Sunday, April 19, 2009

How We Handle Rebates

This is pretty accurate. Click Through to see the full strip.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A memo to management...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Like A Boss

This is my management in a Nutshell. We're tempted to do a cover called "like a sup".

"go to the training class"
(like a sup)
"hit on agents"
(like a sup)
"get rejected"
(like a sup)
"hit the pub"
(like a sup)
"drink some beer"
(like a sup)
"come back to work"
(like a sup)
"fail an audit"
(like a sup)

Yeah... That's how slow Easter sunday is in a call center.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Never pay another early termination fee.

Otherwise known as the "marginal coverage" clause. It's in almost every cell phone contract, including sprint, verizon, t-mobile and att (the "big four"). The clause states that if we cannot provide service in your primary place of use, we are required to let you out of your contract without early termination fees. Best thing? We don't really verify it. Verification consists of making sure the "no coverage" address you say you moved to is the address on your account. Yes, its that easy.

How to get your ETF's waived, step by step:

1. Locate your carrier's coverage map online. Find locations with no coverage. No roaming, no towers, not extended coverage, flat out no coverage.

2. Google an address for one of these locations. Most company websites even have tools where you can enter an address and find out if there is coverage.

3. Call your cell phone company and have your address on the account changed to this new "no coverage" location. Wait 24 hours.

4. Call back and advise the company you aren't getting service at your new location. Advise them its the location on the account. Now one of two things happen.

5a. Your CSR looks at a coverage map, verifies you do not have coverage, disconnects your lines at your request and waives your ETF's.

5b. They call tech support and a "trouble ticket" is opened to verify if you have coverage. They send a technician to the middle of nowhere, verify no signal, and notate your account. Once no coverage is confirmed you cancel your lines and the ETF's are waived.

Doesn't it pay to read that contract sometimes?

Top ten ways to fark up your customer service call.

Every customer service representative has "buzz words". Most handle an average of 60-100 call ins per day. After they do the opening phrases, certain red flags go off letting them know "This will take 30 seconds, sweet", or "I hope my headset electrocutes me so I can spend the remainder of my shift in a ambulance. Please god, short the wires... Please..."

I've decided to compile a list of the ten most aggravating customer behaviors my agents have reported to me, in no particular order.

10. If your over the age of 70 and still think the best cell phones come in bags, blackberries are not for you. For those of you who keep calling them "blueberries", there's your hint.

9. Don't give your son/husband/grandpa internet access on their phone, then get pissed off and call in because you noticed they signed up for eight subscriptions of "Girls Gone Mobile". You will hear no shame in my voice when I detail your innocent husband's charges.

8. Do not get mad that I explained in detail the charges you racked up for "Girls Gone Mobile" to your wife. Your the one that let her have access to your account.

7. "We never go over our minutes" does not mean that we have a billing error. Guess what, I can see that. Guess what else, I also see that you did this time. Pay your bill.

6. Don't tell me that because you've been a loyal customer, you deserve cancellation fees waived. You need a lesson in irony my friend.

5. If you speak to a supervisor, it probably won't help to claim what a valuable customer you are. I can already see your ARPU (average revenue per unit, or by line), length of tenure with us, how often you pay your bill on time, how many credits you get, how many times you call in and ask for supervisors, etc. Most of the time I already know what I'm going to say to you by the time I say hello. Your 29.99 loyalty price plan that is past due each month is not high value. You'll never earn us back the cost of discounting you a "free phone". Not going to happen.

4. Do not make my agent's cry. I'm sure that in 8th grade screaming obscenities and threatening to bomb my agent's house was scary. Now your a dick. Keep it up and i'll be looking for excuses to cancel your account due to employee harassment. The early termination fees that result? Valid charges.

3. Do not tell me that you didn't read your contract because "nobody reads their contract". It didn't work in grade school. It doesn't work with the cops. Guess what? No dice here either.

2. You can't sue us. Trust me, I know you want to. Re-read #3. If you had read that contact you would know you probably agreed to "mandatory binding arbitration". Ouch.

1. Don't try to fire me. The customer I spoke to three calls ago fired me. Over half the escalated calls I've taken this week should have had me fired. If you had your way Mr. Customer, I'd be fired on average 12.7 times per week. Doesn't happen. The CEO of big cellular doesn't give a rat's ass about my job, or about your account.

If you do one of the above you'll be the joke in the lunchroom. Agent's will laugh and vent merrily while you're writing that letter to corporate. You know, the letter that's going to get me fired. See you in the unemployment line... Oh wait.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Pinky Promise

Today we caught one of our agent's "toggling". This is when you switch from available to unavailable on your phone panel, resetting your position in the queue, or line to take phone calls. The agent we caught was being paid hourly and avoided taking calls for almost 3 hours. This resulted in them getting paid three hours wages for doing absolutely nothing.

How did we catch them? Fancy trace reports? High tech work force management software?

They were showing new trainees how to do the exactly same thing, and bragging about it.

In the immortal words of the Guinness ad guys... "Brilliant!"

We pulled her in the office to write her up, and the conversation goes something like this.

Supervisor- "So we caught you toggling. (Insert long explanation about how we just paid you for doing jack shit and how that harms our revenue, go figure, its bad, blah blah.) What I want to ask you is; why shouldn't I terminate your employment right now?"

Agent- "Uhhh.... I'm really sorry, I wont do it again. I will shake on it."

Supervisor- "Well right now the only way to ensure that you won't do it again is to separate you. So try again, why are you a valuable employee?"

Agent- "Seriously, I'm really sorry, I want to try harder in the future".

We ended up giving her a final warning and allowing her another chance. She was upfront and honest. It goes a long way when you own up to your mistakes.

After the conversation I called my manager and let him know we were going to retain her with a warning based on good faith. He asked me for more details.

Supervisor- "Well, when I asked her what guarantee she would give us it wouldn't happen again, she said she would shake on it. Great huh?"

Manager- "Hmmm... Not good enough. Call her back into the office and say we need her to pinky swear."

$1.49 My Ass

Customer- "There is a charge for 411 connect on my bill. It is $1.49. Do you see it?"

Supervisor- "Yes Ma'am, I see the charge."

Customer- "Well, I didn't dial it. I would like credit for that charge."

(Ok, so how did it get there?)

Supervisor- "Unfortunately Ma'am, those charges are billed by the 411 connect company when someone dials their number from your handset. You are responsible for any usage from your handset. The charge is valid."

Customer- "No, you don't get it. I didn't do it and nobody else did. I want credit."

Supervisor- "So what you are telling me is that our company management got bored one day, and decided to start placing random $1.49 charges on select customers bills just because?"

Customer- "Uhhhh.... Yes?"

Supervisor- "The charge is valid."