New Year, New Fun!

Happy New Year! The 4th quarter isn’t terribly busy in my world, and therefore isn’t terribly amusing, lending to minimal fodder to write about! But, rest assured, there are many gems coming to inbox over the next few months. Today, however, revealed something fun in researching another representative’s show today. I came across this most amusing floorplan. Not only does it not have the location notated of these 8 squares, but even to a trained eye, they would appear to be 10×10 spaces… a standard booth… but nope, 12×12 are the actual sizes of these beauties, and I still don’t know where they are located other than hopefully somewhere within the OCCC, but I’m guessing whoever will be setting up these booths does!

worst floorplan ever

Hope you all have a fabulous 2016, and I’ll be back soon with more customer service enjoyment!

Should you need a license to operate a computer?

I consider myself a VERY patient person. In fact, it is a necessity in my line of work. Most of my day is spent assisting people with processes that are seemingly very simple to me, but does not make sense to everyone. But, today, I ran out of patience.

I had a 30 minute phone call today with someone who may want to consider not using a computer…

The first 5 minutes were spent trying to explain what a browser was, and that BING was NOT the browser and typing the web address into the search field was not going to work.

Then we had to discuss WHERE to type in the web address (when I asked what was in the white bar at the top of the screen I was told “H T T P two dots on top of one another and two slanted lines”)

Once we finally got to the correct website for registration, I was asked if everything was to be entered exactly as it was to be printed on the badge (not a terribly uncommon question); then, “do I just enter my e-mail address like normal?” I actually said, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure how to answer that question”

So we make it 2 more screens, and then this is the tricky part… creating a password. Our system does not have any requirements such as word length or must contain a number, HOWEVER, it does tell you if your password is weak, medium, or strong. This person typed in a password into the first field, and when it showed weak beneath the field, typed WEAK in the “confirm password” field… then hit continue… which of course it gave a warning and loaded the page again. This person re-read everything on the badge, confirmed, and again hit continue (without changing anything). They then proceeded to get frustrated, WITH ME, because it kept re-loading the same page. So I asked if there was a red bar with a warning at the top of the page. “I’ll just hit continue again” again I ask – “Is there a red bar with a warning at the top of the page?”  Customer says, “Yes, it says passwords do not match. What does that mean?”

O…M…G – really!?  Calmly I proceeded to answer that it probably meant that what was typed in the first password field did not match what was in the second password field.

OK – Yay – we get pass the password created. Then to the demographic questions… oh no, shoot me now! I had to say – “I don’t know, what DO you <insert question here>” for EVERY SINGLE QUESTION!

Phew, we made it through the questions, we’ve hit continue, the last screen before payment is a bunch of up-sell options so I try to just make things easy and say “bottom button on the left says Complete Registration, select that” before even listening to anything was read to me. And it worked! THEN the really horrible part…

the VERY last screen in our process is the payment screen, where you enter a credit card… This person says, Oh, I don’t have the company card, I’ll have to send this over to work, can I just print this screen? Nope… our registration must be done in one sitting… we’ve just spent 30 minutes of anguish for NOTHING!

Me: “I’m sorry, but payment is due at the time of registration, you’ll have to start the registration over when you have the form of payment as it must be completed in one sitting”

Customer: “oh, you mean I have to pay for the registration? I can just save all this right? It’ll be there when I log back in, correct? Well, that was a waste of time, I guess I’ll just have the office register me, good bye” Click…

Yup… I will forever be asking if someone has a credit card to pay for the registration BEFORE doing anything from now on.

Lesson learned, Good night!

On the Internet!

Just shaking my head

Hi again! No, I did not drop off the face of the earth, though it may have seemed like it. Luckily there were a few fairly quiet weeks in the tradeshow customer service world to coincide with crazy in my personal world.

Nothing earth shattering or ground breaking, but a handful of just, “did that really just happen” type moments to share with you, along with a conversation snip it  (and if you get the reference, you can be my friend)

Hope your week is going fabulously and enjoy some amazing and amusing interactions from the past month!


Me: What state is your company based in?

Customer: Manhattan


Customer having issues filling out a form on our website: THERE IS A PROBLEM WIT REGISTERING TO DOWNLOAD.

Designer’s response to me when I asked if everything was properly working: They need to enable Javascript for their web browser for any of our forms to work… and for the rest of the internet to work.


During registration, By mistake due to over sight I selected Norfolk Island as country, Instead India.


I have tried to register using the link, but it keeps telling me that the email is already being used by someone else. However, that someone else is me.


My CEO wants to know how much it would be for someone right off the street?


(this is exactly what a response to a marketing e-mail said)

Hi Love,

I just filled this out and it’s telling me I need to pay $30. What does that mean? xoxo

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​


Paraphrased from a voice mail:

So my mom always made me get on the short bus to school saying I was special, and you are on the website as a specialist, so you should be able to assist me, please call me back.


Me: Type abcdef.com in the white bar at the top of your browser and hit enter

Customer: it says nothing found in search

Me: what browser are you using?

Customer: Yahoo mail

(I think I now know what it is like to work the IT help desk!)


Actual conversation snipit – yes, I love my job!

Bowl screen shot


Spam or Harrassment?

Happy Monday!

I, unlike most people, enjoy getting to work early. It’s quiet, the phone isn’t ringing off the hook, and I’m pretty sure I get more done in the 30 minutes I’m at work before everyone else gets there, than I do the rest of the day… (sad, I know)

Anyway, this morning, I notice that one of the e-mail boxes that I manage has a pretty high unread count, and it’s very possibly spam from the weekend, but rarely is the count for this box more than 4-5. But today it’s showing 16! Included in this count is 6 calls and 2 e-mails from the same person… all this morning, all about the same thing. He wants off our e-mail list.

That’s great – I had him removed from the list on Friday. Now, I would guess we had a handful of e-mails scheduled to go out already, so it would make sense that he would get a few more before they stop, but this person is having a serious fit that he has received additional e-mails over the weekend! Even so far as saying “I am taking this as a form of harassment!!!”

So, my question to you is – Can marketing e-mails (aka spam, if you don’t want them) really be considered harassment?

https://i0.wp.com/blog.15five.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/STOP_EMAILING_ME.jpg

Did you do that? Warning, you didn’t do that!

I am a firm believer in the saying “if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime”. So I always encourage those on the other end of the phone to do the registration process themselves, but I will happily walk them through the process. Unfortunately, sometimes that backfires on me… Yesterday, I had one such caller.

(M=Me & C=Client)

C= the system keeps denying my registration

M= oh, that’s not good (thinking, our system doesn’t deny registrations), are you at your computer now?

C=Yes, but I just want you to register me

M= well, it will take less time if you answer the questions over the computer because of the multiple choice options, but I will of course walk you through the process over the phone. (that was apparently improper information)

C=My name is (obviously, not the callers real name) “a..b..c..d..e..f”

M=Are you entering the information into the registration screen?

C=”g..h..i..j..k”

M= Sir, are you at website-a.com?

C=Yes

M=So, you’ll need to fill out the requested information on the screen, first name, last name, company name, and e-mail address.

C=Oh, you want ME to enter the information?

M=mmmhmmm

C=”a…b…c…d…e…f”   pause  “g..h..i..j..k”  pause  “abcdef@ghi.com” pause Now what do I do?

M= Select the Start Registration Button at the bottom

C= OK, now it asks for type of business, I selected that, now continue?

M=Did you also select the sub category for your business type?

C= I selected continue, and it is saying I didn’t select the sub category.

M=mmmhmmm

C=What should I select?

M=Well, what does your company do?

C=I’ll just select this first one – Now hit continue?

M=(Shaking head) Yes

C=So now it’s asking for more information. What is Title?

M=Your job title?

C=I don’t know what that is

M=Um, well, it’s what you do? the description of your job? So on your signature line for e-mails, most people have a job title under their name?

C=So, Sales?

M=Sure! (of course when I looked at the registration after he completed it, it actually said “Saler”)

C=What do I put in the address field?

M=(remembering the article my boss had just sent me about Disney’s approach to the “what time is the 3’Oclock parade”) You’ll want to put your business address in that field, if you’re business is in another country, you’ll just need to change the country field so that you can enter the address in the correct format.

C=Searching for addressentering information So now I hit continue?

M=Make sure to select the check box that says “I agree to the show policies”

C=Hmmm, passport information… “a…b…c…d…e…f” So now do I hit continue?

M=Did you select the check box that says “I agree to the show policies”?

C=I hit continue and I got a warning that says I didn’t select the box that I agree to the show policies.

M=Ok, so check the box that says “I agree to the show policies”

C=Now what, Continue?

M=(screaming in my head) If you checked the box that says “I agree to the show policies” then yes, hit continue.

C=So, when can I get my invitation letter?

M=Since you are a first time attendee, you’ll need to submit proof that your company fits into the category you selected during the first page of your registration. Once you complete your registration, you’ll get an e-mail that explains what can be submitted.

C=My invitation will be e-mailed to me?

M=You’ll receive your invitation letter once your registration has been confirmed, after business proof has been received.

C= OK, so what do I do now?

M=I think you just need to select Complete Registration

C= I don’t see complete registration. there are a bunch of buttons, which one do I choose?

M=Select the one that says Complete Registration, it is the last one in the list.

C=I have Upgrade, Add another, Child Badge, and Complete Registration – Oh, there it is!… Now I need to get my invitation letter, how do I do that.

M=As I explained earlier, you’ll need to submit proof that your company is a retailer. Once we have received that, and approved your registration, you’ll get a confirmation and your invitation letter.

C=Can I have your name?

M=Sure, it’s Sarah – s..a..r..a..h

C=S.a.r.h?

M=s…a…r…a…h

C=S.a.a.r.h?

M=s…..a…..r…..a….h

C=S.a.h

M=Yup. (I’d given up by this point)

C=And what’s your phone number?

M=Umm (yes, this question threw me, coming from a person who just called me), you just called our number, but it is 555-555-5555

C=OK – so for my invitation letter, I’ll just get that via e-mail right?

M=Once you submit proof of business, and your registration has been approved, then yes.

C=OK – I’ll call back. Thanks! ‘Click’

I’ve been told that I am an extremely patient person, but I had to take a walk with the dog and a friend after that call.

Happy Saturday!

First thing in the morning = ?

Every morning I go to my office and turn my computer on, slowly it comes to life and eventually will bring up my log in, desk top, and my list of things to do. Unfortunately, I never know what is going to greet me once I open my e-mail and the 6 group boxes I manage.

Undoubtedly there are the 30-50 spam e-mails, some asking me to open some unidentified document, others written in another language, all of which I promptly delete. Then comes the good stuff… What crazy questions, subject lines, or other interesting data await me today?

  • Subject: UNSUBSCRIBE

Body:

  • “Your invoice had an amount of USD 13.000,00. We paid USD 38.904,00.” (Umm… why did you do that?)
  • “I get what you are saying, but” (No, no “buts”, obviously you don’t get what we are saying!)
  • “I have to book the hotel myself?” (yes, we are not a travel agency!)
  • “I was wondering if you still have vendor space available for the upcoming expo?” (we have 40 events within the next year… with very few being along the same industry line)

All in a morning’s work…

Wednesday

In the Beginning… I learned

At the age of 24, I started in my first full fledged “tradeshow” position. Even though I’d been around tradeshows throughout my life, I was GREEN! I consider myself a quick learner, and the programs the company used were DOS based (if you don’t know what that means, you’re probably significantly younger than me), so it wasn’t a difficult training, but learning to handle the people in the tradeshow world was a pretty significant learning curve!

Now, the “normal” person I’d learned to handle in the retail world would complain about a return policy, the cost of an item, or just plain didn’t want to pay, so they would walk out of the fitting room with layers upon layers of clothing on (which I then had the pleasure of calling the police as they walked out the door). Those people were a cake walk compared to some of the first, and continued, experiences I have had with exhibitors!

My first tradeshow memories include:

Someone walking out the door carrying an 8ft long table not belonging to them, clearly stamped with the company name it did belong to and that person’s reasoning that they should keep it was that they had had the table for years. Stealing is stealing regardless how long ago it happened!

Watching a “lost children” tent perpetually fill up with unclaimed kids throughout the course of a show. Apparently we were running a daycare and didn’t know it.

And my personal favorite early memory, the guy who was so irate with a probably $125 onsite service cost, that he felt that actually flinging the check at me like a frisbee would help make his case. It didn’t.

It took a lot of tears and frustration to get through that first year, but I learned not to take it personally and to laugh about the absurdity of the situations I was constantly involved in.

Learning Quote

“Right!?” because sometimes, I just don’t know if it should be a question or an exclamation.

After some careful consideration and a fair amount of procrastination, I’ve decided that it is time for me to start writing again. So, I’ll join the digital age and start blogging. For those who know me personally, know I’ve been in customer service of some sort or another since I could legally make wages, but during the past 8 years I’ve been providing customer support for tradeshows, conferences, and events. A world in and of itself, with little known to those outside the industry.

Honestly, the most dreaded question you can ask me is “What do you do?” But, why is that a difficult question to answer? Well, I do a LOT, sometimes resulting in 150 e-mails responded to and 30 phone calls answered in a single day (yes, that actually happened just 2 weeks ago). But saying, I answer e-mails and phones isn’t really what I “do”. Rather, I provide the support and expertise to pull off something so spectacular that I can only compare it to constructing, running, and deconstructing a small city in a span of about a week.

My goal is to share some of the quirky, crazy, awesomeness that I get to experience on a daily basis all while keeping my zen. So I hope you’ll join me on my roller coaster journey I call a job and maybe get a few laughs and insights along the way.

Registration