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5 reasons to avoid call centers for help

I’ve always been appalled by the call center system because non-technical people are supposed to filter and sort through our concerns so that the technical people, those in-charge of repair, maintenance, etc, won’t waste time doing so. Sadly it’s this system itself that causes the problems that it’s supposed to be preventing.. Here’s why:

1. A call center agent is not a technician

This is a common misconception to those who don’t know how the system works. The call center agents face the flood of calls and act as a buffer. Yes it’s economical and beneficial to the company because the job hierarchy prevents one staff member from doing the job of the other. For the customer’s side, it can mean long waits for a response to their support tickets or worse even no response at all. Because they rely on a set of “symptoms” rather than general knowledge of what’s going on, explaining a major problem is almost always a pain.

2. Good English skills does not mean good troubleshooting skills

Call centers look for people who can speak well and little else. I won’t deny that there are people in the service that have competent knowledge of the problems they’re working with but the fact remains that because the experts and technicians don’t come into the problem until much later into the support process you’re faced with the daunting task of simplifying a complex problem so that the agent will understand. Case in point, most of the agents in my ISP’s call center can’t even fathom what IRC is. More often than not, you have to teach some basic knowledge to them before they get to file the right report.

3. Calling entail the need for patience. Lots of patience

“-our apologies for your inconveniences” etc. etc. I’m sure we’ve all heard that because it’s the SOP for nearly all call centers. Receiving sympathy when needed can often divert people from the fact that when you receive that same line for the 3rd or 4th time on the same problem it equates to being told to shut up and wait. That would not be a problem unless of course your problem is a simple one like a burned out adapter for your broadband modem. Call center agents don’t seem to prioritize unless you force them (and I do mean literally screaming at the phone) that your problem can be solved with a simple 15 minute visit to your home by the technical support.

4. Not all call center agents are there to help

This is probably a one in a thousand call but it happens. They quickly divert the conversation to filing a report without even diagnosing what the problem is and drop the line. Though it probably won’t happen exactly that way, it’s a general idea of what to expect.

5. Asking other people is faster

It’s a tried and tested answer. Because most of what you need can be looked up on the net, unless it’s a major problem that really requires technical help, call centers should be your last resort.

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Comments ( 4 )

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  1. Etienne Teo August 13, 2007 Reply

    I agree totally on this article that the first person on the line may not always be technical and its acts as a first line to help divert your calls to the respective experts. I have added you in my technorati faves!

  2. munchie August 13, 2007 Reply

    i agree on those…lol

    sorry kuya ace (brother)…xD

  3. sylv3rblade August 14, 2007 Reply

    k tnx on the add.
    I would’ve posted a few of my experiences but I’m afraid it’s gonna fill up the page and more.

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