Call center agents go through a lot every single day. For instance, they help resolve customer complaints, they process transactions, and they follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction has been met. And while some of those interactions go smoothly, others are not as pleasant. In a recent survey by American Express, 35% of respondents admitted to losing their temper while talking to customer service. Regardless of how badly a caller acts, agents have to keep their cool and help the customer out to the best of their ability. But lately we’ve asked around, and we’ve heard the water cooler talk, and there are a few things agents aren’t telling you that they wish they could.
Here are 10 phrases you’ll probably never hear a customer service agent say, but if they had the chance to tell you, they would:
1. “You do realize this isn’t MY fault?” – Customers tend to take out all their frustrations on customer service, no matter what the issue is. The reality is that most customer complaints are not caused by an agent – for example, delayed shipping or long hold-times.
2. “Do you talk to your mother with that mouth?” – It’s hard to handle aggressive customers and agents have to take it all in stride. But we think reps are secretly wondering if some of their callers were raised by wolves – I mean, there’s no way your momma would approve of that kind of language, right?
3. “Well, looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” – Agents get it – you’re in a bad mood, you’re unhappy with a product or service, maybe you want to scream a bit. Agents will act like they don’t notice you’re being a real grumpy Gus, but they’re really just biting their tongue, wishing they could call you out.
4. “Can we talk about this later – I’ve got better things to do?” – What they’re really thinking: Can I just eat my lunch in peace? No? You need this resolved right now? Fine. But I’m not going to like it.
5. “Oh God, this sounds like it’s going to take a while.” – Sometimes an agent takes a call and can tell right away that this one isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s in that moment that they stretch out their legs and settle in for the long haul. Some customers just like to talk and Mr. Smith happens to be one of them.
6. “It’s really not that complicated…” – Seriously though, you’re wasting both of our times with this. If you can’t work the damn thing maybe you shouldn’t own it.
7. *Click* – No, no, no. That is one hot mess I’m not willing to deal with. In the heat of the moment, a quick and dirty hang up seems like the only reasonable response, but it comes with a price (like getting fired). So, it’s probably not the wisest choice, or a tactic that agents use often, but they definitely think about it.
8. “Well if you’re so smart why don’t you do my job for me?” – We know the customer is always right, but let’s face it; sometimes they’re actually really really wrong. So, how about you let me do my job instead of treating me like a halfwit? I mean, you don’t see me waltzing into your work and telling you what to do right…? Right.
9. “Thank you, and DO NOT have a nice day.” – After what you just put me through, no, I will not bid you a good day, sir.
10. “I feel like we’ve been through so much together.” – Some customer service interactions are actually quite pleasant. The agent and customer work together to accomplish the task at hand. And although the agent to customer relationship should remain professional, we bet agents get a little emotional about their customers from time to time.
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