Monday, October 22, 2007

The call centre customer manifesto

I've just started a facebook group called: "No More Call Centre Monkeys!"

I urge you to join - and tell your friends. Maybe a bit of pressure will force the centralised management structures of these organisations to listen. Listening, incidentally, is exactly NOT what they are allowing their employees (those on the edge of their networks, those interfacing with their revenue streams, ie their customers) to do.

So, with apologies to Christopher Carfi at The Social Customer Manifesto (see recommended blogs, left)... here's my Call Centre Customer Manifesto. Feel free to add and adapt!

The Call Centre Customer Manifesto

  • I want to talk to someone who is listening to me - not reading a script from a computer screen.
  • I want to talk to someone with the power to do something about my problem.
  • I want to talk to someone who knows how to get round the moment when 'the computer says no'
  • I want to talk to someone for whom reason is allowed to mean something.
  • I don't want to input my account number on my phone - then have to tell three more people what it is during the same call.
  • I want a full response to my complaints.

When we call, we want to talk to a human empowered to actually do something about the thing we've called about: not someone reading off a screen.

We understand the drive for efficiency that call centres represent BUT we're fed up with your poorly-executed "customer relationship mechanisms" which present us - YOUR REVENUE STREAMS - with the shitty end of the stick.

We urge these companies to stop insulting the intelligence of both their customers AND their employees. Giving the poor saps on the end of the phone a script they must stick to effectively turns them into a computer. We don't want to talk to a computer.

We think it is grossly unfair on call centre staff - the very people charged with dealing direct with your customers - to leave them with no power to think or act for themselves. It leads to depression for them - frustration for the customer.

Senior managers - do something about it. Or start answering the phones yourselves.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?