Calling customer service is perhaps one of the most trying things for many of us to engage in. The plight of the caller can make your stomach churn. Being a customer service rep is not a desired occupation, as far as I am concern. This, I know from experience. I worked as a call center rep for several years. I did customer support, sales and tech support. I never brought my work home though. I’ve dealt with more dire situations than an angry customer over a phone. However, I cannot say this for many of my former co-workers.
The last two companies I worked for as a call center rep, built their mantra on “We don’t outsource, because we want to provide a better experience for our users.” What a joke that turned out to be. The problem was not the lack of knowledge or experience of the homegrown representative; it’s the American psyche. The majority of my co-workers were racist, insecure, and have a serious need to validate their intelligence. One co-worker began carrying a gun to work because we had some words.
Folks on this side of the pond tend to carry a great deal of baggage, and I am not just referring to the excess weight (from all of the GMO crap we are consuming). Picking up the phone to call any 1-800 number is usually the last resort. The wait time alone will drive you crazy. I remember an incident involving the CEO of a small company I worked for; he actually came to the call center on a Saturday and threaten to fire a particular group of college students, that had over 30 calls stewing in the queue.
Outsourcing any form of employment is bad for the U.S. economy. Most importantly, it is not a good look for a state side company. On the flip side of that coin, how do you recruit for a job that most Americans deem laughable? I have met individuals that relish call center jobs. Most of them are a stone throw away from being Norman Bates. I’ve also met one or two call center Unicorns. They are very rare, very very rare. This leaves us, the callers in an odd place. Many of us despise calling these places, but sometimes we have no choice. All we can wish for is that figurative mythological creature, when we run out of options.