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The Call Center is on Fire – Guest Post

May 1, 2013 / Evolve IP

Three questions seem to be on every call center professional’s mind these days:    

1)    How should my call center handle social media?  

2)    How should my call center prepare for mobile customer service?  

3)    What would happen if Billy Joel wrote a call center song?    

I feel that the first two questions are easy, thus I’ve chosen to tackle the third. I imagine this will help you immensely in your career. What would happen if Billy Joel wrote a all center song? Probably something like what you see below.

(Sorry, I would have made a recording of me singing the song, but I have laryngitis from shouting at Billy Joel’s lawyers. Besides, it will be more fun for you to sing it yourself with your agents during slow periods, or when you’ve all just given up.)

“The Call Center Is on Fire”

(to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”)

High attrition, battle scars
Spikes in volume, crowded queues
Budgets that are low

Calculating all the calls
Agents running down the halls
Service Level’s all disheveled
Systems that are slow

Senior managers aflame
Saying we take all the blame
Screaming that our stats are bad
Now our call forecaster’s sad

Driving callers to the web
Doing so to get ahead
Please adhere. Need a beer
Handle times are rising!

The call center is on fire
The calls ain’t stopping
Many calls are dropping
The call center is on fire
All the phones keep ringing
Not sure why I’m singing

FCR is down a bit
Unsure how to measure it
Social care has got us scared
Abandonment has grown

Seven agents called in sick
Seven more called in to quit
Callers now are getting mean
And I don’t like their tone

Monitoring all around
Agents lying on the ground
Everyday I have to swim
Through these freaking acronyms

SL, C-Sat, CPH
AHT, I need a break
ASA – blown away
What else do I have to say?

The call center is on fire
The calls ain’t stopping
Many calls are dropping
The call center is on fire
All the phones keep ringing
Not sure why I’m singing

Skills-based routing, traffic peaks
Half the staff releasing shrieks
Shrinkage, blinking readerboards
50 calls in queue

Chat requests and emails swell
Agents don’t know how to spell
All our text is just a mess
I don’t know what to do

Coaching, motivating reps
Work-at-home or under desks
Customers now own our soul
Your call is important – hold

Twitter volume’s on the rise
Facebook too, I want to cry
Time to train? Hide the pain
Obviously I’m insane!

The call center is on fire
The calls ain’t stopping
Many calls are dropping
The call center is on fire
All the phones keep ringing
Not sure why I’m singing

For more customer care related song parodies, check out my “Contact Center Tunes” page, where you can listen to song samples and, if you feel so inclined, download full songs.  (Let me know what you think about “The Call Center Is on Fire” lyrics above – maybe I’ll record the song soon!) 

Greg Levin, author of the Off Center blog (, has been researching, reporting on and satirizing contact centers and customer care since 1994. Known for his unique sense of humor, sharp wit and bold opinions about the state of customer contact management, he is still usually allowed entrance into industry events.

Greg is the former Editor of ICMI’s pioneering publication Service Level Newsletter as well as its highly regarded follow-up journal Call Center Management Review. He has written hundreds of feature articles and case studies on contact center best practices, trends and challenges; dozens of comprehensive research reports covering every key industry topic under the sun; and adds a very healthy dose of comic relief and levity to the industry via his uproarious Off Center blog as well as his one-of-a-kind contact center songs.

Categories: Contact Center
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