8 Great Tips To Call Customer Service & Get The Results You Want
We all like it when a company goes that extra mile for their customers. The only problem is businesses don’t all offer the kind of call handling service we expect. Most of us end up being frustrated and angry when we’re given the run-around and can’t get answers to our questions.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get exactly what you want from customer service agents if you just follow these 8 great tips.
Avoid the automated phone system
You’ll be surprised how many companies have introduced automated call handling services. but if you’re calling a company’s customer service line and want your query to be dealt with successfully, Rule Number 1 is to speak to an actual person, not a robot.
If you’re having problems, google the company and find out who you can speak to, even if it’s an online ‘chat’ situation with one of the company’s call handling agents.
Treat the customer service agent like a friend
Customer service agents spend most of their day talking to frustrated and angry customers, so it’s a good idea to start off your conversation in a friendly manner. Ask them how they’re doing, and whether they’re having a good day. ‘Sorry I didn’t catch your name.’ ‘Whereabouts are you?’ ‘It’s sunny here, what’s your weather like?’ You get the idea.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the mood lightens. If you’re friendly and get a positive conversation going, odds are you’ll get all the answers you’re looking for and won’t be treated like a faceless stranger.
Ask for their opinion
Most call handling agents know a lot more about their company’s services and options than you do, which means they can make helpful suggestions. But they won’t necessarily come forward with advice unless you say something like ‘What would you do in my position?’ or ‘What would you suggest?’
If you can get them thinking about your problem from your perspective, they’ll most likely come up with the perfect solution to your problem, or at least know who could best help you and transfer you to them.
Have all the information to your problem at hand before contacting customer services. This includes things like your reference number, the date you ordered, when the product arrived, when it was a returned, who else you may have spoken to and when. This information will help to speed up the call.
You might also take a moment to check the company’s policies, because even though a call handling agent may know more than you, they probably won’t know everything.
Plan the time of your call
According to recent studies, the best time to speak to a call handling agent is between 9am and 11am. This is the time when issues are dealt with more quickly than at any other time during the day.
Why? Pretty obvious when you think about it – you’re dealing with agents who are just making a start to their working day and haven’t yet had to endure 8 hours’ worth of upset or irate customers.
Don’t be afraid to speak to a manager.
If you’re not getting the answers you’re looking for, or are being passed from pillar to post and getting nowhere, go further up the chain of command. Ask – politely! – to speak to the call handling agent’s supervisor so that you can deal with someone who has more clout in the company and hopefully can resolve your issue
If you’re still not getting a satisfactory outcome, google the name of the CEO of the company and write a letter, addressed directly to him or her, explaining your problem and the frustrations you’ve experienced. You can use social media – a few (polite!) tweets explaining your problem in the public domain can work wonders for getting a swift and cooperative response.
A gentle threat can work miracles
If you’re about to slit your wrists with a sharp steak knife because you feel you’ve exhausted all your options, stay calm and tell the call handling agent that you’re thinking of taking your business elsewhere.
You’ll notice immediately how the agent suddenly switches into ‘don’t lose a customer’ mode, motivated to quickly transfer you to a department that is likely to offer you all sorts of options in an effort to resolve your problem. Bingo!
Acknowledge good service
If you’ve had a really good customer service experience, then it’s only right to let the agent how much you’ve appreciated what they’ve done for you and thank them.
Provide feedback on social media or write a positive review. If the company asks you to complete a service survey, do it. You could even take the time to write a short thank you email to the company, quoting the call reference number so they know who helped you.
Written by Lloyd Wells, a former call centre operator turned freelance writer and graphic designer – partnering with Ansacom for the great tips in this article.