I work as an IT Service Desk Analyst and for the first time in my current job (four years ish) and really, ever that I can remember working in IT Support, a customer I was dealing with put the phone down on me mid-conversation.
I was pretty stunned. As I said, this has never happened to me before and I always praise myself that I give the best service ever to my customers!
What would you have done?
Well, I carried on dealing with his request, find the answers he was after, which I said I would but he cut me half way, and get back to him to let him know the outcome – he was asking for access to a licensed application I know our firm has decided to remove access to as people had been given other options. Still, I knew that decision hadn’t been put in stone just yet and I knew if I asked for him to still be given access, my wish would be granted – It’s funny, I am now realising that colleagues from other departments respect my opinion these days, and if I ask whether something can please be granted for a particular person, they trust me that it’s ok to say yes, They know I ask only when I feel there is a need and because of that “rules” can be bent for me slightly – Bent that is, never broken, I would never put anyone, let alone myself, in a position to have to break any rules at work.
In the time it took for me to check with the appropriate manager whether I could give that guy access, I got back to my desk with my answer (“Yes” :-)), I unlocked my PC and there, in my inbox, was an email from that chap apologising for being rude.
That made me so happy. I replied thank you for your email and I understood he was frustrated. Then I told him I could give him access to the software and what was his mobile make/model to make sure I sent him the right one. He replied with the details, I replied, all done, let me know if any problems, and closed the call.
I know for a fact that most, if not all my colleagues would have gone “fuck you” and forgotten all about it.
I couldn’t do that. See, I had seen he was out of the office on long sick leave earlier that day, I saw that because yesterday, I rescued an email from him with this request from a non-monitored mailbox where unfortunately, genuine emails fall in by mistake, so I took it upon me some time back to look at it every so often and deal with emails in there. It’s mainly out of office messages but occasionally some customers email it direct with their issues, when they shouldn’t use that address. The email address is not advertised however some people have seen it as it is also the email address our call logging system uses when we email directly from logged tickets. Nobody cares about that mailbox. I do because I think it’s bad customer service – we know there is a fail in the system that really isn’t our customers’ fault so it should be monitored. It’s mainly rubbish emails to be honest so just to be deleted, and really we don’t get many in there, maybe 4/5 a day. So it’s no effort to look through it. And all I do is reply, from the mailbox, to customers telling me to log it via the Portal or call the SD, and then I delete them so colleagues, should they bother look in there, not think they are just sitting there – I had asked for a process to be introduced to take it in turn for us to check it but it seems nobody gives a shit so I am the only one doing it.
Yesterday when I checked the backlog of emails in there, I had seen this chap’s request so had sent him the usual “log it via x or z” email and he replied (Grrr, didn’t he read my email, I said don’t use this email address!!) saying he doesn’t know how to log it via the Portal and should we consider removing the email address if it landed in a non-monitored mailbox.
So today, from my own mailbox, I emailed him back explaining where the portal was and why the address can’t be removed. That’s when I saw he was out of the office on sick leave (his Out of Office message popped up).
About 2 hours later, I pick up a call and it’s him – chances of that, since we are 7 on the same line!! So I know the history already, I greet him as if I knew him and what he wanted, starts talking about the email address thing and he said he doesn’t really understand what I am talking about but to forgive him he is high on drugs. Ok, so I explained to him his request is not straight forward because the company is removing the software and therefore I would have to check. He gets upset and explains he is off sick and he finds that software better than xx and could really do with it. And, just about when I am saying I would check, he puts the phone down on me! Half way through my sentence too! My mouth was actually wide open for a while, I was so stunned!
Again, what would you have done?
First off, no-one in my team would have got it because no-one does what I do (work behind the scenes to make sure customers are happy, eg monitoring that damn mailbox) so they wouldn’t have known the history so not understood his frustrations, ie getting an email saying log it another way, then getting told he couldn’t really have it anyway when he follows the right channel. Second, I can promise you they would have gone “Fuck you” and moved on.
Well, I just couldn’t leave it at that. I knew what he was after, I knew I could get it if I tried, so off I went and got it.
I will admit though, I really wasn’t sure how contacting him to tell him the “good news” was going to go, because I was still pretty stunned about his behaviour and wasn’t sure how to approach this. I was so so relieved when I saw his apology email…..
This is why I utterly love my job. Occasionally, you get a challenge where you get to prove how good you are, even if just to yourself. I only shared that story with the manager who had authorised the software see, I told him this guy had put the phone down one me – shock horror, but because me being me, I was still wanting to help him so could he please ok me giving him the software. I did tell him straight away too that I had got an apology.
I think this is why I love my job so much, I feel a true sense of empathy for our customers and every single interaction is rewarding to me. Oh and from the feedback I get, for my customers too.
And I guess because I don’t have that in my private life, ie pretty much no interactions with people, kinda my choice these days mind, I just can’t be bothered with people outside of work, it makes me appreciate my job so much more. I’m glad I am in a position where that innate feeling I have to help people, all sorts, is a major advantage. I never get frustrated with my customers – ever. I wish I could apply this in my private life 😉