7 Tips for Dealing with Unhelpful Customer Service Representatives
Whether it’s navigating a confusing website or having to go through an annoying phone menu, companies don’t always make getting in contact with their customer service departments easy. Customer service representatives can also be very difficult to talk to. Whether they don’t understand your complaint or are simply ignoring you, communicating with unhelpful representatives can ruin your day. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your customer service experience as pleasant as possible.
1. Always call
More and more companies are pushing their customer services online with either email or instant messaging. While some companies have made this transition smoothly, too many have not. Dealing with poor online customer service is even worse than dealing with it over the telephone. It’s far less direct, making it more difficult to get your complaint across. With phone calls, it’s much easier to keep someone on the line. Whenever possible, always call. Of course, dealing with customer service in person is even better. Unfortunately, that option is becoming increasingly rare.
Always ignore online customer service options whenever possible and go for a more direct route like the telephone or even in person. This will give you more of a presence and it’s more likely your problem will be fixed.
2. Keep your cool
Customer service representatives can often be unhelpful and even downright unfriendly. Couple this with the fact that you’re already calling about a problem and it can be very easy to lose your composure. Yet nothing will shut down your chances of getting what you want faster than letting your temper flare up. Remain calm and never raise your voice during the entire conversation with the representative. It also doesn’t hurt to always use please and thank you whenever possible. That being said, don’t be too soft. You need to strike a balance between being firm and not being a pushover.
You wouldn’t want someone yelling at you for something that isn’t your fault. Try to keep this in mind when dealing with a customer service representative and be as polite as possible while remaining committed to getting what you want.
3. Have a clear message
Before you talk with a representative, be sure you know what it is you’re going to say. It’s important that you’re concise and clear because the easier it is to understand your complaint the quicker it will be resolved. To help, make sure you have all necessary documentation before making a call. This includes things like an account or pin number, your latest bill, or even your social security number. Having to track things down will move the conversation away from the problem. Something else that will help a great deal is taking notes. Having notes means you won’t have to waste time having the representative repeat information.
Knowing exactly what you want to say before you talk to a representative will make sure that the conversation always stays focused on your problem. Additionally, having the appropriate documentation beforehand and taking notes will expedite the process significantly.
4. Call early
If possible, always try to contact customer service in the morning. This will increase your chances of talking to someone who is alert, energetic, and more capable to handle your complaint efficiently. If you wait until late in the afternoon or at night, you may end up dealing with someone who has listened to complaints all day. It’s also important to avoid calling during the lunch hour when representatives are often on break.
Call customer service early to get representatives who are in their most attentive and energetic moods.
5. Be willing to cancel the company’s services
You should be absolutely ready and willing to end all of your business with a company if that company doesn’t solve your problem in a satisfactory manner. During your conversation with the company’s customer service representatives make this point loud and clear. Don’t be rude, but let them know that if your issue isn’t fixed you’re simply going to take your money elsewhere. It isn’t worth your time and hard-earned cash to deal with a company that can’t provide what you want.
Don’t be afraid to tell customer service you’re willing to cut ties with the company if your problem can’t be solved. Don’t pay for a service you’re not happy with. It isn’t worth it.
6. Be persistent
Don’t give up the first time you hear “sorry we can’t do that.” Ask why something can’t be done and make sure you’re able to fully explain the situation. Don’t take a simple no. Make customer service representatives state the company’s policy in full and explore every available avenue. If nothing is working, be sure to speak to a supervisor or someone higher on the corporate ladder. They may be more willing and able to give you what you want.
Don’t give up until you’ve tried every possible option. Being persistent lets the company know you want your voice to be heard and you won’t walk away easily.
7. Make your complaint public
The internet and social media have made the online reputations of companies very important. If people are constantly complaining about a company online, it makes it harder for that company to attract new customers and retain old ones. The more you use services like PublikDemand, Twitter, Facebook, etc., the louder your complaint will be. It’s more likely the company will reach out if your complaint is being noticed online.
Utilize the internet and social media to broadcast your complaint to the world. Companies can’t afford to have a negative online image so use this to your advantage.
If you’re still having trouble even with these tips, try waiting a day or two before contacting customer service again. Speaking with another representative or having a chance to present your complaint in a different way may make all the difference. The key is to not give up on something you know should be fixed.