I currently despise my internet company. It’s a long story, but I am not particularly happy. In their defense, however, I don’t know that my customer service experience would be vastly different with another internet company. Indeed, I have noticed that the customer service departments of large entities sound more and more the same as time goes by.
In addition to channeling me through 12 menus to get to the correct department, forcing me to enter on my small cell phone keypad every number associated with my account “followed by the pound sign”, putting me on hold long enough to watch every episode of Revenge (an apt show to watch while waiting), and then making me give all of my account information again verbally when the customer service representative finally says, “May I help you?”…there is the customer service lingo.
In an effort to thread the labyrinth, today’s Amaze-ing Words Wednesday attempts to decode the language of customer service.
“Your call is important to us.” Translation: You are one of many calls from customers we are receiving today. We don’t know who the heck you are. Our marketing people told us to include that phrase to make you feel like you’re special. Do you feel special now?
“We are experiencing a higher call volume than usual.” Translation: There are a couple of possibilities here. First, we are understaffed. There aren’t nearly enough people answering phones for the number of people calling, even though we know it’s always bad between 11:00 and 1:00 Eastern time. But before you get too upset about us not finding enough qualified people, ask yourself, would you want this job? Second, you chose to call at the worst time possible. You and every other customer are having product issues at zero hour. If this were in person, you would have been trampled by now.
“This call may be recorded for quality assurance.” Translation: Watch what you say to our representative. We’ve got you on tape like candid camera!
“Let me pull up your record to see what’s transpired.” Translation: All of that information you entered through your keypad was lost in cyberspace, or was simply an effort to keep you busy while you were waiting, so I have to enter everything you verbally told me again to figure out who you are and why I’m talking to you. Moreover, I need to read notes from previous customer service reps who will tell me what has happened with your account and how difficult a customer you are, so I can prepare or brace myself accordingly.
“I’m not seeing that here.” Translation: You lie.
“Our policy is . . .” Translation: The term “customer service” is a leftover from days when we might actually be able to vary our service according to the customer. These days, you are one speck among many, so you can either live with it or go to the next company which will likely have the same standard policy as ours. When you hear “our policy,” just start thinking of it as “God has spoken.”
“Could you hold while I consult my supervisor?” Translation: While you’re listening to easy tunes, I will be ranting about the idiot I’m on the phone with and seeing what we can do to shut you up already.
I expect flack from customer service representatives for this post. To be fair, I have had some excellent customer service experiences, albeit they stand out in my mind because they don’t occur nearly often enough. (Waving at you fabulous reps for your marvelous help!)
But as far as the customer service lingo goes, I’d prefer to dispense with the euphemistic phrases and just get down to brass tacks. Can you do anything for me or not?
Perhaps we customers should have our own phrases: “It’s not my policy to repeat myself.” Translation: I already gave the recorded voice my account information. Check with him!
So what customer service phrases have you encountered? And what would your translation be?