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Old 05-25-2019, 11:12 PM
1,955 posts, read 772,492 times
Reputation: 4183


Originally Posted by rummage View Post
That is not what customer service is all about and this is not the way it is. You don't understand what customer service actually is and what function it performs.

No, sorry, that isn't a way to handle working with clients. You make it sound like it is a job to be abused in and that's your role. It isn't. The company doesn't want you to be abused, they want you to solve customer problems to keep them. The OP needs to know how to respond to these things and help them, not simply to suffer cause that doesn't help the customer, doesn't help the OP and doesn't help the company.
Customer service is all about helping the client. What is so hard to understand about that? Of course the intent is to always help the client and it is not to be abused. But the abuse is there in that the client is always considered right at the expense of the employee. Nothing earthshattering about that. Companies exist to make money and clients are their bread and butter. Employees are paid for their time and are not to be coddled. They are expected to do their jobs and do them well.

My point is that there is not much that the employee can do about that situation except grin and bear it. I wish that there was something constructive that an employee could do, but you have to dance to the tune of your employer. Complaining usually makes the situation worse and not better since employees are supposed to help the client and not whine when they are abused by clients.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:27 PM
1,955 posts, read 772,492 times
Reputation: 4183
Originally Posted by ContraPagan View Post
Thankfully every single phone call is recorded, so if there is a complaint all management has to do is pull the call and listen to it. Also, I asked one of the team leads what I should say to her and that was what I was told to say. There's certain things we can and can't do based on state and federal regulations as well as company policy, and you never know which of your calls are going to be QC'ed, so sometimes you are going to upset a customer or two. Maybe that woman called back and got an agent who was willing to give her that info, and I only hope that call doesn't wind up being QC'ed, because every time you fail a call it counts against you.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes the customer ISN'T going to be satisfied by the outcome of the call. I had a caller last week who was mad because he was restricted by Medicaid to only one hospital in NYC. We can't give him a reason why, because it's not a Marketplace decision. All we can do is put in a request to a task team to have that looked into and lifted (if possible), and that isn't going to be rectified in that one call, that day. It can take up to 10 business days or more for these complaints or referrals to be looked into. And then he hung up before I could do the request, and once the call ends we have to move on to the next one.
I am thankful that I didn't work in any place that recorded phone calls (at least officially). That would have driven me up the wall. I was a software developer that created new software and modifications for clients, so it was communicating via specifications and documentation as well as conference calls. After I left, more severe metrics were introduced in throwing out specifications for new projects out faster, faster coding and testing times, etc. It is run more on the lines of a call center now rather than a software development shop. I am so glad that I am out of there.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:13 AM
Location: Watervliet, NY
4,418 posts, read 1,674,881 times
Reputation: 8081
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
The attitude that customers just need to accept that they might not be helped reminded me of it. I definitely felt a different vibe and a sense that they didn’t have to really go out of their way for me because it was a county agency vs a private enterprise.
You did the right thing in escalating the situation, because it was the agency that was negligent. I and my fellow agents have the capacity to do that too, especially if the caller has threatened to notify the media, and we will mark it as high priority.

I've never been in a call where I didn't try to help the person. If I can't find the answer in the Work Instructions on my own, I'll flag a team lead to help me out. Bottom line, though, is that sometimes the right answer is not the one the caller wants to hear, like the fact that a hospital restriction isn't going to be lifted the same day I put in a request to have it looked into, or I'm not going to tell you how much you need to make to qualify for Medicaid (when you've already qualified for a full-pay plan with Advanced Premium Tax Credit) or why your coverage is being switched from the Marketplace to the LDSS/HRA.

Last edited by ContraPagan; 05-26-2019 at 06:25 AM..
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:25 AM
Location: Texas Hill Country
10,302 posts, read 5,677,133 times
Reputation: 8651
If I do, I usually mimic something from a movie.

"Well, Sir, there's no reason to beat up on the little guy. Operations may not be as important to the project as your work here, but we do have our assigned duties."

Tossing in as much of the original performance as I can.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:08 AM
10,196 posts, read 4,782,581 times
Reputation: 13329
The customer is not always right but that needs to be the presumption until proven otherwise. Just like criminal guilt. Usually if one goes to the effort to contact customer support there really is an issue. That doesn't mean they should get mean and nasty but the support tech has to exercise restraint and not take anything personally.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:45 AM
8,453 posts, read 5,510,412 times
Reputation: 9809
Not much. Just try to resolve the issue as fast as you can if that is not possible give it to your boss to handle the customer.

Then take a boxing class and punch out that boxing bag!!!!
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:01 AM
12,067 posts, read 20,629,571 times
Reputation: 19693
Originally Posted by WonkasWilly View Post
As a commercial HVAC tech, I've learned to keep my cool. I've never grabbed my tools and walked off a job site (yet). I understand the frustration that building owners / facilities personnel go through when tenants are up their butts, but most of the time they know better than to **** off the guy that's there to fix their problem. The day that it gets out of hand will be the day that I walk away and my employer would not have a problem with it.
I once had a lady who created strife, got her way, then brightly said “The squeaky wheel gets the grease!”

She worked at the company who was our customer. One day she pulled it out on me, and I brightly said “Sometimes that wheel gets removed and replaced, because it just keep squeaking!”

She stood there with her jaw swinging in the wind.

And I had another guy who used to bring in his paycheck to cash at closing, then dawdle over getting money orders one at a time. Then tell me”The customer is always right!” After a bad day, he pulled it on me. I looked at him and said “Yes, but YOU are not my customer.” I lifted his paycheck and waved it in the air and pointed at it. “Mr. Smith, the owner of the company, is our customer. Wonder how he’d feel about one of his employees abusing his banking priviledges like this?”

By the way, in all cases where I kinda told customers off, my manager was sitting at her desk, right next to my teller station, usually trying not to laugh.
Solly says — Be nice!
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:52 PM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,247 posts, read 20,771,418 times
Reputation: 23424
Get a job where you don't interface with customers.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:41 PM
765 posts, read 357,302 times
Reputation: 1613
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Get a job where you don't interface with customers.
Yep...pretty obvious...
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:05 PM
21,580 posts, read 14,318,236 times
Reputation: 15178
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
I work at a company in a department that is driven by customers. I reconcile bank accounts for people in the Real Estate industry. Customers are sent a Monthly Report as well as a Daily Reports.

Here's what happened:

The other day, this lady calls me and has me on speaker phone with herself and other lady. She starts talking about her reports but she doesn't tell which report she was talking about (the monthly or daily). So I am scrambling to find the report while she is talking about some numbers on the report.

She kept saying things like "I have to know what you need from me to make this right". I told her that I don't audit her account (sometimes they think we are auditors or CPA's that have almighty power over their data, but we are none of those things.)

Then I figure out which report it is and said that those numbers don't ever match back to the bank statement and she said in a very mean & angry voice We have had this conversation many times and I've told you this has to happen). I never remember speaking to her. I got some emails years ago from her but I don't ever recall having a phone conversation with her.

So my next plan of action was "ok what do you want"? and I just reran her reports.

She was making it out to be the end of the world and it wasn't. The report she was looking was for information only and the numbers are part cleared and uncleared items and those can't match the bank statement because the bank statement does not have uncleared items on it. How would it know about them anyway because in the bank's mind the only items that matter are cleared items.

When she said: We have had this conversation many times and I've told you this has to happen. and I am pretty sure that we never EVER had a conversation in the entire time of I've had her as a customer.

Her tone was condescending and belittling and were meant to hurt me and make me feel stupid. I said nothing and I think I could have said something in a nice way to stop her dead in her tracks.

What could I have done? I don't want to make her mad but I do want to stand up for myself.

Happens all the time, and has been going on for ages to anyone that works in a capacity which deals with the public. Only true way of avoiding is to find a job that has nil to no exposure with the public.

Nurses get dumped on by patients, their families, doctors, doctor's wives.

Secretaries, assistants, receptionists, shop keepers, shop girls/workers, tradesmen, bank tellers, customer service agents, etc.... the lot and more all have to deal with the occasional Mrs. Vanderbilt. In fact the stereotype is so common it has made its way into comedy fiction of book, stage, screen and television.

Best thing to do in such instances is *NOT* to play the game, and stoop down to this person's level. They are looking for a fight or provocation which usually ends badly for the employee.

It is important to remember well brought up persons, even when wealthy or extremely so by and large do not behave this way. Normally they are gentile and polite. If they find something lacking in an employee or whatever they will make a quiet complaint to their direct superior.

OTOH if you are at the top of your game, and feel ready to give as good as you get there are ways of lobbing things back into Mrs. Vanderbilt's court.

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