Let me share you my most bizarre, astounding, annoying and awkward customer service calls that I ever had inmy previous career as a customer service agent.
I will not go into much detail on which companies I've worked for so as to protect their identities.
1.) A nice old lady buying a computer - I once had an experience selling computer packages online. There wasthis nice old lady who got pre-approved for financing and she's more than willing to purchase a system from me. When I asked for her requirements, she said "she'd like to play some games" on the PC. I was already configuring a system with the highest specs possible, so I offered the package, thinking she won't grab it because the figure swelled to $5K (already great for Halo-type games, yes?) . She bought the whole package, including the digital camera, the all-in-one printer, some controllers, some image editing software, additional ink cartridges and a really big headset. Going back to the lady, I asked about the games she'll be playing. And she said, "Solitaire".
2. )How a truck driver got stuck in snow and enjoyed it-ever received a call and handled it for a long duration? I know I did. It was the snowstorm season in the Northeastern United States and I got this call from a truck driver who's stuck in snow for 15 hours and he needs to unload his deliveries real fast. Our protocol is to contact the home location of the truck driver, inform him about the situation, then afterwards, we'll dispatch a tow truck to the driver's location. The nearest towing service is 200 miles away and that will take another approximately 15 hours (due to the weather) to reach the driver's location and get him winched-out from the snow. The weird thing is, I never felt any sense of urgency from the truck driver. He's amused by what's happening to him. Really amused. What's kept him warm were the two prostitutes he hooked up with earlier and got stuck with him too. So much for human blankets. Make that two blankets.
3.) Customer causes own problem - I was in this 1 hour call with a customer who had trouble with his PC. In customer service you have to have empathy with your customers. You have to respect the different levels of comprehension with regards to following a set of instructions. Anyway, the customer was telling how his cup of coffee got stuck on his PC. Mind you, I didn't have the slightest idea on what he's talking about. He was referring to this "cup holder" which wasn't functioning really well and he was insistent on getting a refund for the whole system because the "cup holder" isn't performing to his standards. I then asked for a more detailed description of which part of the system itis and we found out that he was using the DVD drive as his "cup holder".
4.) Tech support call gone wild - for tech support veterans, "One Call Resolution" has been one of the mantras for the industry. Not with this particular case. In my old account, we, as a team, received the same complaint from the same customer with the same product for a record 56 times. He claims he's not able to access the Internet when he has a high-speed broadband connection. During the first 55 times, he would cuss and spit, and sometimes be as high as Miley Cyrus when he's talking. He would call our number just to say from unflattering words about our product and our service in general. You could hear him knock over bottles and furniture stuff in the background. This is a 45 year old male that we are talking about, and he's really unnerved about not being able to get online. We had given him a thorough walkthrough about getting online, check connections, check software, check modem, and all that. Finally, his wife apologized in a return call, saying she had enabled a child protection software so that her husband won't be able to access "interesting" websites.
5.) An odd collision - back in my trucking industry days I've handled my fair share of accidents involving our units and other vehicles. The oddest accident that I've encountered is with a tanker truck carrying raw sewage knocked over a trailer containing boxes of tissue paper. Not only that, this accident also involved a van containing deodorants, perfumes, and colognes. Thankfully, no one died. Sadly, the place stank like a detached paw from a roadkill.
Regardless if you're having a day having bizarre (word) conversations with your customers, good customer service should be about trust, respect, understanding, courtesy, and empathy in all of your dealings. Staying polite and composed all the time is hard, but having grace under fire should make your career, and life, worthwhile.