Standing Ovation

That’s right. I had a standing ovation at work today.

It began with an elderly client calling to renew an insurance policy. An elderly client who was very deaf. It took 20 minutes to do something that normally takes 2 minutes.

DPA had to be requested several times before the customer understood. And as for the phone number…Well the pensioner didn’t even know what it was. I don’t mean can’t remember the number. I mean not a clue as to what I was asking for. ‘Phone number? What’s that?’

Then came the all important FCA regulated scripting. Only one paragraph for a renewal. I took one look and thought this customer will not have a clue! I spoke as loudly as possible and as slowly as possible. I was interrupted several times by ‘do you want my card number? I can’t hear you.’ I spoke louder.

At this point my colleagues were off the phones and watching and listening. I had to keep my head down so I couldn’t see them laughing.

I went through the payment details having to read out the price several times extremely loudly. Even though the customer had the price on the renewal letter. It was torture.

The otherside of the room – 400 strong desks – could hear me and were laughing. My immediate colleagues were laughing. My manager was laughing. The manager on the next bay was laughing. The sales manager was laughing.

To put the cherry on the cake the customer asked to speak to someone more caring! He had already hung up while speaking to one of my colleagues, as I found out later. I doubt that many people would have had the patience that I displayed.

I renewed the policy and explained to the customer what I had done in a very loud voice. The client thanked me several times and then began asking me to repeat the price, asking me about documentation, was it renewed? I had covered these several times already.

I tried desperately to finish the call. I even managed to get the pensioner to say goodbye several times, but he immediately followed it up with a yet another query about the price! This wasn’t a query about why it was a certain price, or when it would be taken. No. This was ‘how much did you say it is?’

In the end I had enough. I managed to say goodbye and got the customer to say goodbye. I terminated the call as quickly as possible. Then I collapsed.

My colleagues gave me a standing ovation.

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