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(The Week)   Call centers use artificial empathy program to determine a caller's mood and personality, enabling cable companies to tell whether a customer is angry, furious or just irate   (theweek.com) divider line 77
    More: Spiffy, cable company, artificial intelligences, deep dive, data mining  
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2750 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2014 at 10:13 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-16 01:54:34 PM

pkellmey: I like to just randomly hit buttons until the prompter just says, "Now transferring you to an agent..."


gethuman.com

Awesome list of phone menu shortcuts to human operators for tons of companies.
 
2014-01-16 01:58:44 PM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Zeeba Neighba: SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.

I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.

Yeah, but did you actually do anything about it?

My fury usually stems from the fact that some f*ckwad manager made a poor decision and they use call center reps as their human shields.

Time Warner being the prime example. I can't find it in me to get angry at Leticia, the single mom who took this shiatty job to support her kids. I want to throat punch Jeffrey Bewkes. I get frustrated that Leticia can't make that happen for me.

/I'll get you one day, Jeffrey Bewkes


There's the other side of it.  Call centers full of inept Tier 1 people who give you the run-around and usually fail to document attempts to fix the solution so the next inept Tier 1 person doesn't have you waste more time on the same things.  When I was in Tier2/3 type jobs the worst was seeing the same Tier1 people doing that shiat over and over and knowing how hard they were making life for the non-idiotic people.  You ended up with angry customers and farked SLAs, etc.  Not good for anyone.  (granted inept tier1 people are usually due to excessive management cost-cutting maneuvers)
 
2014-01-16 02:09:55 PM

SquiggsIN: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Zeeba Neighba: SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.

I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.

Yeah, but did you actually do anything about it?

My fury usually stems from the fact that some f*ckwad manager made a poor decision and they use call center reps as their human shields.

Time Warner being the prime example. I can't find it in me to get angry at Leticia, the single mom who took this shiatty job to support her kids. I want to throat punch Jeffrey Bewkes. I get frustrated that Leticia can't make that happen for me.

/I'll get you one day, Jeffrey Bewkes

There's the other side of it.  Call centers full of inept Tier 1 people who give you the run-around and usually fail to document attempts to fix the solution so the next inept Tier 1 person doesn't have you waste more time on the same things.  When I was in Tier2/3 type jobs the worst was seeing the same Tier1 people doing that shiat over and over and knowing how hard they were making life for the non-idiotic people.  You ended up with angry customers and farked SLAs, etc.  Not good for anyone.  (granted inept tier1 people are usually due to excessive management cost-cutting maneuvers)


I am less inclined to buy a product if it advertises "free unlimited support for the first year!", because I know that was dreamed up by the marketers, not the development or support staff.
 
2014-01-16 02:12:17 PM
So, that makes me think this must be how DiscoverCard claims to "treat you like you treat you"
 
2014-01-16 02:13:11 PM

FrancoFile: SquiggsIN: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Zeeba Neighba: SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.

I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.

Yeah, but did you actually do anything about it?

My fury usually stems from the fact that some f*ckwad manager made a poor decision and they use call center reps as their human shields.

Time Warner being the prime example. I can't find it in me to get angry at Leticia, the single mom who took this shiatty job to support her kids. I want to throat punch Jeffrey Bewkes. I get frustrated that Leticia can't make that happen for me.

/I'll get you one day, Jeffrey Bewkes

There's the other side of it.  Call centers full of inept Tier 1 people who give you the run-around and usually fail to document attempts to fix the solution so the next inept Tier 1 person doesn't have you waste more time on the same things.  When I was in Tier2/3 type jobs the worst was seeing the same Tier1 people doing that shiat over and over and knowing how hard they were making life for the non-idiotic people.  You ended up with angry customers and farked SLAs, etc.  Not good for anyone.  (granted inept tier1 people are usually due to excessive management cost-cutting maneuvers)

I am less inclined to buy a product if it advertises "free unlimited support for the first year!", because I know that was dreamed up by the marketers, not the development or support staff.


We used to have a running joke about how the engineers job was to magically accomplish the impossible things the marketing department promised the customers.
 
2014-01-16 02:22:58 PM

Fizpez: I'm especially fond of the automated caller ID, you confirm "yep, that's me and this is where I have the problem" and EVERY SINGLE fakrING PERSON you get transferred to after that asks for the same info.


Don't blame the agent. Despite the fact you entered it, the data didn't pop up on their screen, which is not their fault. (Or worse, the wrong data came up, which also isn't their fault.)

Also, call centers are big on verifying the info and probing for more details as a first step.
 
2014-01-16 02:51:56 PM

fredklein: Fizpez: I'm especially fond of the automated caller ID, you confirm "yep, that's me and this is where I have the problem" and EVERY SINGLE fakrING PERSON you get transferred to after that asks for the same info.

Don't blame the agent. Despite the fact you entered it, the data didn't pop up on their screen, which is not their fault. (Or worse, the wrong data came up, which also isn't their fault.)

Also, call centers are big on verifying the info and probing for more details as a first step.


Note that he didn't blame the agent.

A call center is more than just low wage phone monkeys. If the customer is being forced to enter data for the agent and the agent isn't receiving that data, then clearly someone who is being paid good money to think of these things dropped the ball in designing and supporting the call center. I think that person deserves the scorn, but unfortunately the agent gets to play whipping boy.
 
2014-01-16 02:58:56 PM

Pangit: This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager


Yep. I thought all call centers use artificial people with artificial empathy.
 
2014-01-16 03:03:01 PM

Fano: Describe in single words only the good things that come to mind about ... your mother.


horny
 
2014-01-16 03:19:22 PM

RedVentrue: Pangit: This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager

Yep. I thought all call centers use artificial people with artificial empathy.


Like Chia Pets...correct.
 
2014-01-16 03:38:41 PM
Well, as a former DirecTV Call Center operator, I had one client that was just a raving lunatic. Kept saying we were blocking Fox News, called me either a: Spic/Juan/No-good pothead/Piss-head (???)/Liberal Arts commie.

In a fit of anger I said I was an Architecture Major, and he said 'bullshiat! If you were, you wouldn't need to be working in that shiatty-ass job!".

So yeah, that was my first call when I worked there.
 
2014-01-16 03:45:03 PM
My experience with Dell's tech support has sufficiently ended my purchasing of anything they sell.

It wasn't until I ranted on their facebook page that I got someone who spoke English and was able to get a tech to my house to fix the issue.  (needed a new keyboard on the laptop)
 
2014-01-16 04:18:59 PM
If I have to call Time Warner Cable, I basically cancel my plans for the day. Their phone support is staffed by people who go by the script, only by the script, and any attempts to have them jump ahead are met with "Sir, we have to do this."

They won't even bump you up to the 2nd-tier support until they finish their little book.

God. I hate them so much. I don't care who buys them, there's no possible way that company can get any worse.

/ Wasted 90 minutes with them getting my cable modem working
// Turns out the first person I was talking to literally had no idea how to configure it on their side and screwed it all up
/// Shocked they didn't accidentally brick it
 
2014-01-16 04:53:11 PM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Zeeba Neighba: SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.

I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.

Yeah, but did you actually do anything about it?

My fury usually stems from the fact that some f*ckwad manager made a poor decision and they use call center reps as their human shields.

Time Warner being the prime example. I can't find it in me to get angry at Leticia, the single mom who took this shiatty job to support her kids. I want to throat punch Jeffrey Bewkes. I get frustrated that Leticia can't make that happen for me.

/I'll get you one day, Jeffrey Bewkes


I always did something about it, starting with roaming around to colleagues that had specific knowledge in certain areas. So often what I was trying to help someone with had nothing to do with what our company did (back then, offered dial-up service). It may have been bad software or hardware but I always tried to help people, even if it meant supporting things not really our job to do. I had an older man on the phone once for 3 1/2 hours digging around in his registry to fix an issue he was having. This was way back when excellent support was considered the ultimate goal, not call times and number of calls taken. I quit when it became a quantity over quality game.
 
2014-01-16 05:19:10 PM

Billy Bathsalt: If you want to hear more about our other products press 8.
If you would like to hear these options again press 9.
If you are calling about a high-pitched buzzing noise press 1.
If you are calling about a low-pitched buzzing noise press 2.


If you'd like this system that you use use every month to read your options so farking slow you want to kill yourself, do nothing, that's the default.  Did you enter two........six.....four......three........one.......five.......zero... ....two.....nine......three......four.....eight.....
 
2014-01-16 05:38:46 PM

Big_Fat_Liar: Billy Bathsalt: If you want to hear more about our other products press 8.
If you would like to hear these options again press 9.
If you are calling about a high-pitched buzzing noise press 1.
If you are calling about a low-pitched buzzing noise press 2.

If you'd like this system that you use use every month to read your options so farking slow you want to kill yourself, do nothing, that's the default.  Did you enter two........six.....four......three........one.......five.......zero... ....two.....nine......three......four.....eight.....


Press 0, repeatedly.
"Please wait while we connect you to a customer service agents."
Profit.

Works 66% of the time every time.
 
2014-01-16 06:04:44 PM

Billy Bathsalt: If you want to hear more about our other products press 8.
If you would like to hear these options again press 9.
If you are calling about a high-pitched buzzing noise press 1.
If you are calling about a low-pitched buzzing noise press 2.


You have selected "regicide".  If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press 1.
 
2014-01-16 06:14:55 PM
At the call center here, my nickname is ZenJen. I don't get angry/upset/impatient/terse/etc w/any customer.  I can flip any angry customer around (tech and customer support for 2 major companies, one is a fruit, the other has an evil-fortress headquarter-type building here in MN - all reflective glass -).  I know I cannot teach this to anyone - it's just my nature from doing all kinds of acting/theater in middle and high school; roma gypsy blood too, I guess; oh, and I've been a Taoist since I was 17.

I actually really, really like helping people.  I love working in a call center.
 
2014-01-16 06:21:37 PM

VOCSL5: At the call center here, my nickname is ZenJen. I don't get angry/upset/impatient/terse/etc w/any customer.  I can flip any angry customer around (tech and customer support for 2 major companies, one is a fruit, the other has an evil-fortress headquarter-type building here in MN - all reflective glass -).  I know I cannot teach this to anyone - it's just my nature from doing all kinds of acting/theater in middle and high school; roma gypsy blood too, I guess; oh, and I've been a Taoist since I was 17.

I actually really, really like helping people.  I love working in a call center.


Yah, and I made you laugh when I told you you needed to stop seeing that Canadian because he was corrupting your pronunciation of "ai" and "ou", eh.
 
2014-01-16 06:32:41 PM

Prey4reign: bopis: "Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!

I'll see your Philippines and raise you a Bangladesh.


FWIW, there's a reason why they're opening up call centers in rural America.  You might not like Darlene from Lexington, but she's miles ahead of Sanjesh from Bangladesh.
 
2014-01-16 06:36:16 PM
 
2014-01-16 06:49:32 PM
I used to do tech support before I got a real set of skills and landed an also real job. Dear Jesus, that tech support taught me to be the most bitter misanthropist. I hated everyone. Every call was some annoying dickbag or twatnazi screaming about things that were, in the larger view, retardedly inconsequential. Literally screaming. I had one guy screaming so loud that he ruptured a vein while on the video conference. I'm not going to lie, I laughed at him. I was very, very burnt out by this point and should in no way have been in a customer facing position.

9 times out of 10 here's what would happen:
* All that info you provided? Nope, none of that came through.
* The CRM software decided to just shiat itself for the 423rd time today, so unfortunately I do not have access to the logs of the 9000 previous times today that you called in.
* Even if the CRM software IS working, there's a 60% chance that the assclown you spoke to previously blew you off with fluff bullshiat so he didn't have to deal with you...and didn't notate it so there was no way to track said blow-off back to him.
* Support folks are in cubical farms and, no, I don't know every "Joe" that works here by name let alone sight. No, I can't just get up and go talk to them about what they did with you. He's probably had 681 calls between the last time you called in and this call, doesn't remember talking to you at all and I probably don't even have the right "Joe".
* Did you follow the steps in the followup email sent to you? You didn't. So you don't have any new information to provide to me AND you've undone the previous troubleshooting steps because they were "a pain in the ass". How is this helpful?

There are definitely idiots in tier 1 and even tier 2 tech support. Unfortunately, support isn't like math. When you multiply one negative by another, you don't come up with a positive.

/Tries to be nice to phone people when I call in, because I know the job sucks externally and internally and acting like a cock doesn't help.
 
2014-01-16 08:34:45 PM
demaL-demaL-yeH:

Yah, and I made you laugh when I told you you needed to stop seeing that Canadian because he was corrupting your pronunciation of "ai" and "ou", eh.

That was YOU??!!  ;)  I actually get that a lot.  I can't hear it in my own voice though *shrug*.
 
2014-01-16 09:27:20 PM

CygnusDarius: Well, as a former DirecTV Call Center operator, I had one client that was just a raving lunatic. Kept saying we were blocking Fox News, called me either a: Spic/Juan/No-good pothead/Piss-head (???)/Liberal Arts commie.

In a fit of anger I said I was an Architecture Major, and he said 'bullshiat! If you were, you wouldn't need to be working in that shiatty-ass job!".

So yeah, that was my first call when I worked there.


You too? My worst was when the Viacom channels went out. I had some woman screaming incoherently, like I had some switch to just turn them back on for her. The call was fortunately short because she asked for a supervisor.

My all time favorite call was the guy who told me he had fleas living in his receiver, and already had 2 people hang up on him. He told me he wasn't no schizoid or nothing, which means he probably was. I told him that didn't make sense because fleas should only be on some animal, like a dog or cat. I had him look at the receiver in the bag on his porch and sure enough, the fleas were not there. He hooked it back up and got it working.

Then there was the nice lady who told me about the flying saucers she had seen. Two separate incidents. I told her that was...really interesting.
 
2014-01-17 04:49:22 AM

VOCSL5: At the call center here, my nickname is ZenJen. I don't get angry/upset/impatient/terse/etc w/any customer.  I can flip any angry customer around (tech and customer support for 2 major companies, one is a fruit, the other has an evil-fortress headquarter-type building here in MN - all reflective glass -).  I know I cannot teach this to anyone - it's just my nature from doing all kinds of acting/theater in middle and high school; roma gypsy blood too, I guess; oh, and I've been a Taoist since I was 17.
I actually really, really like helping people.  I love working in a call center.


Have you ever considered making ASMR videos?
 
2014-01-17 07:47:02 AM

CygnusDarius: Well, as a former DirecTV Call Center operator, I had one client that was just a raving lunatic. Kept saying we were blocking Fox News, called me either a: Spic/Juan/No-good pothead/Piss-head (???)/Liberal Arts commie.

In a fit of anger I said I was an Architecture Major, and he said 'bullshiat! If you were, you wouldn't need to be working in that shiatty-ass job!".

So yeah, that was my first call when I worked there.


How many times did Roger Ailes call?
 
2014-01-17 11:59:50 AM
if they drop the Net Neutrality rules of the FCC and allow big business to control/own the internet, then this could come in real handy.
 
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