Sunday, June 20, 2010

I want to speak to a Supervisor

If you have ever answered calls in a call center, you probably heard these words several times. "I WANNA SPEAK TO A SUPERVISOR". From working in centers and knowing people in other centers, these happens at least once a day or several times a week depending on the type of business.

Raise your hands if you have ever received this type of call.

Thank you.

From the company's standpoint they always want the agent to take care of the problem. Sometimes the callers will not budge and will insist on talking to a supervisor. The type of business could be banking,cable.phone or internet.These problems may involve fouled up orders, no shows for appointments, billing inquiries or just general gripes on their "customer experience".

Folks let me first let you in on a little secret. About half the time the call will not be transferred to a supervisor. A real supervisor being a person who hires, fires, writes reviews, signs your time sheet etc. Most supervisors may not have the technical expertise to handle the call or may just plain not want to deal with it. God forbid if the customer asks to speak to "their supervisor". Instead the call will be taken by another representative who has been at the company awhile and has demonstrated knowledge and poise to handle these situations. They may actually be a senior rep, a lead, a floor walker or an escalations supervisor or have a different nom de plume.

Nancy Gale, who was at Washington Mutual said, "in the credit card division it was common for some agents to have two or three escalations a day. We actually had a team that took only those calls".

Having been at times the "supervisor" at a company, the tone of the customer usually changed dramatically as if you will wave the magic wand and fix whatever their issue is. The key point here is to use whatever resources you have to satisfy the customer. If it means calling them back make sure you call them back.

So if you are that customer who calls in, actually give the agent a chance to correct your problem. You may find they can do it fairly quickly and a wait for a supervisor may not be necessary.

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