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Rapscallion 09-16-2010 07:00 AM

Have a chance at fame!

The following message was sent to you via the Customers Suck! Contact Us form.
I am a weekly columnist for ******, and I'm reporting a column on how customer-service workers deal with angry people. I would very much like to interview the founder of this site about the challenges of these jobs, how they cope when faced with repeated angry calls every day, and how they keep from taking the stress home. I'm also interested in speaking a customer service rep who decided enough is enough, and left the field.
My deadline is Friday noon Eastern time Sept. 17. I am sorry for the short notice; as a weekly columnist, I am always on this kind of tight deadline.
I can be reached by e-mail at *****
Thank you very much> I hope to hear from you soon. ********
Right, folks. I'm away to work shortly. I'm going to be doing some responding myself, but that's going to be tonight. Suffice it to say, this is a fairly prestigious publication. I edited out contact details to prevent the lady in question being spammed.

If you have any thoughts, please post them here.


DeltaSierra 09-16-2010 08:08 AM

That is totally cool! If its published, will we be able to see it?

Bright_Star 09-16-2010 09:03 AM

Don't forget the "little people" when you're on top of the

Rapscallion 09-16-2010 10:48 AM

Coping techniques, folks. That's what's needed :) Drop them in this thread!


Sandman 09-16-2010 11:02 AM

Remember they are yelling at you about the company... not directly at you. Take a deep breath, let them vent, then ask them what we can do so everyone is happy.

Rapscallion 09-16-2010 11:06 AM


Quoth DeltaSierra (Post 794298)
That is totally cool! If its published, will we be able to see it?

Forgot to reply to this. I'm not in the US and it's a big enough publication that I've heard of it. It's a significant one - more as and when.


Dips 09-16-2010 12:25 PM

Staying calm is key. I don't know at first if a caller is just a normal person who is frustrated or a jerk who treats everyone else the way he is treating me.

If it's the former, being calm usually turns the situation around. If it's the latter, staying calm makes me the better person. It's a win either way.

A lot of it also has the do with the work environment.

I work at a tiny company and don't have to stick to a script or worry about call times. That's a real bonus because I can tailor my technique to each situation and take as much time as necessary without worrying that I'm going to get dinged if someone needs extra time.

If a call is going nowhere we can also pass the caller on to another co-worker. Sometimes just having a different voice or approach can make a difference.

The owner respects our work and backs us up when we are enforcing the policies he sets. That sounds like a given but believe me there are numerous stories on this site about managers and owners who don't respect their employees' work or back them up.

I'm also allowed to hang up on anyone who is truly abusive. I've only had to do it once. Just knowing I am not helpless and have control of the situation is a good way to keep calm and cope with a difficult call.

Lastly, I can always come here and vent about the truly awful ones. Just getting it in words and knowing others might commiserate, laugh or cringe means I don't have to take it to heart or lose sleep over it.

ArcticChicken 09-16-2010 12:38 PM

I'm a customer service person who quit, though I may have to go back. *sigh*

Feel free to forward her my contact info if you think she'd be interested.

jedimaster91 09-16-2010 12:57 PM

As a medical professional, I remind myself that my "customers" (patients) could possibly be very sick. They have something going on with their bodies that they don't understand and they are scared. I do my best to explain the proceedure calmly, cheerfully, and simply. It really is the little things that make a huge difference such as a warm blanket or an extra pillow. I love what I do and I like to think it shows.

ETA: Hey, Raps, how anonymous is this publication going to keep the comments? I work in a pretty specialized field and I would hate for my company to figure out I post here. If this publication is as popular as you say, I don't want to chance my boss reading it and thinking, "Hey, that sounds like Jedi. Star Wars related screen name? Yeah, that's definitely her."

Whiskey 09-16-2010 01:00 PM

Don't suppose you'll be touching on the negative coping mechanisms of being treated as subhuman all the time working in retail? I know i coped through heavy drinking*/smoking, generally withdrawing from society and my friends. I become someone I don't like every time I work a retail job like my last one. I've never heard of a job where someone can try to hit you and you get reprimanded for "bad customer service" because you walked away to a safe area. It does a lot to how you see everything else in your life.

ever since I quit that godforsaken job, I've been happier, I dont think I've had a drink in upwards of five days (and its not a big deal), my stress dropped 150% and I've made a few new friends. I even text people with smilie faces now :)

*it got to about a liter a week. I've never in my life drank as much as I have in the past six months.

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