Posted on May 16, 2012

Have you ever had a bad experience with a company followed up by an even worse customer service experience?  Sometimes the customer service rep is having a bad day, and sometimes they just aren’t very nice to begin with.  But often, you can change the tone of the whole experience by simply handling your end of the bargain correctly.  Changing your approach by implementing the following 5 tips can put customer service in a better mood and make them more likely to want to help you.


First, and most importantly, insist on doing business only with reputable companies that have a track record of providing excellent customer service.  Choosing only the best lessens the likelihood that you will have a bad experience to begin with, and ensures that any problems you have will be handled professionally.  Choosing a Consumers’ Choice Award Winner guarantees that you’ll do business with the best.


Next, remember that in most cases, the person you’re speaking with had little or nothing to do with your problem.  You wouldn’t blame a police officer when reporting a crime, right?  Keeping that in mind should help you remain calm and keep things in perspective during the conversation.  While it’s a very general principle, it helps with all 4 remaining tips.


Third, determine exactly what you want to convey, and how you’ll do that, before contacting customer service.  Write it down if it helps.  Knowing what you want will help you avoid getting sidetracked in the conversation, and also avoid being placated with small gestures that don’t solve your problems.  Additionally, working out how to verbalize your issue ahead of time will help you get your point across most effectively.


Be prepared with any information the company might need to make the process go more smoothly.  Depending on what services the company performed, you may need to give them proof of purchase, a customer number, or any number of other things.  If you have these things ready to go, the conversation will be much more efficient, making you happier as well as the customer service rep.


Always be businesslike and polite while communicating.  No matter the rage that is seething within, yelling or being abusive will not help solve your problem.  You will not communicate as well when you’re out of control, and the customer service rep will either become angry with you or just tune out.  Think of it this way: Would you be more likely to help someone who was extremely polite with you and treated you respectfully, or someone who screamed at you and treated you poorly?  In most cases, if you respect them, they will respect you.  Or at the very least, you will have done everything in your power to solve your problem.


Finally, actually listen to the rep.  It’s important to recognize the difference between when they’re trying their best for you and simply can’t do anymore, and when they just aren’t trying.  In many cases, there is a limit on what a customer service rep has the ability to do for you or tell you.  No matter how much you push or argue, there comes a point at which they just can’t do any more.

Chances are, if you remain calm and polite and remember your purpose, you can work with the rep to accomplish your goal.  Sometimes you’ll encounter rude or unhelpful customer service folks, but even if you don’t get what you want, at least you’ll know you handled yourself the right way.

Tags: customer service, Go the extra mile, Polite, Patient, Be Respectful,