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How to Get the Customer Service You Deserve
by Harrine Freeman
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Many companies no longer spend money on customer service training and instead hire employees with little to no customer service experience, which results in dissatisfied customers. Companies give employees a written script to follow when assisting customers and employees are left to learn skills and knowledge through trial and error. Bad customer service is the failure to respond to customer inquiries and complaints about products or services. To combat these bad practices, learn how to get the customer service you deserve.
The Warning Signs of Bad Customer Service
The warning signs of bad customer service include being rude, yelling at a customer, hanging up the phone on an angry customer, transferring customers to multiple agents, long hold times and response times, using a cell phone or having conversations with other employees when interacting with a customer, avoiding eye contact with a customer, and lack of attention to detail.
Getting the Customer Service You Deserve
Without customers, there is no company. Sometimes you have to remind the company of that when trying to get an issue resolved. What is the biggest mistake that most people make? According to Dave Kerpen, social media expert, "it's not asking for what they want explicitly." Jordan Harbinger, a founder of The Art of Charm, and a former Wall Street lawyer, suggests using specific language like "Are you able to refund $1,000 in unused services?"
Skip using the automated service and connect with a live operator. Call early in the morning during the first few hours of operation when operators are the most alert. Avoid wasting time with someone who refuses to help or does not care. Communicate the problem in-person or by phone first, and then resort to sending an email or a letter.
Avoid making demands or ultimatums. Keep trying until you get the outcome you want. Know what you want in terms of compensation, but be flexible and open to a compromise or alternative.
Remember to show your value as a customer. Choose your language wisely and use inclusive words like we or us instead of I or me. When talking to a representative, ask their opinion about the service and their recommendation.
Make certain that you understand what is being stated. Ask questions and repeat back the information you hear to make sure both parties are on the same page. Acknowledge any good service that you receive and thank the company.
How to Receive a Refund for Bad Customer Service
View customer service as an ally instead of an enemy. Explain the problem that occurred in a calm manner. Explain the reason for dissatisfaction and ask for a resolution. Then negotiate until you get the result you desire. Be patient, polite, and courteous even if you are angry or unhappy with the results; state your dissatisfaction calmly. Write down the first and last name and employee identification number of everyone you speak to along with the date and time. Write down what each person said.
Do not accept a store gift card, store credit, or store discount. Most front-line employees do not have authority to offer a refund, so ask to speak to a supervisor. However, it is best to use the chain of command when requesting a refund, which shows the company that you are a good customer and that you respect company practices. Follow the chain of command by starting with the front-line employee, supervisor, store manager, and then the corporate office as a last resort.
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If you are still unsatisfied, file a complaint with your local consumer protection agency, Attorney General's Office, or the Better Business Bureau. Include important documentation like a copy of the receipt, warranty, and contract. Also, it's important to include proof of any damaged items received, serial number or model number, explanation of what happened, names of who you spoke to and what was said, the desired resolution, and your name and address. If the company does not respond within 15 days, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
How to Receive Better Customer Service
Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or customer service section on the company website or the company newsletter or blog to find information on how to resolve a problem. Notify the company of the problem immediately. Consider using multiple ways to reach customer service like email, phone, or chat to resolve the problem.
Use emotional intelligence during all interactions with customer service. Admit any mistakes or misunderstandings. Try to resolve the issue privately first before going public by filing a complaint. Ask the company what they can do to get you back to the previous level of customer service you received prior to the problem you encountered. Give constant feedback through surveys or email.
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