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Beyond the Stereo: Stuck in My Head

« Are you serious, lady? | Main | Musings.... On Writing »

September 12, 2010



Ahhh, this brings back memories...

After working as a sales manager for 5 years selling custom computers, I think I have a nominee for this category.

As soon as I picked up the phone, this gentleman was pure profanity. "Why the (beep) is this product so (beep)ing expensive?! I know how little it must cost to make the (beep)ing thing, so you must be making x-(beep)ing-% profit!

Well, I tried over a span of 5-10 minutes to explain that we had to charge for assembling the custom item out of parts, some of which we manufactured in-house and some of which we didn't. We also had to charge for installing and configuring a custom OS and related utilities. No dice. The more I explained, the more profane he became.

Finally, when his vulgarity had reached it's apparent summit, I just stopped talking, put him on speaker (so I could use this as a teaching moment for my personal backup sales rep. nearby--who instantly heard this ranting and came in my office), and waited for the guy to run out of air. Still being polite, as the whole situation was outrageous to the point of hilarity, I realized that he had not actually asked for any specific help yet. He had simply been ranting (and had left a voice mail with more of the same earlier that day). Therefore, in my best "I'm the perky salesperson" voice I said, "So, sir, how can I help you today?" Desired effect achieved, he cursed loudly and hung up.

Later, I found out that everyone along that hallway, including the Vice President of the company, had either heard most of the conversation in person (from the speaker phone) or from my salesperson's description. Not only did I receive the unofficial "How Did You Tolerate That?!" award for the day from the VP (who heard most of the speaker phone rantings), but my President got a good laugh out of the voice mail that I hadn't deleted yet. To top it off, I received a commendation from the Pres. and the VP in that week's staff meeting--"Now THAT is taking customer service to a whole new level."

You get all kinds. It's a throw of the dice every time.

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February 2012

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