Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Be nice to call center phonebots

This. I'm glad I'm not in that line of work, and hope never to be. But I believe in being civil to them--if it's me that initiated the call.

When I have to call an 800 number to sort out a problem, I frequently ask the person on the other end of the line, "Everybody being civil to you today?" They are surprised and appreciati­ve to hear that. The most memorable instance was in autumn of 2008. I called one of my mutual funds on a day when the stock market was absolutely cratering, in response to the beginning of The Great Recession. I knew the guy on the phone must have been getting it hot and strong all day, so he was almost pathetical­ly grateful for the kind words.