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[personal profile] kittytech
I have worked for Communication Services for the Deaf, (CSD), for almost eighteen months now. I’ve learned many things, both good and bad. What I’ve learned most though, is how much we, as a whole, tend to treat customer service reps, and even telemarketers, very badly. I wanted to attempt to put together my top list of things to keep in mind when dealing with a relay operator, or any person in customer service for that matter. These aren’t in any particular order, just things that I’ve had on my mind for a while.

1. We’re human. Don’t forget that just because you can’t see us doesn’t mean that we don’t exist. We’re not just some electronic system inside of a computer.

2. You called me, I didn’t call you. It’s not my fault if you didn’t mean to get me on the phone. If you misdialed, be gracious. Don’t yell at me because you can’t read a number or dial a phone. Your colorful language doesn’t raise your intelligence level.

3. A few nice words really go a long way. Just a simple “thank you” or “have a nice day”, can make a bad day just a little bit better.

4. Listen to us before cutting us off. Especially in my position, I am not a telemarketer. When I call, I’m the voice for a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled. This is an actual customer, not someone out to mess with your head, try to sell you a product, or ruin your day. If you want that, listen to Coast to Coast.

5. Be a part of the call. If you’re calling into any sort of service, whether it be relay or your local phone company, stay with the call. Don’t call when you’re distracted by things happening around you, screaming kids, washing dishes, or going to the bathroom. We don’t need to hear that, and when we spend several hours a day with a headset that we can’t take off, your background noises can really be hard to deal with.

6. Don’t waste my time. Calling into a service purely with the intent to harass or abuse the service by trying to get us to do things that you don’t want to do yourself is a waste of my time and yours, not to mention your money as a tax payer. Go read a book to find some amusement.

7. Educate. I can’t stress this one enough, especially for relay. Teach your kids that 711 is no different from 911. There are fines for falsely calling 911 if there is no emergency. Although there are no fines for calling 711 when you don’t need the service, when your child calls up asking to speak to the president, or trying to convince us that they work for public relations for Michael Jordon and want to donate money to keep the service going, they’re taking an operator away from a person who truly does need the service. Oh, and don’t let your very young kids play with your phone, either, even if the temptation is strong. Having a call automatically drop into our headsets and hearing loud piercing screams, random touch-tones, and other such noises also tends to fall into the category of overwhelming noise pollution. It’s never too early to teach your kids good phone etiquette.

8. Be polite. This is similar to other things I’ve said, but is worth repeating. If you’ve had one bad experience, treat that as just that. It’s one bad experience. Don’t treat us all badly and please give us the opportunity to give you a more positive experience.

9. Remember to treat us like you’d want to be treated. I think this pretty much sums up all of my previous comments, but it’s amazing to me just how many people really do seem to forget this really simple thing. You don’t like it when someone slams the phone down on you, so don’t do it to us. You don’t like it when someone yells at you, so don’t do it to us. Just think before you react and you’ll make it a happier environment for everyone.


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Caroline C

May 2015

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