Life as a call center agent ain’t all rainbows and butterflies. While it’s true that there are a number of benefits that call center agents experience on top of the high income, there are also several struggles each agent face everyday. Here are 18 of them.
18. Having to arrive at least 30 minutes early at work so you can pull up ten different programs you need to service a call.
You don’t get paid for coming to work early but you come in anyway. It’s a part of your job.
17. That terrifying moment after training period and you’re sitting at your desk, ready to take your very first call.
You’ve spent weeks or months in training and listened to several sample calls so you’ll know how to handle every possible situation there is. The phone rang. You greeted the customer. The customer said his side of the story and your response was “One moment, Sir. Let me place you on hold for just a second.”
16. Having to talk to a customer with a name you can’t pronounce.
“I appreciate you calling us today, Mr. Apichatpong Weerasetha–da–pe–can I just call you sir?”
15. That awkward small talk you initiate with the customer because it’s taking ages for your system to pull up.
“How’s your day going so far, Mr. Smith?”
14. That huge effort you try to exert so you don’t sound judgmental when the customer’s password is something like “iamsohot1969” or “kissmyass123.”
You deliver a generic acknowledgment in a not-so-judgmental tone: “Thanks for verifying your password, Ms. Smith. How can I be of assistance to you today?”
13. Having to greet the customer a “Happy birthday!” the moment they give you their date of birth for verification purposes.
Because it doesn’t take a genius to know that not all birthdays are happy.
12. Realizing you’ve just committed a violation for the nth time because you prefer to use your own version of the phonetic alphabet rather than following that of the company’s.
J is for James. F is for Franco.
11. That stupid smile you’ve got plastered on your face when the customer you’re talking to is “Mr. Grey.”
10. That painful effort you exert trying to calm a hyperventilating customer down because they were on queue for ages.
You know it’s a lost cause, but for quality purposes, you’ve got to try validate the customer’s utter disgust on the company you work for and move on with the call.
9. That unmatched joy you try to hide when your team leader announces “the system is down and may take time to get back up and running again.”
“It’s party time!”
8. That feeling of doom when the first thing the customer says is “I want to talk to your supervisor! NOW!”
“Mr. Smith. If you’d allow me to resolve your issue first…” But of course, Mr. Smith won’t so you’ll have to ask him to hold the line while you get your supervisor. All the while muttering a prayer hoping for the call to miraculously be disconnected.
7. That painful sound your ears have to bear when the customer who called in is calling from another era with inexplicably loud and annoying noise.
You want to scream “Where in the world are you calling from, Mr. Smith????” But you can’t.
6. That eye roll you instantly make when the customer says his first name is BIGG and his last name is DICK.
Customer’s got some humor but it ain’t funny.
5. That sudden fear that envelopes your entire body when the customer forces you to give your name, employee ID, and location.
“Why in the world was your call routed to my extension?!” But you’re on mute, of course.
4. That triumphant smile you flash when you “accidentally” get disconnected from an abusive caller.
And you note the account with: The customer hung up.
3. That paralyzing panic that occurs when you realize you missed pressing the mute button while cursing the customer with conviction.
Did I not press mute or did I not press mute?
2. That irrepressible happiness you try to hide when your manager tells you to log off from the phone for coaching or training.
Nothing beats getting paid doing nothing.
1. That moment of despair when it’s 30 seconds to the end of your shift and the phone rings.
You deliver a spiel you’ve invented in your most robotic voice: “I’m sorry our office is now closed. Please call back tomorrow during normal business hours. Thank you!”