The ‘Night’Riders

What happens if you are feeling alone and your only companions are the half-emptied pack of cigarettes and less than a quarter of whiskey left in a bottle? What is it like to spend the week making weekend plans and the weekends- sleeping all day and night to make up for the sleeplessness of week? How does it feel to apologize for others’ mistakes and still getting penalized, in one form or the other?

You probably won’t have the answers for these questions, so ask it to an employee of the customer service organizations from MNCs in Gurgaon and Noida.
These two cities are the hub of customer service and support Industry for almost whole of the world. Probably all the known brands, big or small, have their customer experience divisions set out of here, either owned or outsourced.

Bestowed upon them is the Delhi Metro & Rapid Metro in Gurgaon and Delhi Metro on Noida, that is why these two suburbs grew rapidly in NCR and for over a decade are the hottest place to work and  populated with high-rise buildings.

Life inside these tall & shiny buildings is an adventure many don’t agree is always pleasant but a high percentage of our youth population works for these MNCs who serve the people out of our time-zone. Employees here work in a 24×7 environment with grinding pressure and stress.
But wait! Before you start sympathizing with them know this that this is only one face of the coin.
These people also know how to party.
So working hard to meet the SLA is one and partying better is yet another custom for this class.

The sense of self appraisal is woven into them intricately and they can be amazingly motivated at all times.

Going around a difficulty is the second nature of theirs so there are unlimited work-around they can find for a situation, hence they use their available sense of judgment and effective intelligence well to survive under constantly changing demands from customers and the management.
So we can call them fighters, can’t we?
Who better knows about the machine kept in your home, than manufacturers? It’s them. Who do you contact in event of a problem with your credit statement or a charge dispute? – them. Who makes your life easier by assisting you at the right time whenever you need it? -them.
So you wonder if they are saints? Well, in one way, apart from the paycheck they receive in return and shit they might do or spread with that. Nevertheless they are life-savers in many situations.
They help you when someone has messed with your wedding gown. They’re also there when you are lost around a corner or when you run out of bread.
I talked to these people about their experience with their work, industry and the people they interact with (us, the customers) and their responses were equally amusing as their work.

Shashank Shekhar Mishra, works as a support personal in Customer Experience Organization of Adobe India and is a key member of the team that supports the worldwide requests of technical help on Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite. The team is the only contact centre catering queries for entire globe for this product suite.
If you would ask, Shashank would tell that this wasn’t his first choice of career but now he is in love with the kind of job he does. “Nothing is more satisfying and rewarding than a customer saying – you made my day or you saved my day.” Shshank’s inbox is full of appreciation mailers from his customers and also from the management who recognize his efforts well.
Ajit, a quad ACE , is a Level 2 support personal who’s job is helping his team and the escalated customers. He is not in a hurry to find a workaround and get over it rather you would find him working hard to debug issues and spending hours with the customers dealing with their problems one after another. He leads the appreciation mail tally in the team with others not far behind.
If you’d ask him how much efforts does he put in doing all this and cheering up others in trying situation he would not hesitate to smile broadly and say “Please excuse me, I am with a customer.”
There are others who have similar stories to tell however I could not accomodate them all here, my apologies!
Talking of customer service I am reminded of this incident that I’d heard, probably while serving in IBM, when during a call an old-age customer collapsed due to heart-attack and the personal assisting him found the neighbour’s number from Craigslist to call and inform them of the situation. The neighbour called the local help and the customer could be saved. This displays the level of commitment shown by this individual towards the job, organization and above all towards the customers & customer service.

The word ‘service’ is sum of experiences that we get while interacting with a contact point of an organization, whether in-person, online or on call. People may talk about mixed experiences but you got to agree that they run the frontline operations of the companies and make our lives easiler and the compensation that they get might not be enough to compensate the loss of social-life, sleep and also of many personal commitments.
These men and women are the backbone of not only the service industry but also of the economic growth; on the shoulders of whom our great economy rides and boasts of a promising & emerging market (Read Fortune’s analysis here) and economical superpower. They are the youth, workers, aspirers, dreamers, believers, achievers and leaders. They are the ‘Night’Riders.

I would like to know your thoughts on this and your experiences – a very pleasant one, a surprising one or may be a bad one if you had been very unfortunate someday.

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