Adventures of Shy Girl · Anxiety

Working The Phones | Adventures Of Shy Girl

At my job, I am a Student Technology Assistant. This means that my main job is sitting at the front desk helping walk-ins and answering the phone. I’m also an assistant to the professional staff. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that I get them coffee or do other tedious tasks. Being an assistant here means that I help them with their tasks and projects.

Some days that means working on loaner computers to get them ready for the next user. Other days it means going out and picking up a computer from a faculty or staff member. Right now, it means that I’m burning user’s ghost images onto CDs.

Usually, I avoid answering phones as much as possible and when I have to make a phone call I beg my mom to make it for me. Now though, I answer anywhere between 5-10 calls a day and have to make at least one. My comfort level when I started was very low. I had anxiety attacks every time the phone rang and talked really fast(Which I do when I’m nervous or excited). A week into the job and my comfort level has risen. Now when I answer calls, I don’t panic though my chest pounds and my stomach does a flip. I’m also noticeably talking slower and clearer.

So far, I haven’t had to deal with angry or frustrated callers. I’m not sure how I’ll react when that time comes, and I’m told that it will definitely come. I’m hopeful though, that I’ll be able to stay calm and do my best to help them rather than having a panic attack and hanging up on them. I’m terrible with confrontation and past experience is definitely not on my side. If you have any advice for dealing with angry customers, please comment below. Also, feel free to share your horror stories or success stories.

Until next time,

~K.D.

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5 thoughts on “Working The Phones | Adventures Of Shy Girl

  1. Well done of working outside of your comfort zone.
    I remember I was the same and I absolutely hate hate hate it when I need to call someone and am always relieved when it goes to voicemail. I’m told it’ll get better so I hope it gets better for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The “Angry” customers will be the only customers you remember when you are finished for the day. There’s no getting around that fact. You’ll finish your shift and wonder why you deal with the public at all. Sooner than later you’ll forget about the “Angry” customer that ruined your day. Trust me.

    There is some key advice for dealing with them though. It’s ok to tell them (or any other caller) that you don’t know. They won’t like it, but sometimes telling them the wrong answer is going to be much worse. Don’t take that risk. It’s also ok to tell them that you can find out more information for them. Take a name and number and offer to call them back with some more info. This gives you time to cool off since they tend to get on your nerves after a while, as well as getting any info they were asking for, like why their repair isn’t done yet. Even if it’s not a perfect answer, any info you get for them is letting them feel like they’re in the loop on whats going on.

    Don’t ever make them a promise. A promise makes you and your team look bad if it can’t be met. Tell them that you’re doing your best. Speaking of team, they will be your biggest resource. And if all else fails, offer to put them through to your supervisor. I’ve told an angry customer the same thing ten times and they didn’t want to hear it. I put them through to my manager, she told him once, and that was good enough. If they don’t like it beyond that, it’s out of your hands.

    And I have plenty of horror stories after working retail as long as I have.

    Like

  3. Sounds like you’re doing great. Angry callers are not so bad. Genuine empathy with an honesty about what you can genuinely do for them, should diffuse. The advice above seems pretty sound. As long as you get across you will do what you can to help if they are still being angry and directing it at you then they are just being a knob 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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