30 Things I’ve learned working in a call centre

I’ve worked in various jobs with the Great British Public, from sales, to customer services, via pubs and bars.  I’ve been spoken to like I’m nothing, but I’ve also had people heap praise on me for fixing their TV over the phone.  You win some, you lose some I guess, but these are the things that I’ve learned over the years….

  1. The mute button is your best friend.  
  2. People will happily cough/sneeze/various bodily function down the phone at you
  3. Referring a customer to their terms and conditions happens at least 4 times a day
  4. You’ll gain about a stone just from the sheer amount of birthdays/fundraisers/ cake Fridays
  5. People will put you on loudspeaker and you’ll be having a conversation with the husband and wife at the same time, then they’ll complain when you ask to speak to just one
  6. Talking on the phone when you have a cold is about as easy as running through treacle
  7. When a customer starts their call with ‘’Well it’s about time, your hold music is awful!”  Ok and good morning to you too!
  8. You’re acutely aware that every call you’re on could potentially listened to by compliance so you start sounding overly polite
  9. Your customer service voice is a fake bitch….where does she even come from?!
  10. People are far too keen to give out passwords and bank details without being asked for them. 
  11. When a call comes through at 4.59pm on a Friday you will question what other people are doing with their lives to make them think this is acceptable
  12. Getting to the office for 9am then realising you don’t start until 10am crushes a piece of your soul
  13. Similarly, walking in and seeing 23 calls in the queue makes you want to turn around and try again another day
  14. It’s always someones birthday and you’re always signing another card
  15. “I’ll just put you on hold and speak with a manager” roughly translates to “I’m just painting my nails, give me a minute”
  16. People will argue security questions, you have to speak to the policy holder….”but they’ve given me permission.” Ok but I still need to speak to them?
  17. When a customer swears and you can finally hang up on them is a glorious feeling
  18. There’s nothing better than seeing a manager drunk at the Christmas party
  19. When a little old woman stays on the phone for 15 minutes and says 10 times “oh I’m sorry to keep on” as she tells you her life story, you’ll feel like a monster for drawing the conversation to a close
  20. You’ll feel incredibly smug when the customer wants to speak to a manager, who says the same thing as you.  Word for word
  21. Having to confirm a horrifically embarrassing password with a customer, and you know they’ve chosen it just to make you feel awkward
  22. There’s one colleague in every office who’s voice is so loud, your customer starts answering them instead
  23. If someone starts a call by asking for a manager, give up.  Give up there and then because you won’t get a word in
  24. People will hold their phone up to whatever’s broken going “CAN YOU HEAR THAT?!” Yes.  However now I can’t hear anything else.  
  25. Even if the options menu says “Please have your model number ready” you will still have to ask multiple times for the customer to get their model number and they will grumble away about how inconvenient it is, and shouldn’t you already have it on your screen?
  26. You’ll learn to tolerate people talking to you like crap, they’ll swear, they’ll shout, they’ll hang up….you carry on
  27. “Unfortunately” and “not something I have any authority/control over” will become your most used sentences
  28. Being told to do a training bump is the best thing you’ll hear all day
  29. One person gets ill, you all get ill  
  30. In the interview when they say it’s like one big family, they mean it.  There’s dramas, fallouts, bitching and yet at the end of it you’re sat in an office of people who have your back

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