Getting Better Customer Service

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Giving great customer service is, as we all know, very important for small businesses.  What about getting great customer service? If you buy any product or use any service, you have been on the receiving end of the process. We have all been in a situation where we are frustrated that a product we purchased needs to be returned (and you don’t have a receipt ) and the clerk was “unable” to help you. Maybe you wanted to get help with your cell phone bill and keep getting transferred from department to department. After working in customer service now for over 30 years I have learned plenty about how to provide great service but also how to get it.  These tips will not help you get out of your two year wireless agreement, but they may help you get fees reversed and better service in general, most of the time. 

Tip #1 Be friendly
Greet them with a smile even if you are speaking with them over the phone.  This is probably the most important advice I can give.  I always greet the representative with a smile and introduce myself no matter how frustrated I may be. I try to be extra friendly especially when I know I am calling a call center. An experienced CSR (Customer Service Rep) has had their share of complaint calls so when someone calls that is overtly happy it can catch them by surprise and all of a sudden you stand out in the crowd.

Tip #2 Be polite
Please and thank you always helps.  Remember, you want to get the company representative on your side. Now that you have their attention they are able you “hear” what you are saying.  Do not treat the call center rep as if they created the policy of the business you are calling. Don’t just complain about the company policy, trust me they have heard it all before.

Tip #3 Use first names.
Usually agents are trained to give you there first name. Even if you suspect this is not their real name, use their name in conversation. Invite them to call you by your first name, it will help them let down their guard. This is a great time to ask them for a direct extension in case you get disconnected.

Tip #4  Ask for help (Don’t make demands).
Most people feel good when they help someone. Open the door to them by asking for it.  I like to lead in to the conversation by saying something like, “I am having the toughest time, I hope you can help me solve my problem.”

Tip #5 Be realistic.
Don’t ask for double your money back. If you are looking for a refund sometimes you may need to settle for credit. Take the time to go through all the details of your situation. If you are trying to get out of the contract most companies have the upper hand, but if you are open to other options you might be pleasantly surprised if you avoid the “All or Nothing” approach.

Tip #6 If agent does need to transfer you, ask them to stay on the line. This will save time when you speak to the next employee, you will not need to explain as much to them. Additionally, this allows the agent to make sure they have the right person (department) on the line before they transfer you.

Give these ideas a try and you may be surprised by the response you get from the people you encounter.

How do you get better customer service?

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