“Sorry, I’m Sales”
Recently, I have been contacted twice by unknown callers. I know that these are often sales calls. Looking at my phone history, usually this is a newspaper or a creditcard provider. Once again, my phone rings and when I see “withheld” in my display, I hesitate. Maybe something has happened to my parents, my daughter – hospital, scenarios are unfolding in my head. So, I answer my phone.
“Hi, Nienke Bloem speaking.”
“A very good morning! This is Caroline from your creditcard provider. Am I speaking to Mister Bloem?”
“No”, I respond, a little surprised. Does she not recognize my voice as that of a woman?
“Apologies, perhaps it is yourself I need to talk to”, she continues.
“Yes, I am the owner of the creditcard. Now I have you on the phone: throughout the years that I’ve been a customer with you, I have always been registered as “Mr. Bloem”. Could you please amend this for me?”
“Sorry, I’m Sales. You’ll need to speak to my colleagues from Customer Service.”
The conversation is going in the wrong direction, so I ask her to put me through to Customer Service. “To be honest, this has annoyed me, even more so because you address me with “Dear Mr. Bloem” in your newsletters.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t put you through. You will need to ring them yourselves to get that amended. But as I have you on the phone, in which way do you have your travel insurance set up?”
I sigh and say: “That’s all very well organized. Could you please give me the phone number of your colleagues? I’ll call them myself.”
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t have their number, but you can find it on our website.”
“Okay, I’ll let you go and will have a look on your website.”
“Have a nice day, Miss Bloem!” and the call is ended.
I take a very deep breath. Unfortunately I had called her colleagues twice already and even sent a tweet about this issue. I remain “Mr. Bloem” for this company.
What annoys me the most during this conversation, is the phrase “Sorry, I’m Sales.” Why is it that the silo in which some people find themselves gives them an excuse for not helping me as a customer? Of course, you can sell something to me over the phone. But please make sure to give your employees the opportunity to solve other issues as well. Do you hear the phrase “Sorry, that’s looked after by a different department” in your organization? You know now what to do: avoid these type of (unnecessary!) irritations among your customers. If not, I may have to devote another blog to this topic!
This blog was also published in the Dutch magazine, CustomerFirst in February 2018.
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