I've previously worked in 2 call centers. While I didn't find the jobs hard, I quickly realized (not so quickly at my first call center job) that the processes that were put in place and the overall organizational structure made providing good service impossible.
In your scenario, it appears that the company should have identified a problem with the way they present information, since people keep calling in to complain. They should focus on better educating their customers by providing easy to understand instructions that's not written in small print.
Going back to what I mentioned in my first paragraph (and I'll try to be brief... I could write a book about this... lol), in a large company, most manager's, process analysts, business specialists, director's...etc, are primarily interested in showing their boss that, 1) they're doing a good job and 2)They are continuously improving their own stats.
In your scenario, here's what I think might be going on behind the scenes based on what I've experienced.
Employee #100 continues to receive calls from customers who are upset because they don't know how to use the product, or they bought the product thinking that it has another use. Now they're upset because they can't use the product the way they thought they could and they feel you have mislead them. #100 has a good understanding of the product and clearly explains what the product is used for and how it should be used. Many customers are still not satisfied and feel frustrated and ripped off and leave a negative review for #100.
#100's manager has 10 employees on his team and ranks 6th out of the 10 manager's in his department. His boss is putting pressure on all manager's to improve their numbers. In the last quarter, #100 has the most negative reviews on his team and this is bringing down the manager's overall stats. Although, after reviewing #100's calls, the manager knows that #100 is a good employee, he also knows that he has to present his own manager an action plan on how he will improve his stats. He fires #100 and maybe one or two other employees on his team who have poor stats in the last quarter.
Clearly, this accomplishes nothing. Customers are still going to keep calling in because they're angry. #100 lost his job for no good reason and next quarter there will be more terminations because of the same thing. But the manager has looked out for #1 and "sent a message" to everyone else on his team that poor stats will not be tolerated.
Even if employees have informed their manager's that the problem lies with poor instructions and/or documentation presentation, it doesn't matter because that's an issue for the process analyst or business specialist. The manager is only concerned about his stats and these numbers are often derived mainly from the performance statistics of the employees on his team.
Similarly, the director's performance is obtained from the overall statistics of the managers on his team. In large corporations, making a simple change often takes months because the change has to be reviewed and approved by several different departments.
So much for keeping it brief... but I think this shows one reason why calling in to call centers is a nightmare. It's not that the employees are stupid, it's that they're not there to actually help you. They're also often looking out for #1 and they do this by following their own protocol by the letter even if it means they know they're not helping you.
Edited by Ted Striker, 16 April 2011 - 10:39 AM.