I dialed and waited. I watched the call timer click through the 20’s and 30’s. I screamed at the phone and pressed random buttons. The timer marched on through the 40’s and 50’s. I growled and gnashed my teeth. The timer was beyond one hour when my patience expired, and I released the call. I expected an outrageous wait time. My calls to this particular corporation usually remain parked for 15-20 minutes before someone answers. But today I spent an unrecoverable hour, and my issue remains unsolved meaning I have to try again. Grrr!
Nothing burns through my patience faster than idling in a call queue waiting on the vendor’s employee to answer. Well, except for annoying hold music that creaks through the same five measures over and over. And then there’s the oft-repeated and completely meaningless statement telling me how important my call is and that I should wait for the next available customer service professional. Why not tell me I am caller #745, calls are running twelve minutes in length, and I have a better chance of winning the Power Ball lottery than I do speaking with a representative before the day’s end? At least then I won’t waste part of my over-the-hill-and-accelerating-for-the-finish-line life hoping for a call-answering miracle.
I’m currently reviewing Barry H. Corey’s book, Love Kindness, for Tyndale. I’ll post the completed review next time, but I can tell you now his words are convicting my heart. Corey reminds me that my claim to be a follower of Jesus puts me on display. Others watch to confirm that my actions match my words. My behavior reflects directly on the Savior. Given my frame of mind during my one hour hold perhaps it is just as well no one answered.
My heart reaches out to the dedicated and competent customer service professional (CSP) answering call after call. What a tough job that must be! A nice and polite customer subjected to sixty minutes of oblivion in a queue can easily become a monster when the call finally connects. The CSP is doing her job and has no control over the corporation’s call center hiring decisions but often becomes the target of the customer’s anger.
Take a deep breath, callers. If you are angry enough to voice displeasure with someone, ask for the supervisor. Write a letter or send an email to the corporate office. But don’t dump on the lady whose purpose on the phone is to help you resolve your issue. Be polite. Ask how the day is going for her. Share your awareness that she is swamped with callers and thank her for taking time to help you. Solomon points the way with these words:
He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:27 NASB
True story. Multiple calls to an insurance organization yielded no resolution for my issue. I was tired of the corporate bob and weave and wanted the problem, which was clearly in their records, fixed. Yet another call was stalled in excuses as I worked to keep anger in check. At that moment my wife walked in, and since I was waiting as the CSR clicked her keyboard in the background, I shared an off-phone update with Shawn. “Honey, I think we’ll get this fixed today. I have their smartest lady on the phone. She’s very nice and understands their system. She thinks she knows what’s wrong and is looking into it. This should be fixed in a few moments.”
Yes, the CSR heard every word. When she continued our conversation the flavor of the call had morphed so that she was now my best friend, my advocate with her company. And, yes, within a few minutes she had isolated the cause, removed the blocks, and notified the appropriate parties. My refund check was truly heading for the mailroom. Sweet!
Maybe there is something to this kindness stuff.