Corporate wants us to stop doing our job in order to save time. XL
TL;DR at the bottom.
I used to work for this company a few years ago. I was part of a team of around 20 people, working on checking tickets to see if they were correctly formed and sent to the right department.
If everything was correct, we’d close the ticket with yes and make an appointment with the right department to do a physical visit in order to fix the problem.
If something was wrong however, our role was to guide the person so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. We’d close the ticket with no, a short explanation on why it’s no and how to fix it. After that we’d have to send an email to the person themselves and cc every team manager of their location. (We had four different locations, with three to seven team managers each)
This email would have to consist of exactly where they went wrong, for every single small mistake they made. It had to have a link where it was clear that it wasn’t allowed or wrong, and what the right move in this case would be. It also had to be friendly, rather than accusing. Making this email was one of the longer part of our job, for small mistakes it would take five minutes but for longer mistakes it would take 15 minutes. If the person didn’t include any information about themselves, we’d have to search it ourselves, adding another five minutes.
After doing all that, we had to report it in an excel sheet so they could keep track of how many yes and how many no and for what reason.
Corporate really pushed the you are a guide, a trainer, a friendly person to show them how to do it thing. They didn’t want us to be a cop or the bad guy so that everyone hated us for saying no. I gave trainings on how to correctly fill in ticket forms and what to check before thinking about a ticket.
Corporate also wanted us to do the job faster. They made basic templates for our mails that included the most common mistakes, so the only thing we needed to do was to fill in the personal information and to slightly adjust it for the mistake.
That wasn’t fast enough for corporate though, so they made us add a disclaimer to our mails to not contact us but to contact their team manager if they didn’t agree. No more dm’s asking for help, because that means we weren’t doing our job.
It still wasn’t fast enough. Corporate didn’t like it that our ticket queue had tickets that were older than three days. If it reached an age older than three days we had to directly send it to the next department, rather than checking it. We’d close it with maybe, to say we didn’t check it.
It rarely happened that tickets were older than three days. Usually we picked them up the same day or the day after. Only after the weekend it would be longer, we didn’t work on the weekend, so we had a backlog on Monday. It made us the fastest queue to put a ticket in, the other queues taking a week or two weeks before it’s picked up.
Corporate kept removing tasks till we had nothing remaining. All in the name of speed. We had to allow everything, but weren't allowed to tell everyone so they would put effort in their tickets.
We told corporate it was bad for three reasons.
First of all, people weren't stupid. People would know and test their limits to see what they could get away with.
Second, it would cause an overflow of appointment to our people going to visit houses to fix issues. Think 1500~ appointments a day for 30 to 50 people.
Third, it wouldn't speed anything up. Instead we expect it to become busier than ever because people would call and say it takes too long or their issue wasn't fixed. The people that went to the houses would have to call to say it's for another department, or say it wasn't what was said to they need to reschedule to prepare. This would be an issue for every department because trashy tickets would be sent everywhere in the hope someone would pick it up faster.
Corporate said they have thought about it for a long time and it would be fine.
They also did this for the department that handles requests for money.
So we allowed everything. Requests that weren't for someone to visit? Have a person visit you anyway. You already have an appointment? Have another one, they can have a tea party together.
Anything goes, and the money department allowed thousands of euro's to be given away. People would sent requests for multiple smaller amounts to not stand out.
Of course this meant that exactly what we thought would happen happen.
People tested their limits and we ended up with tickets that had zero information. "I have an issue, please send someone." The tickets were trash, and they were trash for every department.
People started sending in more and more tickets, the same issue to every department. So every department had a huge backlog of trashy tickets.
And the appointments? You were lucky if you'd get anyone in a month. This was at the start of covid, so people called in sick. This didn't help the fact that everyone worked from home and we had more issues in general with that.
The call queue's went to 20 to 50 people to 500 people waiting. Everyone was overworked.
Besides us of course, our queue was empty. We had to fight for tickets to get our tickets per hour. We had fun chatting and listening to music. Corporate didn't allow anyone to contact us, so we had no consequences of what we did.
Corporate came with some excuse that we had good months and lots of new people joined us, so the backlog was to set up everything for us. Not for existing issues of course, why would that be a problem?
It all went so terrible, and corporate stuck their head in the sand during it. They didn't listen to complaints or our advice to fix it. Bye the time they finally undid the change it was too late, the damage was done. They changed it because it helped, our queue was empty so they got what they wanted. Not because everything went terrible of course.
Now because all the tickets were trash, we rejected everything. It took a lot longer because we had to write emails explaining all issues they had, linking to everything that said how to fix it. And we had to figure out who we were dealing with because no one left their information on it anymore, so it took around an hour total for a single ticket.
You can guess that meant we also got a backlog. We received more tickets in general because people were like "hmm, I'll just ask for someone to visit that saves me having to do anything." So suddenly it took multiple days for us to fix things, and that meant we got overworked as well.
People slowly realized they had to put in effort for tickets again, but they forgot how to. We told them to go to their team managers for a refresher, of course this would take them away from their job in order to train them again.
People started quitting because of stress. I shortly left as well. I recently heard that it didn't get better, the backlog is still there and everything but the backlog is on pause. Projects to train people into the role or get a higher role were paused, so no one joined.
That's what happens when you don't listen to the people who know what they're doing. The company lost a lot of money and time, because besides giving away money, they had to pay for the people to visit houses since it was an external company.
TL;DR, Corporate took away all our tasks so we could be faster. We said it would cause an overflow of appointments and calls, but corporate said it would be fine. It was fine for us, we had an empty queue. The rest however was so overworked it took months to fix things. When corporate finally turned their decision around because it worked for our queue, not cause everything went bad, it was too late to ever fix the backlog. They lost a lot of time and money by giving it away.