Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sucky Training

We do weekly training sessions where we're supposed to learn and discuss any new policies and procedures, sales techniques, etc. They usually are pretty informative, plus it gives us time off the phone, which is always a welcome break!

Today we got on the subject, yet again, about dealing with customers who are upset because they had to wait for a representative. I'm not talking about customers who want to speak with a rep for problem-solving and are upset about the hold time. The bank I work for has a very "interesting" marketing strategy wherein they select customers to be routed through to a rep, whether they like it or not. For the most part, this selection is based on the customer's relationship with the bank...namely their credit rating and available credit line.

When these customers call in to, say, make a payment...they do not get a menu option on the phone to select to make a payment. As soon as they enter in their account information, they are instructed to hold for a rep. So of course by the time they get to us, they are a bit perturbed...they want to know why they had to hold for a rep...What's wrong with my account? What's wrong with your systems? Etc etc.

We have received extensive, continuous training on dealing with these calls. I have become an expert at stroking the ego. We explain that we want to provide excellent customer service...that they are a preferred customer who is very important to us...anything to get this person calmed down and make them feel better so that I can service the call and then segue into any promotional offers available on the account...because this is the real reason why the customer was placed on hold and transferred to my line in the first place. 

I am fully aware that this is a sales-based position, and I do really believe that we have some excellent promotional offers with fair terms, but FML I hate this strategy! It creates such a barrier to gaining the customer's trust...but mainly I feel like it's a bit unethical. Our marketing/advertising team basically sucks balls, and can't figure out a way to make people want to call us for these offers, so now we're going to hold someone hostage on the phone and force them to speak to a rep? 

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that we also do this thing where, when a customer calls to activate a credit card, the automated system will ask if they'd like to complete a balance transfer. Even if they select the button for "no," the customer will be routed to a rep. I'm sure you can imagine how pleased these people are to speak with me and what their response is when I offer them said balance transfer.

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