Everyone is familiar with the frustration of dealing with customer service when there's an issue with a product or service. Long wait times and unhelpful representatives can bring you down and only add to your headache, so here are 10 secrets to handling customer service the right way and achieving your end goal.
- Choose the Spanish help line.
It doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish. The Spanish helplines of nearly all companies have bilingual representatives, and the lines are shorter, so you won’t have to wait by the phone for half an hour before speaking to someone.
- Take to social media.
Companies pay close attention to complaints on their social media accounts, so you may have a quicker response time by posting your complaint on Facebook or Twitter than you would taking care of it over the phone.
- It pays to be nice.
Studies have shown that being polite and persistent when you’re on the phone with a representative tends to be more effective than being irate. Customer service representatives are trained to deal with verbally abusive customers and can hang up on them, so you’ll definitely make more progress by keeping your temper under control.
- Yell at "robots."
Yelling at an automated customer service "robot" can actually connect you to a representative more quickly because these systems can detect that kind of behavior. If you don’t want to work up a fuss, you can always speak gibberish, which will have the same effect.
- Go up the chain of command.
If all else fails, ask to speak to a supervisor. The representatives will connect you with one, and as long as you stay polite, your issue may be solved a little sooner because the supervisors have more authority.
- Keep a record of everything.
Ideally, problems would be solved with a single phone call, but that’s not the reality a lot of the time. If you do need to make a follow-up call, it will be incredibly helpful to record the first phone call and write down the representative’s name and/or ID number so you can pick up where you left off.
- Tell the customer service representative to send you to retentions.
If you’re on the phone with a cable, television, internet, or phone company and you aren’t happy with the rate they’re charging you, ask the representative to put you in touch with a retentions representative. More often than not, the company won’t want to lose you, so they’ll give you a lower rate.
- Download LucyPhone.
To cut down on the time you have to sit waiting by the phone for a representative to finally get free, download an app like LucyPhone. With this app, you can hang up and LucyPhone will call you and automatically connect you to the representative when he or she becomes available.
- Learn the system’s secrets.
Visit a website like GetHuman or ContactHelp to learn how to get through to a real person more quickly on a company’s helpline. You may even find an alternate helpline that is more efficient.
- Research customer complaints.
Before you ever even pick up the phone, do some research online and find out if your issue is a common one. If it is, you may be able to solve the issue on your own or online, avoiding a call to customer service altogether.