! Sunday?

At 11:43 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Just a quick note to let you see that your famous pez is back in action on my blog again.

Will explain more after tomrrow's court cases.

Thanks for this distinctive creation!

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Tom & Icy said...

Call me anything, just call me for supper!

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Names can be so interesting and funny too!

At 11:27 PM, Blogger AP3 said...

I hope you like the phone! I mean, I actually don't like talking on the phone. I have a bit of a phone phobia, so I would never be able to do your job!

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I have a really weird name that most people can't seem to pronounce. It's actually a very old name (my mom didn't make it up) but the only other people that share it are in graveyards now.

So when I have to give my name at restaurants, I've given up on giving them my first name. But if I say Dr. Kraut, they think I'm snobby. So, I make up a name each time. I usually use the name "Sunshine".

Imagine the time that we were at Panerra Bread, waiting for lunch, and my Other Half had been kind enough to send me to look for a table and settle in. So, he's waiting there for our order among a lot of really big weightlifter types when the girl calls out, "Sunshine?"


The sales pitches that I hate are the ones that go "So, Saur, what do you think of this car? If the price is right, Saur, would you be interested? And Saur, don't forget these nifty options..." If my name is used repeatedly, I start building a Silent But Deadly Sales Shield. Deadly, because it kills the sale each and every time.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

P.S. My first job was in a call center. I hated it. I hated all the rude b*stards that would scream at you, or blow a horn in your ear, or cuss you out. I also hated the hangups, because I never knew if it was accidental (so I should call back) or on purpose (which would mean if I called back I'd get an earful).

I finally lost the job (at age 15) when I called a particularly rude guy back and laid into him. Apparently the call center manager didn't approve and fired me right away. I figured, it was worth it. I'll bet that rude *sshole always thought twice after that.

I decided that it wasn't worth my sanity, and the world would be better off with one less sociopath, so I never went back into the industry.

You have my deepfelt sympathy and admiration.


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