It's been a few months now but I used to work at a call center that picked up the phone for (mostly) storage facilities, clinics, and sometimes even technical every blue moon.
Everyone knows a call center can suck, but it can suck harder when your main job is to either take a payment and/ or leave a message. Sometimes neither. So I'd like to share my experience in customer care, if you can even call it that.
I really liked to believe that the employees at the customer's location really were just busy. But more often than not they would leave early or not even show up to work. Sometimes a customer would call and ask that while they were THERE, and have been waiting for some time to get help. Rarely was it because staff was busy, and it was always because someone left before closing or was even hiding to skip on helping the customer. Even when that was obvious, this was all we could say and it always caused trouble.
Whenever a customer WASN'T upset about learning we're not there was a miracle. Every other time it was an earful. I get that we had to lie so that we can actually try to help the customer before they hang up, but the only difference was that our poor ears would be abused before they hung up.
This is by far the worst offender about this job. It's one thing to not have internal information about the location itself, like the specifics on who works there, but it's another thing to sometimes straight up not have the OFFICE HOURS or even details about what's being offered. This is what I meant by being a glorified answering machine: we often had to just take a message for the most simple of questions with answers that we SHOULD have. But not before being yelled at, again.
Though there were very few locations that actually gave us about as much power and info as their main employees did. It was a blessing.
Continuing from my last point, I just wanted to emphasize the response I got when I asked about our usual lack of information to provide to our so called customers. I'm still speechless.
The previous problems I mentioned were bad enough every now and then when I first started. They were annoying but compared to how short the calls could be to how many calls I got, it wasn't a bad deal.
That was until I began to realize that we were getting more and more calls, and more coworkers kept leaving. Either they left because the stress was too much or they found a better job, but that did not stop the executives from taking in more and more clients to take in, sometimes not even training us in the new businesses we were answering for.
Soon enough, there was no difference between our busy days or our slow days. To be exact, the average call is about 2-5 minutes. I took 130 calls daily. Getting yelled at for not being able to help every other call was not fun.
To give even more context about how LITTLE seemed to be discussed when taking on more clients, sometimes we got calls from customers claiming they were told that we were their facility's corporate office. We even got calls from employees and higher up managers asking for help when they were technically OUR boss.
This is the last thing I could immediately think of. I'm genuinely trying to forget this place after the constant stress and yelling that would go on.
But say we had someone locked out, or hell even locked in, there are several factors that come into play.
First, we had to check the rules provided from the office to see if the situation was under the list of things we can call management for. If it qualifies, then we call the numbers listed. Whether or not they picked up however is another thing. If they didn't pick up, sorry customer, yer ******.
But there is also the possibility that the situation is NOT listed. It makes sense if a customer simply got locked out after gate hours, but there were times where under NO CIRCUMSTANCES were we allowed to contact anyone. Even if someone was locked inside of a facility in the freezing cold of winter are we not allowed to call. We tried once, the manger became furious and threatened to end our service for trying to help a lady, cold and alone at a storage facility. We're not even allowed to say "call the police". There's probably laws for that, sure, but it felt terrible end calls like that.
I got yelled at a lot at this place, the screaming drove me mad. But that was probably one exception to kind of accepting a customer's anger.