Leading customer experience provider Webhelp asked 8,000 contact centre
employees to share their most distinctive customer interactions
4 April 2019
The woman whose cats eat better than she does. The holiday shopper who provided life advice and inspiration. And the mum-to-be who was afraid her baby might come before the cot she had ordered. Webhelp, one of the country’s leading customer experience providers, has lifted the lid on some of its employees most heart-warming customer exchanges after a YouGov study it commissioned confirmed that consumers prefer customer service from humans over automation.
The anecdotes reveal how instant bonds can be formed between people who haven’t met and most likely never will – even though some do stay in touch. While some of those on the other end of the phone will not have heard of Webhelp, its employees deal with customers of some of the UK’s best-known brands, including Sky and easyJet as well as several major retailers.
Following are highlights from 10 heart-warming calls from the contact centre employee point of view:
- A customer complained about not being able to find her cat. She said the cat must have jumped into the supermarket’s lorry, and the driver had already left. I had to call the store and go on a wild goose chase for ‘Lola’ the cat.
- An elderly lady called about a vacuum cleaner she had received that day. She said it was ‘sucking up her carpet’ and ‘taking her off the floor’. I arranged a collection for the vacuum, and she told me that she was going to order a less intense one.
- I had a customer complain that she had ordered a 4-pack of mints, but the colleague had misheard her and sent her four packs of mince. She then told me that she was partly at fault as she had taken her teeth out before making the order. It was my last call of the night and I went home on the train still laughing.
- A customer called to find out about a holiday to Cuba. We ended up talking about how much the customer loves his wife, so I asked to speak to the wife. My heart was filled with joy speaking to this couple in their 60s who gave me life advice and inspiration.
- My favourite customer call was with a lady interested in a new phone. I found out that she likes to take a lot of photos, around 50 a day, entirely of her dog Rosie. We ended up talking for over an hour about how much she loves her dog – during which she admitted to deleting pictures of her grandkids to have enough room on her phone for all the photos of Rosie!
- I had a customer who was just the sweetest elderly lady (88 years old). She ordered all the basics and the cheapest possible products for herself before going on to spend over £40 on high-end cat food for strays. She told me all about the 60’s – the dances, the music, the cigarettes and alcohol and listening to pirate radio.
- A pregnant customer due in a week was ranting because she was still waiting for her baby cot to be delivered. I had to be empathetic because I know how stressful it is trying to organise everything before the birth of a baby. I tried to calm her down by asking if it was her first born and to my surprise, she answered much calmer and said it was her fourth. While she was talking, I found out the baby cot was to be delivered the following day. I asked if she still wanted to log a complaint and she said no, she just wanted somebody to listen and give her the proper information.
- I was on the phone with a customer who struggles with her mobile phone – especially since her sister who had helped her had just passed away. We managed to get her voicemail issue sorted, but she called back later that night and asked for me. She was so happy to have a familiar voice and this time we chatted about her favourite bands and some songs for me to learn on the bass. I managed to get all her Google settings saved this time and with some new music and some great life advice I wished her on her way.
- I once had a customer who had a query about his phone data and just needed general assistance. I believe I spoke to him twice within two weeks. He told me he suffered from cancer and could not walk and struggled to do a lot of things. However, he told me he is a very happy man and thanks God he still lives up till today. I cried and told him I appreciate the positive great man he is. I still think about it a lot.
- A call once came through about an organic chicken and the customer said that because the way the leg was sitting it couldn’t have walked and therefore there was no way it was organic.
These are the findings of an online YouGov survey of more than 2,000 British adults commissioned by Webhelp. A brief report/paper from Webhelp about the future of automation can be found here.
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Julie Carballo, Quiller 07860 753 101
Scott Jacobson, Quiller 07776 383 312