Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Buy Me!!

My head almost exploded from the assortment of impressions which flashed through it upon spotting this little number.

There's a magazine dedicated to professional people in charge of those hidden irritation factories known as Call Centres. It's called, predictably, Call Center Magazine.

It discusses best practices for "customer care" as if customer care were at the top of the agenda for any corporation.

Let me just explain this a little better. A call centre, even when it's primarily an inbound sales office, is an expense. For every sales person you have clicking through the credit card details, there are at least two support personnel in IT, help desk, supervision or HR.

These are the sorts of call centres who put you on hold for five hours when you ring up with an "issue". They don't really want to talk to you, they want you to sort yourself out, hence the automated menu system, and recorded helpline services.

The other kinds of call centres, the outbound ones, the ones that ring you up when you're about to set down to dinner or watch your favourite evening tv show, or take the kids to sport on Saturday morning - those annoyance generators don't give a fuck about "customer care", they just want you to be home so they can sell you shit or get you to cough up to their charity.

What is "Best Practice" as far as a call centre is concerned? Well, subscribe to Call Center Magazine and find out. I have to admit, I'm tempted to sign on for this one just for the laughs. I know what I expect when I ring a call centre, therefore I only ever ring the ones I know will give me what I want - an instant answer to my question. My bank gives me that. My phone company gives me that. Any other call centre is called a shop front and the keypad is on the end of my legs enveloped in a pair of shoes. If someone can't deal with my stuff face to face, let them face the horrors of their own call centre and I'll sit and watch their chagrin if I have nothing better to do.

Needless to say, when my computer crashed, I didn't bother phoning anyone about it. I reformatted my hard drive and started reloading all the old apps one by one and dredging through the drive to find the stuff I wanted to put back on my desktop.

Oh I'm so tempted to sub up for this magazine. So so so tempted. It could be the source for a few editions worth of amusement of a different nature. Different but somehow typically familiar.