What happens when the boss mans the phones?

Richard Pullen image.jpg

By The DPS customer services representative Richard Pullen

Last month I was chosen to be our director Kevin Firth’s “boss for a day,” while he sat at my desk and took calls to the DPS.

It was my job to listen in and make exaggerated hand movements when he was about to say something wrong!

Kevin was raising money for a £20,000 charity appeal he is championing across the company, and his stint on the phones was part of that.

A side-effect was that it brought Kevin closer to some of the issues you (the caller) and we (the operations team) face every day. Hopefully it shed some light into the customer experience.

Common issues

The majority of queries were pretty bread-and-butter. “How do I get my money?”, “What’s a repayment ID?” and “How do I use the ADR service?”

What did become clear, I think, are the little obstacles which can sometimes get in the way.

Listening: Kevin Firth

Listening: Kevin Firth

For instance, when we ask a caller security questions our procedures prevent us from accepting answers where we can hear someone in the background prompting the caller.

If this happens we warn the caller and ask additional security questions. If they continue to confer we must end the call.

I got the impression this concerned Kevin, and he appreciated this can be a source of irritation where it was clear we are talking to the right person.

He’s looking into this further to ensure we can be as helpful as possible whilst keeping our security procedures robust, and without breaching our legal and compliance obligations.

On your side

Also, we have to ensure we don’t give legal advice since we’re not lawyers and the last thing we want to do is give out the wrong information.

But there are some areas of procedure and law which are essentially set in stone. I think Kevin felt there was perhaps more we can do in terms of offering a little more help on some of the more factual questions we are often asked.

We – on this end of the phone – always want to help you as quickly as we can, and give the information which would benefit you the most.

As time goes on that will improve and I think Kevin’s time with us will speed that up a bit.

And I only had to pull the plug on him twice!