September 1, 2007

Things You Shouldn't Do on a Call

Name Drop:

I’ve worked in both Sales and Support roles for several years, and one of the things that has always bothered me the most is when people try to drop names. Some times they are really subtle about it and others they just blurt out “well, I’m best friends with*random person he thinks is important* so you better help me”. In either case, its highly annoying and shouldn’t be done. Here is why is why I don’t care that you drop a name.

1. If you really were GOOD friends with our CEO/VP/etc you would be calling them directly, not the general line to the company. Also, in every instance where a good friend of our CEO did need help, the CEO would call me first, or come over and tell me that their friend would be coming in or calling and to help him out, especially if it something outside the typical scope of support because they know we won’t help the guy otherwise and they don’t want to look like assholes when their friend doesn’t get help.
2. You would know their name. I can’t count the times where I have heard someone say “well, I’m good friends with your manager John Doe” and they end up getting the last name wrong.
3. In my sales positions, the names that were dropped we typically either way up at the exec level out of our corporate office (in which case see number 1) or some random manager who means nothing to me. Either way, I now think you are an asshole and will do the bare minimum that I need to to fulfill my responsibility (and I mean bare minimum).

Threaten Lawsuits:

1. Don’t do this ever. All it will do is give me a reason to end our call. Why? Because every major company I have worked for has a policy in place that says if a person threatens a lawsuit, have them contact the legal department and do not assist them any further because anything you say can now be brought into litigation.
2. You sound like an asshole when you say “I’m going to sue you for not helping me”

Threaten Me:

1. To me, this is the funniest thing a person can do on the phone. I giggle when I hear “I’m going to come down there and kick you ass” I will laugh at you when you threaten me, so if you don’t like being laughed at, don’t do it.
2. If I’m feeling like a real asshole, Ill laugh at you then send the recording of the tape to the local PD and have you visited for terroristic threatening. And the chances are, if you are that pissed at me, it means you have probably done business with us and for some reason are unsatisfied, which means I have your name, phone number, address etc.
3. If you do come down to my place of business and demand to speak to me, don’t look so intimidated when I walk my 6′3″ 290lb frame out to greet you. Not all tech’s are scrawny, nerdy looking kids wearing a tie and messed up glasses like portrayed on TV. Its amazing how quickly people calm down when we meet face to face. It’s easy to scream and curse at a person over the phone, doing it in person, to someone twice your size, is a lot harder.

You should also remember that the person on the phone probably isn’t the one you are mad at. And in reality, doesn’t know who you are or why you are calling in most cases. So don’t be a dick. In addition to that, they probably don’t have the ability to change protocol or the influence on the company to make things happen just for you. This is why names dropping with me doesn’t work. I’m basically a no one and chances are you can’t effect me or my job. You can threaten to have your best friend fire me and chances are they 1) wont because I make them money. or 2) can’t because they probably aren’t my boss.

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