Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume I, Issue 12

Date:August 1, 2000 - Mixed Message Mania

Mixed messages are rampant at call centers. Yet it seems that no one is talking about them. Feel free to write and give us yours so our list is more robust. Each month we'll look at some of the most common ones such as:


How many of you were told that the quality of the interaction is what is of primary importance? Only to be followed with, "but hurry up!" Or, "Watch the clock and move the customer through the call quickly, but quality is paramount here!" Or as a CSR told us, "we're supposed to care deeply about customers, provided, of course, we care deeply about them at an incredible rate of speed!"

As I said, mixed messages are commonplace today, and they are extremely stressful. Dealing with contradictory messages presents a real challenge. These messages are mixed, and that is crazy-making. We cannot serve two masters. There is nothing wrong with you! So let awareness be your first wake up call.

What do you do with people who are saying black and white at the same time? What do you do when there are customers in queue beyond a reasonable time, and you are in the middle of a call? When push comes to shove, what do you choose?

First, there are no hard and fast rules here. You could:

1) Ask for guidance. Ask the question of someone who has the answer. You want to do a good job and take care of the customer, what do you do in this situation?

2) If your current call is long and it's crunch time, ask the customer if you could call back when you can spend more time, and ask when would that be most convenient. Thank them for their understanding and patience, and then, most important, call them back as promised.

3) Take a one minute break. Walk away. Take 10 deep breaths. Drink a glass of water, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and come back refreshed.

In subsequent newsletters, we'll look at:

All in One Call vs. No Power
We make No Exceptions vs. Egg on My Face
Follow the Script vs. Flow with the Customer
Team vs. Chosen (special) Ones

Quote of the month:

Leadership is the ability to get a person to do what you want, when you want it done, in a way you want it done, because the person wants to do it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower


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