Author Topic: And we STILL don't have that answer  (Read 2285 times)

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gingerzing

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And we STILL don't have that answer
« on: August 28, 2013, 10:19:40 AM »
Part of my job is answering consumer questions.  Pretty straight forward for the most part.  Even with the odd/strange/ :o that I will get.  Normally, I can get the answer pretty quickly or find someone in another department to help with some technical questions.

Last week we I got someone who called our main line and was looking for a particular product that I have only seen as a commodity product - sent to schools, used by military, some even in large food banks.  Never in retail.  He was sent to my co-worker's phone, but not sure what the outcome was. 
Yesterday he called back to the main line and the person sent him to me.   So I explain that we don't keep records of who packages this product (not our responsibility or in our scope of influence).  I explained several times that I just did not have the resources to find the information for him.  I look up some things online, including some smaller companies who have said product.  "No, they are too expensive and I need quite a bit" 
Finally I give him the number of the government agency in charge of the category that product is in.  They should know who packages it for them.  He was nice about it, and thanked me for tracking that number down.

This morning I got a call from my main line.  It is the product dude again wanting to know processers for this product.   Thankfully she asked if I wanted the call.  No.  I have NO additional information from early this week about this subject because it is not something that we are in charge of or have access to.  He had been told to call us by a sister organization.  And apparently without checking his notes to see that he had already talked to us.   She was going to explain it to him that he had already called twice and we just don't have any additional information. 

Any other frustrated CSR that have a good answer to "As you were told before...."?   

It is just  >:(  a major pet peeve of mine when people call the same store/company and try to get a different answer when they don't like the first answer.  We have had a couple different people call our office and speak to 3 people in my department and 2 from another department about the same subject because they didn't like the company's answer.  (The answer is still NO, and hey, there are only about 60 of us in this office and we know you have been trying to get different answers)
Or when they call in with a question and you tell them the answer and they say "are you sure?"  SIGH.


Syfygeek

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 10:41:25 AM »
I hope someone else has good advice, yesterday, the 3rd time phone call from the same person, I said "as I told you the first 2 times you called, we do not buy or sell text books, please try XYZ or ABC to see if they can help you".

Of course part of it was the repeat calls, but the other part is that we're a museum who sells certain books in the gift shop, not any way, shape, or form affiliated with any university.

That's my purse! I don't know you!

ti_ax

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 10:58:08 AM »
Calling back works often enough that it's not ever going to stop.

auntmeegs

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 12:46:02 PM »
Calling back works often enough that it's not ever going to stop.

Unfortunately this is so true.  There is a woman at my company who is absolutely the worst customer service representative ever.  She refuses to learn anything or commit anything to memory and is constantly asking the same questions over and over.  She flat out lies to the customers because she is too lazy to look anything up (i.e. customer calls looking for a repair part to one of our very basic products and she tells them we don't sell it or pretends she doesn't know what they are talking about, because she doenst' feel like looking it up).  I have no idea how she is still employed here.  Everyone knows about it and no one does anything about it.  Sadly, she is one of the main phone responders so if a customer gets here they are almost definitely getting the wrong information.  Often times even the customer can tell she is blowing them off, so a lot will call back in hopes of getting someone else on the phone who will actually help them. 

Anyway, in answer to your question, I like:
"As I mentioned last time....."
"Unfortunately nothing has changed...."
"I wish I had a different answer for you but unfortunately....."
"I wish we could be more helpful in this case but unfortunately..."

All said in a sympathetic tone of voice. 

cwm

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 01:35:52 PM »
Calling back works often enough that it's not ever going to stop.

Unfortunately this is so true.  There is a woman at my company who is absolutely the worst customer service representative ever.  She refuses to learn anything or commit anything to memory and is constantly asking the same questions over and over.  She flat out lies to the customers because she is too lazy to look anything up (i.e. customer calls looking for a repair part to one of our very basic products and she tells them we don't sell it or pretends she doesn't know what they are talking about, because she doenst' feel like looking it up).  I have no idea how she is still employed here.  Everyone knows about it and no one does anything about it.  Sadly, she is one of the main phone responders so if a customer gets here they are almost definitely getting the wrong information.  Often times even the customer can tell she is blowing them off, so a lot will call back in hopes of getting someone else on the phone who will actually help them. 

Anyway, in answer to your question, I like:
"As I mentioned last time....."
"Unfortunately nothing has changed...."
"I wish I had a different answer for you but unfortunately....."
"I wish we could be more helpful in this case but unfortunately..."

All said in a sympathetic tone of voice.

This would work for the first two or three callbacks, but past that, I would lose the sympathy in my voice.

You might also ask the caller for his name and number and tell him that if you get that information in you'll give him a call. Now of course, you know that it's not likely that you'll ever get that information, but it might stop him calling back.

Also, if the same person is designated point of contact for this caller, it's easy to argue when he says "I talked to someone who said they'd look it up and have the answer for me!"
"No, sir, I've been the person who's talked to you the last five times you've called. We still don't have that information."
"Well I want to know now!"
"I'm sorry sir, we don't have that information. If you don't have anything else I can help you with, I will end this call."

gingerzing

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 01:49:21 PM »
Meegs -
Oh, I hate having co-workers like that.  (I have had a couple like that or a couple that have just a couple subjects that they skirt. )


And for many subjects we do have a point of contact person.  Which makes it GREAT fun when caller for one of those subjects calls multiple people and all of us pass them along to the person that they have talked to 3-4 times before.
Real example from a couple years ago, HotTopic calls and emails goes to my co-worker Sue.  One gentleman called our office 12 times (yes, we kept count) He called the toll-free line three times and got all three of our reps - who all passed him to Sue.  He called the main line and got the receptionist once - who passed him to Sue.  He then called main line two more times and asked two separate questions (one came to me), but when he got to the person he was transferred to, he spouted off on HotTopic.  Then he got ahold of our main directory and started calling people direct (3 VPs and one manager).  Every single time he got shut down with, "Oh, you actually had a question about HotTopic.   Here, let me get you directly to Sue who has the complete up-to-date facts."  Well, one VP who was Sue's supervisor, did chat a bit with him, but explained that Sue had the most up-to-date facts and he was due in a meeting about the HotTopic and needed to pass him along to Sue.  (He didn't like the answer that HotTopic solution was not what he wanted to hear, but was the only solution available)
We are quite efficient for certain topics, especially when they are somewhat bigger topics.  (even some of the oddball ones can be a big topic in this office)

This was just a left-field type of call even for me who gets some doozies.

White Lotus

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 05:27:08 PM »
When calling government offices in a Certain State it is well known that when you get answer you don't like, you say, "thanks" and try again.  When you get the answer you want, you say, "thanks so much -- Desiree, right?  Are you Desiree Jones from City? Oh, Smith, from Town!  (Etc.) Thanks so much!"  Write it all down to document your action, and then do what you wanted to do in the first place.  State micromanages everything, nobody can or does keep track, and if Desiree was wrong, you don't get into trouble even if you have to correct the mistake.  The Moral of the Story is that sometimes it pays off big time to keep calling back.  Humans learn from experience. 

shhh its me

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 05:57:28 PM »
When calling government offices in a Certain State it is well known that when you get answer you don't like, you say, "thanks" and try again.  When you get the answer you want, you say, "thanks so much -- Desiree, right?  Are you Desiree Jones from City? Oh, Smith, from Town!  (Etc.) Thanks so much!"  Write it all down to document your action, and then do what you wanted to do in the first place.  State micromanages everything, nobody can or does keep track, and if Desiree was wrong, you don't get into trouble even if you have to correct the mistake.  The Moral of the Story is that sometimes it pays off big time to keep calling back.  Humans learn from experience.

This and it works with companies.  I'm not suggesting you take advantage, ask the impossible or burden people but sometimes front line customer service people either don't know how to or are unwilling to do things the company normally does.  In my entire adult life calling back didn't work twice oddly there were the 2 times I thought I had the best reasons to call back.  A CS person did not find a major repair in my cars records so I called back with the receipt info. The other time an investment management company had gone to online statements with no option for monthly statements only yearly paper statements (this was 10 years ago) a client didn't want to create an online account which would have the ability to change their investment portfolio and personal information(they had been the victim of identity thief) but wanted a statement/account balance printout/email/letter that said "We issue statements annually"  After dealing with 100s of banks and management companies I really thought I had just reach an incompetent person Ive never dealt with anyone prior or since that wouldn't send a current statement/balance some charged a fee but that wasn't the issue.  I'm not saying I don't take "no" for an answer but if it seemed like "no" was an unreasonable answer it was the wrong answer in virtually every circumstance. 

OP I can understand complete the "they sent me to you." and not realizing it was  place he had called already. 

LazyDaisy

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Re: And we STILL don't have that answer
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 06:30:32 PM »
How to let them know you know they've called before and you've already answered their question? Pose it as a friendly question back to them rather than an accusation:

"Oh are you the same gentleman who called yesterday? Was [person you referred him to] able to help? No? I'm sorry, I will not have any more information and that's the only referral I have for [topic]. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

If they say they didn't follow up with that referral, or "Oh, you weren't able to get a hold of them? Let me double check the number I gave you -- 123-456-7890? Yes, that's the number I have. They will have more information than I do."

This lets them know you do remember them and you remember giving them a solution, and it will be the only solution forthcoming. I'd remain somewhat sympathetic because it could be that it's their boss that is demanding that they keep calling. Also, on the chance that it does turn out to be a different person, you don't accidentally insult them. (And it may let them know that you have already given a response to their coworker/employee)

You can modify this if he talks to a different rep too..."Oh, are you the gentleman that spoke to Jane yesterday? Was [person she referred him to] able to help...." of course this means coordinating with Jane.
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