Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Get Through To Customer Service

I have been thinking lately, I should share with you out there how I manage to get through to the customer service agents, explain my problem and get them to fix my problem or make it right.

When I call customer service for any reason (cable, internet, phone, bank, package...etc.)I must confess that 95 percent of the time, I get what I ask for and occasionally I get little bit more than what I had on mind. Here's my wisdom on this very American matter as I have gathered for over 11 years of speaking to customer agents, I hope you find this list valuable:

Before you dial the 1800 number for the company:
  1. Be informed! Try to answer your own questions.
  2. Calm down, no one wants to help an angry person. This can be hard especially of the company screws something up. They are customer service, not anger management therapists.
  3. Pray that the agent you speak to yells at you or dispute your story. No company tolerates this, so you've already won.
  4. Shortcuts! Figure out the best way to reach the customer service by checking Get The Human, a great guide that will save you a lot of time if you use their shortcuts.

When you make the call, now the customer rep is on the line:

  1. Know their name, if you do not hear it, ask them for it. Use that name throughout the call, it helps both of you keep the conversation cordial.
  2. Be nice, and stay positive
  3. Speak up and slowly and whatever happens do not mumble
  4. State something you like about the company or the service if applicable.
  5. Explain the problem in basic terms and tell them you are frustrated by the trouble they are causing you.
  6. Make sure they understand your problem as the way you conveyed it.
  7. If you did something wrong, tell them it's your first offense and you were "unaware", or just an 'honest mistake"
  8. Listen well to what they say, most of time the customer agents speak like they are in automated mode, making them sound less human.
  9. Most of the time this would help resolve the problem you are complaining about. Agents have a certain degree of power to "bribe" upset customers.
  10. Rephrase what they agent has told you to make it sound ridiculous--if it's. Example, the a gas company wanted me to pay 30 dollars to open an account with them. "You want me to pay you money give you business?!!"
If your issue has not been revolved yet:

  1. Don't settle for less than what you think you deserve. I had this with cable and cellphone companies in particular. You are a paying customer, they let you down.
  2. Call the service number again and speak to another customer service agent, you might have better luck with a sympathetic ear.Keep in mind, not all agents are created equally. Some are helpful with some authority, others are just trying to make it through the day.
  3. If that doesn't work, you can always ask for a supervisor or a manager. They often have more privileges and are empowered to resolve issues. Make sure you are extra nice here, but be firm on your demand.
  4. The nuclear option is to ask for the cancellation department, the reps working their are their best trained customer service agents and are able to make you happy in all that's withing their power. Tell the agents their, you really do not want to cancel the service, but their action or lack of action is leaving you there. the rep will pick on that and address your concern. Again, this is game of chicken, if you have a real problem with them, then cancellation should be on the table. 90 percent of the times the problem was made go away.

  1. Lying
  2. Interrupt the customer rep., let them finish. It's rude
  3. No yelling either, no one would help a paranoid person. Yelling allows customer service rep to dismiss you. They are just doing their job.

Example, my cellphone carrier, had some network issues in the past few weeks in the DC area, a number of their cell towers went down. That caused me to have no service for few hours on a number of days. First rep was, this is a technical issue, you will need to speak to technical issues. I wasn't interested, the towers were down, I know it she knows it. I asked for a supervisor, he was non committal on what he can do for my to remedy the problem. Then I told you guys are leaving me no option, put me through to the cancellation department. I spoke to an agent names Press. "Hello, Press, I do not know how you do it in your life, but I know in mine, I never pay for a service that I do not receive." By the time i hand up, I have gotten a solid discount on my bill and a sweet bonus of 2000 minutes on my bill and both sides were happy for our business.




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