General Question

chelle21689's avatar

What other reason could I possibly get fired for?

Asked by chelle21689 (7907points) October 9th, 2013

As a lot of you know, I have been working as a customer representative for a couple months now. Honestly, I thought I was doing a great job because I hardly have issues with customers and even have been complimented on great customer service and going above and beyond for them to resolve issues. I mean, occasionally I’ll have the nastiest and rudest customers ever….but other than that I still remain very helpful and patient.

My job coach went over my monitors and I saw that my scores were kinda low and didn’t pass an 85% which I was extremely surprised. I honestly don’t know what I did wrong because she told me that I need to engage more in small talk with the customer to make it more personal.

Not only that but we HAVE to say we are sooo sorry for glass damage or we will lose 30 points. I have been saying that each time but I guess I have to go above and beyond and ask “Are you ok?” and engage even more. I got docked for saying “yeah” instead of “yes” or “can I?” instead of “may I?”. I say “May I” most of the time but sometimes “can I” slips out which is natural…same thing goes for the “yes”...sometimes “yeah” just naturally slips out once in a while but I don’t think it’s a big deal. I would argue that I 90% of the time say “may i” and “yes” but I feel it’s not worth it anyways.

Honestly, I am not sure what I’m doing wrong here but if there’s no improvement by next week I’ll probably lose my job. I mean I remain friendly and get the job done…what else can I do?? I mean not that it matters too much because I’m leaving for an internship soon BUT it bruises my ego that I can’t even keep a simple job I thought was easy and doing great at.

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65 Answers

chelle21689's avatar

I was planning on leaving in two weeks…but now that I have spoken to her I think I might as well leave today. After all it’s only been 2 months.

Sunny2's avatar

In customer service, the way you speak is extremely important. You’ve talked about your disdain for your job before here. The first rule in any job is to follow the directions. They want your language to be more formal and you want to speak more casually. Most employers want that unless it’s a fast food place. You don’t think it’s worth it, but it might be a good idea to learn to speak that way. It isn’t enough to just be friendly and empathetic.

zenvelo's avatar

Believe it or not, but your consideration of this job as temporary and merely passing the time and bringing in money while you find something “better” has probably affected your performance. You’re a bit dismissive of what your job coach has told you; that can also affect the way you deal with customers.

Next time, be mindful of how you treat customers and think of how you would appreciate being treated if you were on the other side of the phone call.

gailcalled's avatar

I am sorry that things didn’t go well, and I don’t understand what you mean about being sorry for glass damage.

But if there is a standard of language, then you write them down in front of you and you simply say “May I” and “Yes,” which is not so difficult to do. And it is common adultspeak and is a big deal.

I would not like a customer rep saying “Yeah” to me, if I were calling about a product (or for that matter, any issue) complaint.

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: I imagine the “sorry” part would go something like this:

Customer: “My windshield was broken by a tree branch.”
OP: “I’m sorry that happened. Are you ok?”

One of my supervisors a long time ago, an “old school” woman, taught me to say “yes” instead of “yeah” and I am very glad she did, because “yes” sounds so much better when answering questions than “yeah.”

chelle21689's avatar

That’s the thing though. I always try to say may I, please, thank you, etc. once in a while a “can I” will slip out.

But yes I lose a lot of points if I forget to say “I’m sorry for your damage” I have been remembering to say that but she wants me to make more small talk and engage.

It just sucks I thought I was doing good but I guess not. I mean I have always wanted more than this job but it doesn’t mean I haven’t tried my best.

jca's avatar

Ask if you can sit and listen to one of the people who score very highly, and then try to learn from and emulate them. Even a half hour of sitting with them might show you what you should be doing.

chelle21689's avatar

I do say “I’m so sorry that happened to you, I understand that can be so frustrating”
I’ve also been told I have great friendly voice tone…
Whatever, I don’t care anymore….

If that’s not enough I don’t know what is. I’m not paid to try to engage in conversation unless it comes naturally such as me and a customer talking about his doggy (which my job coachc wants)

jca's avatar

Tell them what you told us – how you think you have done well and are confused about the score.

glacial's avatar

@chelle21689 If you’re planning to leave anyway, and you are truly baffled about why you are not getting higher scores, why not take @jca‘s advice, and ask to sit in with an employee who received a higher score? You might be surprised at how often a pleasant and professional manner will be required in the workplace… any workplace. You have nothing to lose if you are on your way out, and you might have something to gain.

I’m not so sure it’s a question of making small talk about “doggies” either – I know I don’t appreciate that from customer service reps. Also, do you have an accent? Perhaps that is (unfairly) affecting people’s perceptions of your competence. Sitting in with another CSR might tell you what you’re doing wrong, or perhaps that you’re doing nothing wrong.

chelle21689's avatar

No, I don’t have an accent. As I have said before I always try to use “may”, “please”, “thanks”, being empathetic, and I have been complimented by a lot of customers on receiving great service and being very helpful going above and by other coaches I have a pleasant tone. I guess my main coach nitpicks more but I honestly am leaving very soon so I don’t want to try anymore.. _

I guess even slip ups with “can I” or forgetting to say “i’m so sorry for your glass damage” loses A LOT of points even with a good call.

And yes with the “doggies” I was told to try to make small talk if I can to make it more personal…... but I don’t try to force it only when it’s natural…such as if you hear a kid in the background you can make small talk…they encourage it….

gailcalled's avatar

I have had several talks with my server’s tech support gang over the past few days. I have explained that I am somewhat incapacated due to recent surgery and pain meds., and I have to be told several times what to do.

Two of the reps, at the end of the conversation about incoming mail and ports and SSL stuff said that they hoped I felt better. It didn’t make the service less crappy but it cheered me up.

chelle21689's avatar

@gailcalled but that’s exactly what I’m confused about! I’ve had a few customers that had their car vandalized and I have told them repeatedly I’m so sorry, I hope they catch who did that and get what they deserve, and I hope their day is better and that everything works out.

That’s what I’m completely confused on. I want to go over the monitors of me actually talking to them but she won’t let me.

I’m thinking that I possibly have to “act” that way on every single phone call whether it was something as big as vandalism or something small as a little chip from a rock.

JLeslie's avatar

Is this the first time they gave you feedback? You have been working for two months, they give you this feedback and you have a week to improve? If that is the case, I take issue with the process they use. First of all, if they believe you have been doing the work below par they have allowed you to speak to customers for months not to their standard. That is a management problem, it is unfair to customers and unfair to you. They did not properly train you, nor give you a reasonable chance to do well. I agree with @jca you could ask for specifics or listen in on other people’s calls, or ask to have your recorded calls played back for you so you can hear yourself. Have your boss tell you what you could have said that would have been better on calls she takes issue with. It might help you in general. It sounds to me like you are not actually sure what you have done wrong, but ate kind of guessing.

When my husband was working in his last job they had to right a list of phrases not to say for their 800 operators, because they used a lot of southern terms and sayings and it was a national company. Since you are young, your voice and the words you use can mean the person on the other end might feel you are less competent, especially if they are not fully stasified with the service, even if it has nothing to do with you. If I call with a complaint and the customer service person who picks up sounds unempathetic or I get the feeling she won’t understand my concern I am more frustrated.

Having said all of that, I know by how you write that you are not some dingy young person who can’t put two sentences together. I’m sure part of why you were hired was because you sound great, are articulate, and can carry a conversation. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s understandable it bruises your ego. I don’t know your boss, it could be a rapport thing between the two of you also.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Customer service sucks – simple as that. Perhaps you’re just not cut out for it. I know I never was.

This point system sounds more like school than a job.

gailcalled's avatar

@chelle21689: I wish I could help. Sorrry.

Judi's avatar

“Going over your monitors?”
What does that even mean? It sounds like the supervisor is an ultra micro manager. It would be difficult for a lot of people to work under these circumstances.

chelle21689's avatar

The thing is, I hear associates around me use slang like “That’s awesome!” or “uhh…” and they’ve been there for years. Their job coach might not be as strict I guess.

Going over monitors means:
seeing how often I log in/out, remain in after call mode (button to not receive incoming calls as I document), place the customer on hold, which I’m okay on.

It’s with calls you’re being monitored on a lot of stuff.

I just feel like it’s a complete insult if someone tells me I’m not cut off for customer service because I’ve done nothing but customer service for years… for you to say that makes me feel worse =\

But the thing is I HAVE been saying “MAY I” but if I slip up even once with a “Can I” she’ll make me fail a phone call. Even if I say “Can I please use”.

JLeslie's avatar

@chelle21689 I have to say the “may I” and “can I” seems extremely knitpicky. Half of America probably uses those icorrectly when speaking, and a portion of them don’t even understand there is a difference. Do you think she just has it out for you? Doesn’t like you for some other reason? Do customers follow up afterwards and rate you?

chelle21689's avatar

No customers don’t follow up and rate me but as I’ve said I’ve had a lot of compliments from customers saying I’m really friendly and so helpful or nicer than the last associate.

My job coach seems nice to everyone she seems nice to me…but I did notice on our first week when she was lecturing me and another girl she ignored making eye contact with me the whole time and instead focused on the girl even though I tried to engage more in conversation. But she just avoided eye contact with me the whole time. I don’t think it may have to do with anything though?

JLeslie's avatar

Hard to know. Body language can tell a lot sometimes. Did you interview with her, or were you just given to her?

It’s ridiculous they don’t ask customers for feedback. Customers are the ones who can evaluate your performance best.

Jeruba's avatar

I firmly agree that speaking well is an essential part of treating customers with courtesy. Anything that sounds even a little bit like “yeah, so?” and “whatever” is rude and dismissive.

I’d like to understand the “sorry” part a little better. You replace auto glass, is that it? And every customer who comes to you with damaged glass that needs replacing is supposed to hear condolences from you?

As a customer, I would hate that. I don’t want to be taken care of emotionally by an auto glass service. I want my glass installed. If I need emotional support, I’ll see a therapist.

I also don’t want to be forced into polite social chatter. I would like to do the business I came to do and be free to leave as soon as possible.

Last week I bought a drugstore product that helps with a rather embarrassing personal discomfort (which could have been mine or someone else’s). When the cashier had rung up my purchase and thanked me, she added, “Hope you feel better.” Was it well meant, as I thought at the time, or was she required to say that?

Either way, I thought it was indelicate almost to the point of offensive. Her wisest course would have been to pretend she didn’t see what I bought and to let me pretend I wasn’t buying it. Calling attention to the condition implied by the purchase was unnecessary, to say the least. The last thing I want with most drugstore purchases, from skin moisturizers to stool softeners to chocolate bars, is to discuss my motivations with a stranger.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@chelle21689 “That’s awesome” isn’t slang, nor is “uhhh.”

Jeruba's avatar

@livelaughlove21, “That’s awesome” is slang.

syz's avatar

I’m puzzled. You say you have a guide for the language that you are supposed to use, and you admit that you don’t always use the language as directed. But you don’t know what the problem is. Haven’t you already answered your own question?

chelle21689's avatar

@Jeruba, I’ve been complimented on my job coach that I had a friendly tone that’s about it. But even if it’s “Can I please have your phone number?” is considered a big NO NO apparently to her I guess since it made me fail my phone call although the rest of the call went well.

I don’t replace glass. I work at a call center and take claims for people with damaged glass and report it to their insurance company and schedule an appointment for it to get repaired or replaced. We have to say we are sorry each time which I always do…but apparently now that I do say sorry as I have been instructed to, my job coach says my sorries aren’t enough. Only with certain situations such as vandalism or something serious do I make a big deal like “oh my, I’m so sorry! I’m glad you’re okay!” or “I really hope they catch them!” I don’t know how that isn’t enough for her. I guess she wants me to do it with EVERY single claim.

but even with little rock chips I do say I’m sorry and things like “That’s great you’re reporting ti now before it gets worse!” or “I’m sorry, I know it can be frustrating” which she encourages things like those. So I don’t know what else customer engagement she wants.. she expects me to bend way over for conversation I guess.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Jeruba How so? Slang is “the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker’s language or dialect.” The word “awesome” is pretty standard.

It’s probably not professional, but it’s not slang either. Calling marijuana “grass” is slang, saying something is awesome is not.

chelle21689's avatar

Awesome is a slang. It’s from the 80’s. “Ain’t” is also considered slang. But the point is about my situation lol.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Awesome means something is extremely impressive, by definition. If you can give an actual explanation as to how it’s slang, then I might believe you.

Not that it matters. This will all be modded anyway – I didn’t know my one comment would turn into this.

chelle21689's avatar

I just wanted to add…it may be her. I’m so angry right now…
During my first three weeks I’ve had other people grade me on my calls and passed… but ever since I was turned over to her I haven’t been passing. So what’s that say about her?? >_<

JLeslie's avatar

There you go.

Judi's avatar

I think this woman has it out for you.

jca's avatar

I think “awesome” may be considered colloquial English, not necessarily slang. Colloquial means “casual.”

chelle21689's avatar

If she does have it out for me I don’t know what I’ve done for her to not like me. Oh, well…I wasn’t even looking forward to move up in the company.

But I’ve read on articles that it’s easy to get hired and easy to get fired at call centers.

chyna's avatar

I’m not sure I could follow all of those rules. I think it’s ridiculous to express sorrow over a broken window. It would make more sense to say “well let’s see what can be done to get this fixed.”
This job and field doesn’t sound right for you at all. I hope you find something more fitting.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t take it to heart. Your manager’s job isn’t to demoralise you, quite the reverse. The job can be demoralising and she should be encouraging. If your manager has to point out areas where you can improve she should also point out what you are doing right and offer praise. If she isn’t doing that she isn’t doing her job properly. Managers often work from a checklist when scoring calls and what they focus on can vary dramatically from one month to the next.

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks. I mean I take criticism well on my tasks and always want feedback on how to improve…but when I feel like I’ve made improvements and she is like “Okay so you did that but you’re still doing terrible…so what if now you’re saying sorry? That’s not enough anymore” I feel like it’s wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Haven’t read the posts above, but I feel your pain. On the one hand they want you to “engage in more small talk to make it more personal,” yet also expect you to use strictly proper grammar at that same time? It’s like, “You must be warm, friendly and impersonal.”

Sounds like you have a micro-controlling boss, and good riddance to her.

And good luck to you @chelle21689.

chelle21689's avatar

Thank you for the advice everyone. I’m just afraid if I apparently did terrible at this very entry level position…how am I going to do on others? =\

Dutchess_III's avatar

Finding a fit is hard, really hard. Just don’t rock the boat in a new position, ever.

pleiades's avatar

My suggestion is, stop working with or for formal people! Try locating a hip spot. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know about the term, “Hipster.” In my experience restaraunts, bars, pubs, businesses in general around the Hipster towns tend to be very liberal and aren’t so harsh on intimate language. They’re more about the empathetic aspect which seems like you’re a genuine person.

What is your trade? What are your skills? Do you have training or experience in the professional world that could be translated into casual business such as restaurant? You may want to think about working as a hostess and telling your manager you are interested in becoming a server.

Again make sure it’s in a hip part of town.

ninjacolin's avatar

@chelle21689, just be nice to your customers. And stand behind your niceness at review time. If your boss is asking for specific words to be used, use them. But make sure you find a way to use them well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It sounds like she’s been nice to her customer. It sounds like her boss is some sort of control freak.
I’ve been in customer service, and I had a good rapport with my customers. The occasional use of “can I” instead of “may I” or a casual “yeah” instead of “yes” is perfectly acceptable, especially when you’re trying to relate.

ninjacolin's avatar

Possibly. But possibly not. Context, context, context. If you don’t have much experience you might assume it’s more acceptable than it is. It depends on the level of decorum the company is trying to achieve with it’s customer service. I could imagine using “yea” maybe once in a professional conversation to ease tensions perhaps in a certain situation. But it would have to be an intelligent use, medicinal, really. Not just what you say to everyone all the time.

Here’s a “yea” that’s acceptable:
(kinda have to listen for it) It has to come amidst a lot of professional friendliness.

Anyway, all slang should generally only be used sparingly (if at all) and as a tool.

Despite all this.. @Dutchess_III could still be right that your boss is a total jerkface, so like I said, be sure you can defend your choices.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, I agree @ninjacolin, but it sounds to me like the boss doesn’t know the contexts of when she said, “Can I” vs “May I,” or “Yeah,” instead of “Yes” and is just ready to nit pick her to death. It can get hellish with that kind of a person!

Maybe a little more context would help us. Who are you a customer service person for? What company, or what kind of company?

chelle21689's avatar

Safelite. It’s a glass repair company for vehicles.

Again, I have been saying “may I” and “yes” but I slipped up once on a call with “yeah” and she’d take off a lot of points for me. Example I may say “yes” throughout the phone call but I accidentally mention a “yeah” and lose points.

I wish I could ask my co worker how has she been judged. Because as I said I think it’s just her being particularly that way because I’ve passed my call monitors with ease until I was put on her team.

Sunny2's avatar

^^ Jealousy is always the answer if your ratings are too negative. Are you little and cute and she is a cow? (Just going by your avatar, which I think is darling)

chelle21689's avatar

Lol she is obese honestly. I can’t imagine anyone putting someorn down because of that though.

JLeslie's avatar

Go ahead and imagine.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It may very well be an utterly ridiculous personal thing. She feels threatened in some way. The size thing may be part of it.
Are you smarter than she is? That’s something you don’t even have to flaunt. It’s hard to hide when a person is just smart. She may be shallow enough to be subconsciously saying, “Yeah, she might be smarter than me, but I have the power. I’ll show her.”

chelle21689's avatar

some of the reviews on safelite are hilarious, especially the job coach’s review.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…did you see that, at the bottom of the first page? “You can do an ok to a good job there, but if they don’t like you they will nit pick at everything to force you out of there. (I was in management, and they asked me to do the same thing with employees they didnt like regardless of their stats)”

snowberry's avatar

And on another page someone else wrote, “On an ending note, they are currently being sued by their employees, if that tells you anything.” Yes, you need another job!

chelle21689's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes that’s what I was referring to. The Job coach who said that… (my job coach nit picked me to death).

Anyways, I just had my interview with my Recruiting/HR Internship. It’s a small business and I don’t like the atmosphere of small businesses because it’s usually quiet and less professional. But I think they have a lot to teach me that will help me out in the long run for future positions, especially with HR.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good luck! Small business rock. They are usually so much more relaxed, and they keep cats and dogs in their businesses. :) No reason you can’t be professional though.

chelle21689's avatar

Thank you! :)

And if anyone is curious here’s more bad reviews

Sorry, just trying to feel better that I know I’m not the only employee from them going through the same thing! :P I’m done.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Small business or not, most employers have rules. I worked at a big company who had very similar guidelines. It was hard at first but I wrote it all down and eventually it came naturally. You’re only human. You will slip up and say “Can I” instead of “May I” sometimes. But you learn from it and move on. If you have a bad taste in your mouth about the job and one foot out the door already, your job performance will suffer. Why would you be performing your best if in the back of your mind you’re thinking how this is only a temporary job. If you hate it, quit. Just remember, this is life. There are rules you’re going to have to follow no matter what company you work for.

chelle21689's avatar

What I didn’t like was the lack if professionalism though. They’ve been in business for 12 years and two ladies interviewed me. One’s phone rang and she left the room to answer it. She came back and fiddled with her phone in between me answering questions…

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is their business? I might say, 12 years is a good long time to keep a small business open. Maybe fiddling with her phone was just a nervous kind of habit. Interviews aren’t easy to conduct!

chelle21689's avatar

technical staffing company

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know what…I think you’d like that @chelle21689! Go for it! No place is perfect, but would you rather have uber-uptight professionals working with you, or more relaxed folks who’ll give you some space to be your self? Let us know!

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks still waiting on answer

chelle21689's avatar

I got the internship and start Monday. Casual dress code lol

Judi's avatar

Good riddance to the crazy place!

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