View Full Version : I need the opinions of phone jockeys everywhere!!!

07-07-2006, 09:42 PM
Do you have a diplomatic way of responding to someone who interrupts and talks over you? Normally I just let it slide, but it seemed like every person I talked to today was in too much of a rush to let me finish the question that THEY asked me about!!!

:headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:

07-07-2006, 10:56 PM
The only thing I've found that works is to wait until they stop, then repeat the question calmly and politely. If they interrupt you again, then you wait and repeat the question once they shut up. Eventually they'll (probably)explode at you and that's when you can say (politely) "Sir/ma'am, my apologies--I'm trying to answer the question for you. I would suggest . . ." Etc. That allows you to take control of the conversation without being a jerk about it. You may get some resistance. Just use the broken record technique and be impeccably polite without making it snotty--you know what I mean. It always worked pretty well for me when I was faced with irate or pushy customers who wouldn't let me finish my sentences.

07-07-2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the advice Brighid. I'll definitely try that out.

07-08-2006, 12:21 AM
You're welcome :) Occasionally you'll get someone who won't respond to this technique. I would say at that point, if it's appropriate and won't get you into trouble, send them up the food chain and let someone in management deal with it. The customer probably doesn't want results as much as s/he wants someone to yell at, and you don't need to be their verbal punching bag. HTH :)

07-08-2006, 02:11 AM
I second what Brighid said. When I get one of those jerks on the phone, I just shut up and let them wind down. Let there be a moment of silence, and they will say "hello are you still there?" That's when you say "Yes, I was waiting for you to finish your thought and now I would like to finish what I was saying."

You are bening polite but getting your point across. Don't try to talk over them. Just shut up every time they interrupt and let there be silence once they finally realize you aren't jumping in. Works every time for me.

Good luck-lots of a**holes out there and they are calling us!

07-08-2006, 07:30 PM
I deal with this on a daily basis. After all, it's not their fault that they ran out of toner or other supplies. We're supposed to psychicly know that they don't have the foresight to know to call to order more.

I usually let them vent and listen and they make complete fools of themselves. By the time they're done, they don't know if I'm still on the line or not. If they use profanity, I do warn them that I will disconnet the call. I give them one chance, then I tell them I'm disconnecting and to call back when they're calm enough to talk in a civil manner.

07-08-2006, 08:30 PM
Unfortunately, our Managers will only take a call IF a customer requests it, and even then they will give us pointers to try to use before then. But that's a rant for another day :P

Most of these customers aren't of the hateful and bitchy variety. I can handle yelling (with a mute button and a good laugh). It's the ones that have no phone skills at all. You are ordering jewelry over the phone that costs more than a week of pay for me. I would assume you would want your total and order confirmation information. Because when you call in and you haven't received your jewelry, how am I supposed to help you with that when you don't even know what you've ordered? But I digress.

It's just the general lack of politeness over the phone that makes my brain itch in places I can't reach. You speak, I speak, that's my interpretation of a conversation. Why is that so hard to understand? LOL

07-08-2006, 11:18 PM
Yes--people get impatient or pushy and don't give you time to talk. They want one word answers even when that's obviously impossible. So using polite silence to get them to slow down and/or shut up is a great tool. :)

07-09-2006, 10:46 PM
This isn't quite as polite as the above suggestions, but it always made me feel better. I would just keep on talking and completely ignore their interruptions. Some people would actually shut up and listen to me once they realized I was still talking. To the others I could say "I'm sorry, but I couldn't hear what you were saying. What was that again?" in a very fakely sweet way and feel morally superior, since after all I was not the rude interrupting asshole.

People that would try to rush me along or start talking over the ends of my sentences got a different treatment. When I got to the end of the call, I would give the closing spiel all in one breath: "Yourordernumberis123456.Pleaseallow7-10businessdays.Thanksforyourorderandhaveaniceday.G oodbye!" My finger would usually hit the disconnect button somewhere in the middle of 'Goodbye.' I'm sure none of them ever realized what had just happened, but it always made me feel a little better (and a little childish, but you take the good with the bad!).

07-09-2006, 11:50 PM
Do you have a diplomatic way of responding to someone who interrupts and talks over you?

How about for the people that do this to you in person? My DH and step-daughter are notorious for doing this.
I seriously am going to go back to just shutting up when they start talking. I tried this before, and it didn't work. Maybe the second time, they might notice, since they are now used to me being like them, and talking over them right back.

07-10-2006, 01:16 AM
I don't mind being interrupted by a customer SO LONG AS they have something pertinant to say.
For example, I'm reading off a list of choices, and they interrupt to say, "That's the one."
When they interrupt to say something stupid, that's when I get mad!
But also, what about the ones who take a very long time to say something that could have been said in just a few seconds? And when we interrupt them, whe're the ones being rude!

07-10-2006, 11:45 PM
I can't stand the Interruptosaurs! Gack! Numero uno on my pet peeve list.

I've found that there are three main reasons a customer will interrupt constantly: they're self-absorbed and think they're more important than you, they want to get you angry so they can argue, they're frustrated and want you to be frustrated too. Once you figure out which type they are, the easier it becomes to deal with them.

The best way to handle the ones who are frustrated is the let them vent, empathize with their plight, and to reassure them that it will be fixed. (Bear in mind that these customers are not to be confused with the ones who want to argue. These frustrated customers don't usually sound angry, if anything they sound sad.) They want to know that someone else in the universe understands what they're going through and is willing to help them. Believe it or not, all that sappy, sugary-sweet gobbildy-gook that customer service people are usually trained to say, if said with at least a little sincerity, works on these customers.

The ones trying to get you angry are easy to spot because they find all your buttons and push them. Unfortunately, the best way to handle them is to take the high road, which is not something everybody can do (I slip up myself many times with these customers). If they seem to keep pushing you towards an arguement, try to stay calm and repeat what you've told them before. If they do not let up, and you feel that you can't handle them, try to find someone who can rescue you. They are not easy to deal with at all, and in my experience conversations with them rarely end well. On the plus side, it's feels like a huge victory, not to mention funny, if you can manage to pour on the sugar the more sour the customer becomes.

For the more important than everybody customer, there's not really any good way to handle them. They think we lowly proles were put on this Earth to service them, and nothing you have to say will be very important anyway. Listen to their highness whilst they repeat the same question for the 50th time because they do not have the time to listen for your answer! Bow down to them, lowly prole! Seriously, there isn't a good way to deal with them except to grit your teeth and bear it.

On a funny note, at my old job there was a stupervisor named Rob who I *loved* to listen to on stupervisor calls. My favorite line was:

"Okay sir/ma'am, this is how a conversation works: First you talked while I listened, now it's my turn to talk while you listen."


07-11-2006, 04:32 AM
"Okay sir/ma'am, this is how a conversation works: First you talked while I listened, now it's my turn to talk while you listen."

I would so LOVE to use that line, I just like being employed more :rolleyes:

07-11-2006, 05:18 AM
:ot: (Sort of)

Me: "Knock knock."
You: "Who's there?"
Me: "Interrupting Cow."
You: "Interrup......"

Phone Jockey
07-11-2006, 07:52 AM
"Sir/Mam, I need to get some information from you first. Thank you."

That USUALLY works. Otherwise, I start interrupting them. Childish, but funnier.

07-12-2006, 09:58 AM
"Sir/Mam, I need to get some information from you first. Thank you."

That USUALLY works. Otherwise, I start interrupting them. Childish, but funnier.

Those are ones I usually use. The first one being more polite, the second easing the pain in my soul a bit more :devil:

07-13-2006, 06:58 PM
The bane of my existence.

If it's an on going issue and i'm attempting to solve there problem, usually I will bust this out

"Mrs/Mr Please stop interrupting me, i'm here to help you. If you would like me to fix the issue at hand i can do so. If you wish to talk over me then I will be forced to terminate this conversation."

That usually shuts them up right quick. I've only had to hang up on one person that would not let me get a word in edge wise.

But I can get away with a lot more stuff then other people as we have 0 quality control.