Dehumanised Courtesy in the Call Centre


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Bless their cotton socks, BT is certainly trying to make life easier for its broadband customers. I have moved home recently so as usual there are a few teething problems when setting up new broadband services.

By and large depite these, BT has sought to answer my queries pretty promptly which is good.

There is however one irritating trend I have seen from call centre agents, which BT is also falling foul of, which I call:

”dehumanised courtesy”

What on earth is he banging on about?

Well, it’s at the end of the call, after the problem is solved. What does the customer want do you think? (slight pause……………..)

To get off the phone.

So what do these call centre agents do?

They ask silly questions. ”thank you for calling XYZ company today, is there anything else i can help you with?”

”No! Leave me alone! I want to go, not answer daft questions! if I wanted something else I’d bloody well say so wouldn’t I!?’

The trouble is these call centre chappies, are following a hallowed script and will recevie 18 lashes if they err from it.

For my part I’d rather have a human response which is likely to be more genuine.

Nice try BT, but for humanities sake allow your people to be humans or I might as well deal with the dreaded disembodied IVR instead.

End of rant.

Jeremy Cox
Jeremy Cox leads the European sales effort for CustomerSat. He gained insights into the challenges of evolving from a product-centric to customer-focused business as a change leader in IBM during the mid- to late 199s. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife and two teenage children.


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