Welcome to the Modern Life! Things that Suck! For Example, Customer Service

You’re dialing that 800 number, but you know you’re going to be even more miserable and dissatisfied when you hang up. See, customer service isn’t really about serving you at all — it’s about getting you off the line as politely and efficiently as possible. Hey, phone time is money!

Bangalore, India
The locals speak English, they’re educated, and they’ll work for 85 percent less than equally qualified US employees. But they’re not exactly emotionally invested in the product you bought.

Manila, Philippines
English is spoken here, too (the Philippines were an American colony). Plus, the island nation is wired with optical fiber, meaning cheap voice-over-Internet calls. And they work even cheaper than the Indians (so that’ll ensure quality!).

Central Services
They only care a little if your problem gets solved — in fact, one out of three call centers don’t measure customer satisfaction. Of course, one in two don’t measure employee satisfaction, either. Their goal is to be done with you.

Personality
The ideal customer service rep (according to personality inventory tests) is uncreative, has low incentive, and demonstrates limited empathy. There’s a shocker.

Please Hold
You are not alone. Half of all service reps are talking, emailing, or IMing with another customer at the same time. One quarter handle up to four people at once.

- Extract from Wired Feb 08 “The 33 Things That Make Us Crazy

BERNO: Actually they should enlarged this reference to back office services staff.  I came across some of these staff who would route their number directly voicemail to avoid any realtime human contact! I can’t beat them in the game of email ping pong!