There are just days until the closing date for submisions to Interactive Intelligence's "Outrageous Interactions" contest which will highlight some of the strange occurrences that are commonplace in the call centre industry.
The winning call centre agent will be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii, including airfare and hotel accommodation for five days.
The competition closes on 31 August, after which a panel of expert judges will select the best finalists and the winner will be decided on by votes from the public. Anyone can vote online for what they think is the most bizarre and funny call centre interaction.
Call centre agents and managers worldwide have been submitting their wildest stories from interactions with customers, including this submission: "The first week on the phones at any call centre are tough; you are nervous and scared of what is coming at you from the other end of that earphone, and myself being no different. I answered my call correctly and was asked a question by a gentleman, I asked if I could place him on hold while I found out the answer. I came back to the gentleman and said: 'Thank you for letting me hold you'. My face turned red and I am sure he felt the heat from the other side of the phone. My caller replied: 'You're very welcome, hope it was good for you too'. The day was off to a great start and I have loved it ever since."
Another submission stated: "About 11 years ago, I was manger for the technical support of an Internet service provider company. One call I personally took was from a woman who wanted to be walked through the installation of our software, so she could gain access to the World Wide Web. Following my own instructions, I asked if she had received the instruction manual. When she replied in the affirmative, I suggested that she read through the manual and call us back if she had any problems. She interrupted me, though, saying that she couldn't do that. When I asked her why not, she replied that she couldn't read. I blinked in dumbfounded silence for a moment before walking through the installation with her. I don't know what content she was going to peruse on the Web, without the
ability to read."
If you think you have the winning story with one of your crazy interactions, you can submit them and find more information at http://www.outrageousinteractions.com, or e-mail your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.