You catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. That old saying is so cliché but so true, especially when it comes to dealing with customer service representatives. Sadly, I’ve seen so many people feel that yelling, screaming, swearing, and general baby like temper tantrum throwing will get them whatever they want. With me and many people I know it doesn’t. In fact, I’m less willing to help someone acting like a first grader who had the ball taken away from him. I spent over 20 years in retail environments and currently in a support position. I’ve done it all, bagger or cashier at a grocery store, management, support, customer service, sales, technical sales, IT, and so on. I’ve been yelled at. I’ve been sworn at. Insulted, threatened, harassed, chased, attacked, etc. All that ever got these people was anything from being asked to leave the store to being escorted out by the local police department in handcuffs.
How can you get customer service to work with you?
That’s actually pretty easy and would go miles further than yelling and screaming.
First, be polite. This is the most important. The person you are talking to, whether over the phone or in person, is actually a person, not a computer. They have feelings and are most likely not the cause of the reason why you are talking to them. They didn’t make your computer crash nor did they make you drop that call so don’t blame them. I’ve personally driven over 20 miles out of my way (each way) to help out someone because they were respectful and polite to me.
Second, body language. Be open and non threatening. Don’t stand there and cross your arms, stare them down, grit your teeth. This will only create a tense situation. Be relaxed, make eye contact (not daggers) when you are talking to them. Be non threatening. Next, know your facts. Nothing will blow your credibility faster than inaccurate information coming out of your mouth. It easy sets the representative you’re talking to at an advantage and they will think that if you can’t get the facts straight. Know what you are talking about and what it means. Also, don’t lie. We hate it when people lie to us and we know when people lie to us. If you’ve had your computer in for service several times before, trust me, I will look up the previous tickets.
Don’t lie about time frames, outages, and the number of times you’ve called. We have that information handy so we know. We know when you’ve been in for service, we know about outages, and we know you’ve been waiting in the store 15 minutes, not the hours you’re claiming. Also, we can tell the difference between a mistake and a lie.
A mistake is getting the number of dropped calls in a day off by a few. Lying is saying you drop all calls when the records show you’ve only dropped a couple. And, listen. Listen to what the representative is saying. Feel free to repeat what they say. It shows us that you are listening and chances are that the representative won’t have to repeat themselves (they have plenty of other people to help). Have a conversation.
Stick to the relevant stuff. Trust me; they do not want to hear how frustrated you are because of traffic or your sick dog. “Woe is me” stories will only get you yawns and a tired look. Stick to the relevant stuff, yes, you need to be very logical with this. What happened, when did it happen, etc…
Be firm but be willing to compromise. Be firm about the issues you’re having but what you think may be a good resolution may be ridiculous in their eyes. Six months of free service because your HBO was out for two days is beyond reasonable. Credit for the two days is the norm, maybe you’ll also get a partial month’s credit.