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I have worked for BT, NTL, Cable and Wireless and even NYNEX, usually in a call centre environment and I can totally sympathise with the call centre staff. Particularly call centre staff who are often poorly paid and are quite literally treated worse than battery hens in a cage. It's shocking how badly these people are treated. First of all they are blamed for a multitude of sins by the customer about things that are completely beyond their control. As if that isn't bad enough, next they are treated like cannon fodder for the company to blame when it all goes wrong.
As I have found out first hand, the constant threat of redundancies often hangs over all call centre staff. You're expendable don't you know? Recruitment drives are another feature of call centres and as a new employee you will be presented with lots of smiling and happy faces when you first start. Well don't you believe it for a minute! When those calls are queueing, the team leaders will be running round like headless chickens doing everything they can to avoid taking calls themselves, but they will push you to get you to hurry up so you can to get onto your next call.
The aim is to shorten your call time (or AHT - average handling time) and the result is often a poor level of service. This is because you are unable to take a breath between calls or to actually finish what you were doing before moving on to the next call.
Believe it or not to get ahead in a call centre you have to be slightly incompetent. Every team leader I knew or ever had was terrible as a Customer Service Representative (CSR), yet despite this, they were the ones who were promoted to the rank of team leader. They would then get their own team of about ten people, a few thousand pounds a year more and of course their own company mobile! They would take numerous meetings (sometimes 3 or 4 a day) and then complain to anyone who would listen how hard it was to fill out forms all day long.
I don't blame them for not wishing to take calls I suppose. These people would do anything to avoid calls, particularly the difficult ones! A classic tactic would be to "delegate" or send in the most experienced team member to deal with the awkward ones!