04.29.2014Personal Tech

How a Verizon Customer Service Rep Saved a Life

Our Verizon Customer Service team handles tens of thousands of phone calls each and every day. But for Ann Gallup, customer service advocate at the Mankato, MN call center, one call was very different from the others.

On April 4, Ann answered a call from a customer who was having a hard time verbally explaining what she needed help with. Ann worked patiently with her for several minutes and even tried to call the woman on an alternate number, hoping the sound quality would be better. Unfortunately, the issue wasn’t the phone connection but, rather, the customer’s health.

“I heard a loud thump and tried to keep talking to her,” Ann said. “I also left a voicemail on the other phone on the account in hopes of reaching someone.”

The customer’s faint, slurred speech and unresponsiveness, which was followed by silence, alarmed Ann, and she immediately became concerned about the customer’s well being. She looked around for help and flagged down performance assurance supervisor Danielle Demko, who was walking by.

Immediately, Danielle started working with Ann to assess the situation. She listened to the call playback to understand what Ann heard and tried calling the customer from another line. After she didn’t receive a response, she contacted law enforcement in the customer’s area and asked them to conduct a wellness check at her home.

“Ann did an amazing job recognizing that something wasn’t right,” Danielle says. “After hearing the playback, I felt the same way. I briefly discussed the situation with a few teammates, and we all agreed we should call the police to be safe. We felt a lot better knowing they were on their way to check on her.”

A few days later, the customer called in to customer service to thank our team for helping save her life. She’s unclear about what happened on that fateful day and says she actually doesn’t remember calling Verizon. All she knows is that if she hadn’t made the unintentional call at that moment, the outcome could have been drastically different. Hospital and emergency personnel have confirmed that if she had not been treated promptly, she may not have lived to tell this story.

“I was anxious to know if we’d heard back from the customer,” Ann said. “One day my supervisor told me to sit down and then opened up the note we received from the customer. After I read it, I just lost it—it was so overwhelming.”

Danielle was also moved. “It was so powerful to hear from her and know she was alright,” she said. “After going through a situation like this, it really makes you think about the technology we use and how it’s not just for entertainment and games—it’s so much more than that.”

Ann added, “We’re in the service of our customers for a reason, and you never know where that’s going to take you some days.”

For more Verizon Wireless news, subscribe via RSS feeds in the right rail.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc