Friday, 5 September 2008

Life's Irritations #591

Call Centre Artificial Niceness

Someone, somewhere, is training Call Centre and Tele Sales operatives in the infuriating art of asking spurious, pseudo-caring questions. I'm sure it's meant to "humanise" the experience but, for me, it usually winds up making me hate the company responsible.

Cold callers, for example. They're not bad people. We've all got to make a living, after all. But if you've interrupted my busy day, at least have the courtesy to cut-to-the-chase.

Caller: Hello, is that Mr Nove?
CN: Yes
Caller: Hello Mr Nove, how are you today?
CN: (manfully fighting the desire to rant on about how my state of health and wellbeing is none of their concern) What can I do for you?

It's not just me, is it? Does anyone actually respond positively to this sort of thing?

Yesterday, I received a new mobile phone. A forced upgrade, after my battered old phone finally gave up the ghost and sputtered to a halt. Once you've got the phone, you charge it up and then ring the Activation line to get changed over from old phone to new. I rang the number and was warmly greeted by a call centre operative in warm Mumbai. I gave my details and awaited instructions. "And how is your life going, Mr Nove?" was what I got. That did it. One short diatribe from me later, he rather sheepishly agreed to get on with the business in hand. Then came a fulsome apology for having asked an inappropriate question. So now I feel bad for having barked at this poor man who's just trying to sound friendly. But what is it that makes his management believe that, when I call a number specifically designated for the activation of new phones, I want to be engaged in discussion about my life?

And ........ breathe .......

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"Congratulations, your rant has just won a fantastic non-existant prize. Just press 9 to be connected to a ridiculous premium rate phone line to find out more".