It’s not all COVID. I’ve written about other stuff!

So, this is the first post I’ve written since we’ve all been in lockdown and it feels right to post something COVID-19 related.

Then I thought, ‘nah, fuck it’.

In fact, I’ve been away from WordPress for so long, it took me about 12 attempts to log in! Maybe it’s because I wasn’t wearing a mask? Or maybe it’s because I haven’t showered for longer than I care to admit.

Ah, quarantine.

Anyway, today’s post isn’t COVID related at all. It’s just an observation I made a while back that I’d planned to post, but then I simply procrastinated on it. In fact, over the last 10 months since I’ve been working from home, I’ve been busier than ever and have had fewer tales to tell because, well, I haven’t seen anyone to suitably take the piss out of them!

Plus, the ‘W’ key fell off my laptop about a week into quarantine, and the compulsion to type lots of stuff tended to go away because it’s a balls-ache to do a lot of typing.

It’s like running with toes missing, or wanking without anything absorbent to hand.

I’ll try and be better (about writing, not wanking), but let’s be honest, when your commute is around 45ft and takes 9 seconds, it’s difficult to wake up and be motivated to do anything.

Including showering, it seems.

Anyway, on with the post!

So, over the last 5 years in the US, I’ve noticed some differences in the way customers react to customer service agents compared to how they do (or at least, did) in the UK. Here is a fictional scenario based on many, many, MANY interactions I’ve had!

US Version

Company: I am so sorry, but our computer systems are down and we can’t access any accounts right now.

US Customer: That’s not acceptable, I need you to help me.

Company: I am happy to help you out with any general questions you may have, but I can’t process anything at the moment.

US Customer: Well, when is it going to be working again?

Company: We don’t know. Our I.T. teams are currently working on it and we hope to….

US Customer: Can you at least put in my order number and see what comes up?

Company: I’m afraid not, our systems are completely down, but we can…

US Customer: Well, I need you to do this for me right now, I haven’t got time to keep calling back and messing around!

Company: I completely understand, and believe me, I would love nothing more than to help you.

Silence

US Customer: So can you put me through to someone who CAN help?

Company: I’m afraid our systems are down across the business. I can transfer you to a supervisor, but we all use the same systems and they’re down.

US Customer: This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my entire life!!

pause

Company: So…is there anything else I can help with in the meantime?

US Customer: yes, I need you to pull up my account!

Company: I would love to, but we can’t pull up any accounts at the moment.

Angry sigh from the customer

US Customer: This is unacceptable!

Company: Yes it is, and I am sorry that we are unable to….

US Customer: What if I give you my name to look me up?

Company: Unfortunately we can’t search for names either; our systems are down. But I do suggest giving us a call back in an hour or….

US Customer: This is ridiculous. I don’t have time to keep calling you back and wasting my entire day doing this.

Company: I completely understand. I promise we are doing all we can to…

US Customer: So what do I do now?

Company: I would suggest calling us back later when….

US Customer: I DON’T WANT TO CALL YOU BACK! I WANT THIS DEALT WITH NOW!!!

Company: I know, and I’m sorry.

US Customer: THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

Company: I agree. We should be able to help you out, and believe me, that’s also what we want. How about we…

Customer slams phone down amongst a barrage of expletives.

UK Version

Company: I am so sorry, but our computer systems are down and we can’t access any accounts right now.

UK Customer: OK, no problem, I’ll call back later. Thank you!

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