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Old 06-03-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
The_Blur
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Customer Service

I should preface this by pointing out that I have never worked for GM customer service.

Most of you have complained about GM customer service's hotline having poor, misleading, or incorrect information. I want to open your eyes to the world of a call center associate so that you understand why it is impossible for them to do their jobs and help you.

In order to get the job, they are hired based on their interview and possibly a mock call. Many of them have other call center experience, and that may have gotten them the job that they have. That experience may be in the form of telemarketing, in which case they already hate you because you've probably cussed at them or hung up on them at their last job. While they say that they are people's persons at the interview, the truth is that this is the only field in which they have experience and they might not like you at all just for calling. This is the first reason that you need to be nice when making a complaint or asking for help.

After getting past the interview, there is training. The training will probably encourage them to empathize with you. After 8 hours every work day, they are sick of agreeing that some things suck. You need to be patient when calling. They didn't sell you the car, or the computer, or whatever else broke, so they can't really be held responsible for fixing it. I'm sorry to break it to you, but these people might not be able to do a lot for you. When you call, don't expect them, their supervisors, or anyone at their number to make your day wonderfully filled with lollipops, rainbows, and butterflies because they can't do that. They're just average people trying to make a living for their families. Everyday, they listen to people complain. These people have problems, too. Be nice.

When you complain, they have a script that they have to follow. They can't tell this to you because their bosses won't let them. That is how all call centers work. Let them say their speech before interrupting with your dilemma. They can get fired for not saying certain things, and that's not even up to their supervisors, who also have to say certain things if you ask for them.

As they progress through this script, they have to get certain things from you to verify your identity. This is for security. Every call center organization has this sort of sensitive data. Failure to do this will result in poor quality assurance or quality control scores, so they have to do this. Let them do this. They are recorded and reviewed regularly, so your call could help a good representative keep good numbers. I know you just want to get to your problems, but they have a job to do. Let them do it.

Additionally, you need to remember that these representatives receive information at the will of other departments. The customer service department is completely independent on other aspects of any company that you call. Sometimes, it is outsourced to another company altogether. As a result, the person receiving your complaint may need you to be very articulate in explaining the problem. They also may know very little about the products or services that were inadequate to you. They are trained to receive and make calls, not to sell products and services. As a result, your idiot dealer knows more than the person you're calling, and that isn't much. You must be even more patient with the person you are calling, and be prepared to explain any concerns or problems as if you were talking to a toddler. It isn't that they are dumb. They just have other interests than your car and your life. They have their own problems, as I said earlier, and you should respect them for taking jobs that require them to take a lot of trash-talking during the course of the day.

I want to reiterate a point that I made in the above paragraph for additional clarity. Let's say your Camaro has been built months ago and is bayed in quality control (QC). You call customer service to yell and cuss that GM isn't giving you your car. The representative does not know this. Additionally, the representative needs to know the VIN and your information in order to process your complaint. You are too busy complaining to let the representative continue with the script, resulting in no information exchange. Even if Chevrolet told the call center exactly what was wrong with your VIN, if you don't go through the script with the customer service agent, you will never find out. The overwhelming odds are that you will get impatient, hang up, and post angrily on Camaro5 how GM customer service sucks.

The alternative is simple. Be nice.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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I'm under the impression that no one saw this. Stop complaining about the GM customer service line. They are doing the best they can.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting this. I TRY to be nice when I call for support and if the person on the other end is polite then even if things are horribly wrong (like a few calls to a certain bank) I will stay polite and nice even if I have to explain the problem numerous times or in different ways.
I tend to remind myself that their job if very similar to what I have to deal with when I have to talk directly to a pilot about what is wrong with one of the airplanes. They had a problem and are not happy about it, I am there to try to fix it for them. Its not always smooth but keeping both in mind helps me keep my cool.

One last thing, if the person at the help desk/customer service center has remained polite then I always tell them 'thank you and I hope your day goes well.'
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
That experience may be in the form of telemarketing, in which case they already hate you because you've probably cussed at them or hung up on them at their last job. While they say that they are people's persons at the interview, the truth is that this is the only field in which they have experience and they might not like you at all just for calling. This is the first reason that you need to be nice when making a complaint or asking for help.
You know what? If they hate their job or the people they're dealing with THAT much, they should consider a carreer change. And if no information is available, or they can't give it to you, why the heck are they there answering the phone anyways?? I understand your point, and they should not be verbally abused, but if they really dislike the job that much, they should get training and work in some other field.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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I called the customer service line to ask a question about a techinical issue yesterday. The guys answer to my question was I don't know I have never seen a SS Camaro. I have called several time and everytime I get a person with a Indian accent. Is this operation located in India or Pakistan?
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:09 PM   #8
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I don't think anyone is really blaming CS. The fact that they may know your car's whereabouts helps a little, compared to your dealer not providing ANY info.

I think if the dealers would've been straight up about this entire allocation/order process, many of us would have not even committed..
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67 Convertible View Post
You know what? If they hate their job or the people they're dealing with THAT much, they should consider a carreer change. And if no information is available, or they can't give it to you, why the heck are they there answering the phone anyways?? I understand your point, and they should not be verbally abused, but if they really dislike the job that much, they should get training and work in some other field.
Sometimes its the only job available and they have to pay their bills too. I understand what you are saying and I know a couple of people who did jobs like this to put themselves through school so they had other options.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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To quote Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse.....

"Be nice until it's time to not be nice."
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #11
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To quote Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse.....

"Be nice until it's time to not be nice."
Yeah, but he rips somebodies throat out. Although I am sure a few customer service people would like to do that to some callers.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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***stands up and applauds***

My wife worked at a call center a couple months ago...I NOW know the backside of customer service...she had no prior experience with medical background...but she was hired cause she was a receptionist and knew how to take calls.

She had a week to learn a bunch of terms about the "medical insurance" company she was taking customer calls for. The company that she worked for DID NOT belong to the "medical insurance" company...they just took their calls and were connected to their systems. They also did DISH network customer service at the SAME location!

Like the OP said in the first post...if you DO NOT have the proper information...they cannot help you. My wife had a booklet with her with all the codes to put in the computer and such to help her look for what she was looking for. If she didn't have the info she needed...she couldn't help you...

On the "normal" lives of such customer service people...as soon as she left work...reality set in. She would come home crying cause she would get cussed at all day...when if they had the proper info...she could help them. She would tell me everyone else there hated their jobs. But they HAD to be there cause they got families to feed. No one wants to get yelled at over the phone all day for something they didn't do.

My wife did NOTHING to upset these people...so there was no reason to get yelled at. It wasn't HER fault that the customers were getting screwed by the company she didn't work for.

I told her time after time to quit. That is no way to live. But what made her quit was a call she got from an OLD lady (she said she could hear her breathing device in the background)...she called in to say why was her account overdrawn...the stupid marketer guy fooled her into getting the "medical insurance" and now she was screwed for 1 year min. There was nothing my wife could do. After she said something...she realized the company was doing fraud.

She quit. She didn't return to "normal" about 3 days after.

Please...treat the customer service people with respect!
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
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Well said!
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
I should preface this by pointing out that I have never worked for GM customer service.

Most of you have complained about GM customer service's hotline having poor, misleading, or incorrect information. I want to open your eyes to the world of a call center associate so that you understand why it is impossible for them to do their jobs and help you.

In order to get the job, they are hired based on their interview and possibly a mock call. Many of them have other call center experience, and that may have gotten them the job that they have. That experience may be in the form of telemarketing, in which case they already hate you because you've probably cussed at them or hung up on them at their last job. While they say that they are people's persons at the interview, the truth is that this is the only field in which they have experience and they might not like you at all just for calling. This is the first reason that you need to be nice when making a complaint or asking for help.

After getting past the interview, there is training. The training will probably encourage them to empathize with you. After 8 hours every work day, they are sick of agreeing that some things suck. You need to be patient when calling. They didn't sell you the car, or the computer, or whatever else broke, so they can't really be held responsible for fixing it. I'm sorry to break it to you, but these people might not be able to do a lot for you. When you call, don't expect them, their supervisors, or anyone at their number to make your day wonderfully filled with lollipops, rainbows, and butterflies because they can't do that. They're just average people trying to make a living for their families. Everyday, they listen to people complain. These people have problems, too. Be nice.

When you complain, they have a script that they have to follow. They can't tell this to you because their bosses won't let them. That is how all call centers work. Let them say their speech before interrupting with your dilemma. They can get fired for not saying certain things, and that's not even up to their supervisors, who also have to say certain things if you ask for them.

As they progress through this script, they have to get certain things from you to verify your identity. This is for security. Every call center organization has this sort of sensitive data. Failure to do this will result in poor quality assurance or quality control scores, so they have to do this. Let them do this. They are recorded and reviewed regularly, so your call could help a good representative keep good numbers. I know you just want to get to your problems, but they have a job to do. Let them do it.
OK, through this point 100% agree. However I would add that any organization that would fire you for not finishing the script when a customer is making that difficult or impossible is clearly more concerned with things other than customer service. It is never ok to berate or belittle a person in this position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
Additionally, you need to remember that these representatives receive information at the will of other departments. The customer service department is completely independent on other aspects of any company that you call. Sometimes, it is outsourced to another company altogether. As a result, the person receiving your complaint may need you to be very articulate in explaining the problem. They also may know very little about the products or services that were inadequate to you. They are trained to receive and make calls, not to sell products and services. As a result, your idiot dealer knows more than the person you're calling, and that isn't much. You must be even more patient with the person you are calling, and be prepared to explain any concerns or problems as if you were talking to a toddler. It isn't that they are dumb. They just have other interests than your car and your life. They have their own problems, as I said earlier, and you should respect them for taking jobs that require them to take a lot of trash-talking during the course of the day.

I want to reiterate a point that I made in the above paragraph for additional clarity. Let's say your Camaro has been built months ago and is bayed in quality control (QC). You call customer service to yell and cuss that GM isn't giving you your car. The representative does not know this. Additionally, the representative needs to know the VIN and your information in order to process your complaint. You are too busy complaining to let the representative continue with the script, resulting in no information exchange. Even if Chevrolet told the call center exactly what was wrong with your VIN, if you don't go through the script with the customer service agent, you will never find out. The overwhelming odds are that you will get impatient, hang up, and post angrily on Camaro5 how GM customer service sucks.

The alternative is simple. Be nice.

This part is where I have issues. Of course, you need to be prepared to give things like your vin so they can research issues. However in an age of rfid and upc codes, there is no reason that GM cannot provide an answer to any question within 24 hours. The script needs to be shorter if getting through it is a problem. And no, a customer's issue isn't the only thing in the service rep's life, but a good service rep knows how to pretend like it is for the next 10 minutes. If the rep can't find out, they need a CLEAR hierarchy and timeline to answer issues in a reasonable time frame. They then need support personnel who can pick up a phone and call the right person and find out what an issue is and call you back.

999 times out of 1000, Fed Ex can tell me where a $25 lightbulb is within seconds. GM has had issues lately finding out where $33,000 cars are.

In summary, no you can't yell or bully some poor rep- but you can sure as hell yell about GM not providing those reps good tools. And yes, I've worked customer service before. My experience is you can tell a customer just about anything except 'I don't know and I don't know how to find out' .
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