Merits of skilled call-centre staff

I was greatly heartened by Jo-Anne Flack’s report on call centres taking a more progressive attitude towards staff development (MW September 14).

It seems extraordinary to me that it has taken some companies so long to realise that these hapless “chickens” are truly in the frontline of customer relations and that underpaid, demoralised, inadequately trained staff working in poor conditions are bound to lead to unsatisfied customers.

What’s more, the adage that customers don’t complain, they just go elsewhere, is never more true than with telephone-based services, where it can be impossible to complain or resolve the problem because it isn’t actually possible to get through to someone.

I hope a certain mobile phone company took your feature to heart. Last week, I was held in a queue for customer services for an hour and a half and then peremptorily cut off.

I managed to reach an operator on another number – after just ten minutes (wow!) – who couldn’t help me but assured me that he would get someone to call me back. Needless to say, no one did.

I couldn’t help wondering if the company’s customer services call staff had taken inspiration from the film Chicken Run and had flown the coop en masse.

Margaret Dale

Sheffield (by e-mail)

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