In the past two days, I have had the fortune to interact four times with the customer care executives of various service providers. I said ‘fortune’ for I got yet another topic to discuss with you all; that’s the only reason- as for the interaction with the customer care personnel—the less said, the better.
Let me tell you all, all the four executives of all the four service providers had one thing in common and that is that they used the line ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’ rampantly. Amazingly, three out of the four, apologetically uttered, “Sorry for the inconvenience” even before they heard my inconvenience. And very irritatingly, this line was repeated so many times that the line itself became inconvenient.
Also, even though you press the number for an interaction in English, you end up speaking in one of the Indian languages as the English conversation of some of the customer care personnel is incomprehensible.
A request to the training departments of the service providers:
1. Please ensure that the CCEs (Customer care executives) know proper grammar.
2. Have a perfect pronunciation.
3. Please make sure that they ‘understand’ English (most important).
4. Please teach them the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may’ and the importance and uses of both.
5. Please make them understand that ‘sorry for the inconvenience’ is to be used when there actually is some inconvenience. Let me elucidate this with an example:
CCE: Rajat here. How can I help you?
Customer: I want to start internet services.
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. Tell me your number please.
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. May I know what facility?
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. So you want internet facility?
Customer: (Irritated) Yes!
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience, but can I put your phone on hold for some time?
A few minutes that seem like eons (ages)…
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. As I can see you have plan XYZ. Would you like me to tell you about the internet plans?
Customer: Are you crazy? This is what I have been saying for the past ten minutes.
CCE: Sorry for the convenience.
Customer: Oh, please. Get on with the plans.
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. As I can see, you have plan XYZ and you pay Z amount.
CCE: You want me to continue with the plans?
Customer: Yes, you moron (moron, of course, is said in the mind).
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. I am telling you about the internet plans now. Shall I begin?
Customer: (Nearly pulling his hair out) Yes!
CCE: If you take plan A, you pay Rs xyz; if you take plan B, you pay Rs yzx; if you take plan C, you pay Rs zxy.
Customer: Phew, ok great, I’ll take plan C.
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience, but for security purpose, can you give me your postal address?
Customer: Gives the address.
CCE: Thank you, Mr. N. As I can see your address matches with your number. Do you want me to put in a request for plan B?
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. I am processing your request. The plan will be activated within the next 24 hours.
Customer: Wow! Thanks.
CCE: Can I help you any further?
Customer: No- no, this will do. Thanks.
CCE: Sorry for the inconvenience. You were talking to Rajat. Have a good day.
Customer: (Painfully) You have a good day too.
And I thought CCEs were there to make life simpler!