It was in 1999 that I was standing next to a nice, smart, well to do girl in a call center, when a client called her a bimbo. Sadly she was educated enough to understand what it meant. It took a lot of effort to counsel her from 10am to noon saying…the client did not mean it.

I am extremely polite to kids in the CC (forget my posting on the I bank experience – even there I was never impolite). Being polite to these kids helps things get done. Many of them come from good families, like the work, hate the over-work, get pathetic training and take the brunt for all that goes wrong.

Life insurance agents who promise the moon, credit card salesmen who promise that there will be no late charges, mutual fund agents who say redemption can be done on the phone, systems that do not work, letters that generate as “Mr.” immaterial of the gender of the customer…all the nonsense falls on these poor kids.

I have played tricks on them but never been cruel. When they ask for leads I normally give them either the CEO or a Sr. VP of their own organization – nobody has got back to me, so I do not know what happened.

All the -ve feedback about a product I tell the top management. Including telling them that if the kids are not trained properly you will lose not only an employee but also customers who have to deal with them. Frankly I do not think to most Indian manufacturers it matters too much. Recently I heard from an adviser how he shifted Rs. 40 lakhs of assets from a well performing fund to another well performing fund (client did not lose) because ANOTHER client was treated badly by the earlier fund. In a market which is not growing Rs. 40 L in equity funds is not a small amount :).

Hello, you think he fund house is listening? No.

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  1. very well explained and I’m totally agreed here. I spent some time in early 2007 in a call center administrating their server/systems. Very often young age employee, fresh with enthusiasm, got calls from customers who start yelling within seconds of conversations, blame them like hell on company’s fault. Many employees kept increasing dose of smoke/booze to cop with the stress.

    I know most of time we call them after having some trouble/misguidance etc but before start abusing/harsh words next time, just think how would you talk to them if he/she is from your own family/relation.


  2. hello, the fund house is listening?
    i also say-‘no!’ they are smart people. recently i applied redemption in 4 different m.f. amc schemes on line for 3 of our family members on same day 25-10-10. on 28-10-10, 3 funds’ redemption got credited in respective accounts. the 4th, i think 1st/2nd aum amc, mailed long confirmation letter (2nd, 1st on 25th)of redemption and stated in between:
    ‘We shall endeavour to provide a direct credit of your redemption proceeds to your bank account directly wherever possible.’

    of redemption,and stated :

  3. i had to get annoyed at a very devious pitch by the sales girl who called from hdfc securities today.she lied that they cant find the “link” between my demat,bank and trading account since i’ve not bought or sold shares on that account for some months now. so she asked me to do some trade soon.
    i was shocked and surprised by this nudging to push people to trade..i had to scold her for lying.for crissakes they use the software we wrote !

  4. It is very difficult to be polite to someone who makes it his or her business to intrude in your life at any odd hour of the day. I used to get phone calls on my residence number at 1.30 in the afternoon, just coinciding with my wife,s siesta. Needless to say I used to get a lot of complaints. One day I was lucky to be home and took the call. The girl on the other end said as a matter of fact that she is just doing her job. I asked her to give me her personal mobile number so that I can return the compliments. After a lot of shouting and call backs, the phones stopped.
    There have to be legal punishments to stop unwarranted calls. All telemarketing businesses are a menace to society.

  5. One of my experience. Most of the banks have relationship manager (RM) and they handle individual customer requests. They are nothing but professional sales guys. One RM used to call me almost every day for enrolling wealth mgmt services of that bank.
    Recently one of my big amount cheque was rejected because of an extra dot near my signature. I have written my cell # in that cheque and they didn’t have the courtesy to check before rejecting.
    Next marketing call that RM got nicely from me. Now I dont get any more calls from him.

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