Customer service rep shares what it's like to have an 'escalation call' with a customer


‘It’s like talking to toddlers’: Customer service rep shares what it’s like to have an ‘escalation call’ with a customer

'It's pressing the mute button to talk to yourself.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Jun 10, 2023

Customer service reps are the ones who often have to handle people at their lowest.

Call center teams are trained on how to handle angry customers. They are also taught how to progress calls from beginning to end, offering clear service but not wavering from stated company policies. Often, a customer’s problem can escalate. TikToker Ashley Williams (@heyslim498) recently posted a video, demonstrating what’s it like to deal with an escalation call. The video has garnered over 2 million views as of Friday.

Wearing a headset and typing on a keyboard, Ashley begins the video as if she’s been involved in a long call with a customer.

“OK, Miss Pauler, I want you to know I hear you. I do hear you, and I apologize about your frustration. I understand your frustration. I understand it. I get it,” Ashley says with a calm but firm voice. “But, I want you to understand that nothing has changed. The choices I’ve given you, still remain the two choices that I’ve given you.”

Ashley pauses like she’s listening, “Oh, no I’m not being rude or mean. I need you to understand that. That one, you can either pay your account current, or two, I can put this extension in for you. But, I want you to know there will be a late fee. Only because this isn’t the first time you’ve called for an extension,” she explains.

The call continues as Ashley demonstrates her serious customer service rep skills. Her methods utilized a tried and true playbook in handling the imaginary caller. These tactics include staying clam, keeping an even tone, being patient, and reflecting on the customer’s story. Ashley also offered options, but stayed firm on company policy.

As the call progresses, Ashley physical movements become more animated, but her voice remains the same.

“OK that’s fine. If you’d like to speak to a supervisor I’d be more than happy to put that call to you,” Ashley says as she puts the caller on hold. “These folk be acting like they’re 4 years old.”

@heyslim498 #callcenterlife #esculation #callcenteragent ♬ original sound – Ashley Williams

Ashley mimes clicking back into the call and her voice becomes polite again. “OK Miss Pauler, I put your phone call in and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Expect to have a callback from my supervisor within 24 hours,” she says. Ashley hangs up and shakes her head, “Y’all not slow, I can’t. I know.” She takes a deep breath and centers herself.

Users were quick to applaud her performance. Some users shared their own experiences, while others complimented Ashley’s style.

“I left a call center bc I seriously was hating my life everyday dealing w ppl so DIFFICULT over something simple as yes or no,” one user said.

“It’s pressing the mute button to talk to yourself,” another laughed. “Classic move working at the call center.”

“People think they can argue their way around policy,” a user added.

“Honestly?? This is perfect language fro holding a boundary with someone. So well spoken,” replied a user.

The Daily Dot reached out to Ashley Williams via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Jun 10, 2023, 1:16 am CDT