Customer Service. Customer Support. Help. Contact Us. Speak to a Manager.
If you are an adult, chances are you’ve had to click, call, or say any of the above words. Maybe you’ve bought an item (or contracted a service) to find an issue afterword. Maybe you need help setting up something. Or maybe you want additional items. Sometimes it’s just the manner in which you are treated at a retail store.
From AT&T cell service to the checkout person at Walmart, we’ve all dealt with customer service representatives in some form or another. And it doesn’t always go the way we want.
So, how do I get the best customer service and get what I want?
It’s simple, really! That’s why I’m giving you my 5 best tricks.
Wait! Why are YOU qualified to give us this advice, Savannah?
Good question! You can scroll down for the answer at the bottom of this list, or ignore it completely. Don’t worry, it’s not my full resume. That’d be silly.
Without further delay, here are my 5 Tricks to Get Better Customer Service:
5) Ask questions.
It sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised at how often we forget this little helper. If you don’t know what something entails, or if you aren’t sure of what something means, ASK QUESTIONS!
Ask for clarification. Sometimes an issue can be resolved before it even pops up! Save yourself the time later by asking how to use something, how to contact someone, or what a quote covers/does not cover. (Examples for questions for a general contractor can be found here.)
4) Be clear and direct.
If you know what you want, don’t be afraid to ask for it! Tell them your issue or request as clearly as possible. If you don’t know what you want, tell them that. Allow the customer service person to help you! If you aren’t sure what department you’re looking for, ask. If you don’t know exactly what you need, explain what you can. Tell them what you expect and what happened. Then work with them to solve it.
3) Remember your manners.
I’m starting to sense a pattern here
shhhh keep reading
A simple “please” and “thank you” can go a long way. Even though you might not be talking to a Chick-Fil-A employee, the person on the other end of the conversation wants to know they are being helpful. And never–I mean NEVER–use foul language. It won’t help you get to a resolution any faster.
(If that doesn’t help, remember that 99.99% of the time, we are being recorded when we talk to someone in customer service. Think of what you might sound like if that recording were played back to you.)
2) Don’t demand free things.
If something goes wrong with your order or service and you receive a refund or exchange, that is the end of it. It’s up to the way the company runs and how it’s managed if they are even allowed to offer you something extra for free. “You get what you paid for” is not just a phrase to imply that the more you pay, the higher the quality and vice-versa. It also means that you only “get” what you pay for. If you contracted a service for X project and pay for X project, you don’t get Y and Z included because you demand it. You are not entitled to that which you did not pay for.
1) Remember you’re talking to a person.
This one is the MOST important trick I could teach you. I don’t care how frustrated you are, or how much you are dissatisfied with an item, service, or lack of product. It’s just stupid to be cruel and unkind to the person you want help from. It’s okay to be frustrated, but it isn’t okay to take that frustration out on someone who isn’t responsible for the issue (and likely was unaware of the problem from the get-go).
It might feel really good for about five minutes that you told off Angela from Amazon.com about your order arriving late and broken, but she wasn’t the one who packaged it, stuck it on a truck, magically created inclement weather in Illinois to delay it, then threw it on your doorstep. All Angela did was be the lucky lottery winner to get your phone call. Don’t be the reason why she goes home to her family crying because she got yelled at.
So, you’re saying I need to be clear, kind, and patient? That’s it?
That’s really it, reader! I know what I’m talking about, because I’ve been in customer service related positions/environments since I was 12. That’s 11+ years! I got started young by helping answer the phones at the computer repair business my parents started. I saw how my mother treated customers and how she dealt with more ~difficult~ customers. I’ve also worked in retail (hello, Old Navy and the worst month of my life!), home sales, scheduling university rooms, taking calls and emails from people who wanted their opinions heard through the voice of a newspaper, and now pest control customer care.
I’ve been yelled at, cussed at, called names, and I even had a lady come yell at me without taking a breath–only to leave and come back five minutes later to apologize because it wasn’t something I had control over.
And I’ve been the recipient of warm greetings, specialty chocolates, kind apologies, and laughter once the the problems had been addressed. I’m willing to help anyone, but it’s so much easier to help those who understand that my job is to be here to serve them, not to be their personal punching bag.
So, why write this post, Savannah? It’s really different than your normally abnormal posts.
I had some ~stuff~ happen today with an unhappy person. That’s all I’ll say about the situation, but it certainly made for good writing fuel. Sometimes I need to be jolted into inspiration, even if it’s in an unfortunate way. (Please don’t take that as carte blanche to be rude to people. And tip your waiters!)
All photos in this blog post can be found at Pixabay.com. Savannah is not an affiliate with any of the companies linked and gains nothing but enjoyment out of you following the links.