Secrets to Receiving Good Customer Service

Reviewed Feb 8, 2016

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Summary

  • You are more likely to get good service and complaints resolved if you are pleasant, polite, organized and assertive.
  • Unsatisfied customers have options.

Have you ever walked out of a store because of poor customer service? If you have, you’re not alone. A 2011 Consumer Reports survey of nearly 1,000 consumers nationwide found that two-thirds have done exactly that. Although many companies say they value their customers, employees often don’t receive training to provide the level of service you expect or need, whether in person or over the phone. Moreover, more companies make reaching a human by phone difficult, if not impossible.

Poor customer service can sour your mood and waste your time and money. But you can improve your odds at getting your problem resolved with these tips:

  • Be pleasant and polite. Set the tone by being friendly and respectful. Call the service representative by name. Doing so makes your interaction more personal. Call back if the first person you reach is disagreeable and unpleasant. You might have better luck with somebody else.
  • Compliment before you complain. Mention how much you like the product or service or how long you have been a customer before you bring up your complaint. Doing so may help to win over the representative and increase his desire to help.
  • Be prepared. Be ready to describe the problem in clear and specific terms. Gather product serial numbers and know your date of purchase, for example. You also should have an acceptable solution in mind before making your complaint, such as a refund, replacement or upgrade.
  • Give the service representative a chance to help you. You likely want and expect your problem to be resolved as soon as possible, especially if you have been waiting on hold or in line for an unreasonable amount of time. Give the agent time to solve your problem. In some cases, the agent may not be authorized to correct the problem in a way that will satisfy you without a supervisor’s OK.
  • Take notes. Complicated issues may take many complaints to get resolved. Jot down the date and time of your call, the name of the person who helped you, and the promised solution and expected turnaround. Also note how many times you were placed on hold and for how long.
  • Acknowledge good service when you get it. Thank customer service representatives who are friendly, courteous and helpful. You may be able to express your satisfaction by completing an online or phone survey. Saying “Thank you for your friendly assistance” also works.
  • Try an in-person visit. If you feel you are getting nowhere over the phone, make a visit to the store or business. Remember to greet the service representative with a smile and keep your cool.

If things get ugly ...

If you are getting the runaround or are treated rudely, keep your cool. Don’t escalate the situation by bullying or becoming overly emotional. Ask for a supervisor or even the supervisor’s supervisor. If you are unsatisfied with the service you receive, consider these options:

  • Write a letter to the president or CEO of the company. Be specific about your complaint and the poor service you received.
  • Register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau® (BBB). Visit www.bbb.org to locate your local BBB or to make an online complaint.
  • Complain publicly using Twitter feeds or company Facebook sites. Many companies monitor social-media outlets for complaints in order to resolve them quickly and thereby protect their brand reputation.
  • Report the company to the local, state or federal agency that monitors the industry or can take action, such as the Federal Communications Commission (www.fcc.gov/consumers), your local zoning and licensing offices, or state attorney general’s office.
  • Get help. Consumer Action provides free, nonlegal advice to help consumers resolve complaints. (www.consumer-action.org)

Don’t give in to poor customer service. You are more likely to have a complaint resolved in a way that satisfies you if you are confident, pleasant and polite. You also can avoid unnecessary headaches and hassles if you shop and do business with companies that are known for great customer service.

By Christine P. Martin
Source: "What's Wrong With Customer Service?" Consumer Reports Magazine, July 2011, www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/july/shopping/customer-service/overview/index.htm; Consumer Action. How to Complain. Consumer Action, 2011, www.consumer-action.org/english/articles/how_to_complain; Mangla IS. (2011) "7 Secrets to Super Customer Service." CNNMoney.com, December:105-110.

Summary

  • You are more likely to get good service and complaints resolved if you are pleasant, polite, organized and assertive.
  • Unsatisfied customers have options.

Have you ever walked out of a store because of poor customer service? If you have, you’re not alone. A 2011 Consumer Reports survey of nearly 1,000 consumers nationwide found that two-thirds have done exactly that. Although many companies say they value their customers, employees often don’t receive training to provide the level of service you expect or need, whether in person or over the phone. Moreover, more companies make reaching a human by phone difficult, if not impossible.

Poor customer service can sour your mood and waste your time and money. But you can improve your odds at getting your problem resolved with these tips:

  • Be pleasant and polite. Set the tone by being friendly and respectful. Call the service representative by name. Doing so makes your interaction more personal. Call back if the first person you reach is disagreeable and unpleasant. You might have better luck with somebody else.
  • Compliment before you complain. Mention how much you like the product or service or how long you have been a customer before you bring up your complaint. Doing so may help to win over the representative and increase his desire to help.
  • Be prepared. Be ready to describe the problem in clear and specific terms. Gather product serial numbers and know your date of purchase, for example. You also should have an acceptable solution in mind before making your complaint, such as a refund, replacement or upgrade.
  • Give the service representative a chance to help you. You likely want and expect your problem to be resolved as soon as possible, especially if you have been waiting on hold or in line for an unreasonable amount of time. Give the agent time to solve your problem. In some cases, the agent may not be authorized to correct the problem in a way that will satisfy you without a supervisor’s OK.
  • Take notes. Complicated issues may take many complaints to get resolved. Jot down the date and time of your call, the name of the person who helped you, and the promised solution and expected turnaround. Also note how many times you were placed on hold and for how long.
  • Acknowledge good service when you get it. Thank customer service representatives who are friendly, courteous and helpful. You may be able to express your satisfaction by completing an online or phone survey. Saying “Thank you for your friendly assistance” also works.
  • Try an in-person visit. If you feel you are getting nowhere over the phone, make a visit to the store or business. Remember to greet the service representative with a smile and keep your cool.

If things get ugly ...

If you are getting the runaround or are treated rudely, keep your cool. Don’t escalate the situation by bullying or becoming overly emotional. Ask for a supervisor or even the supervisor’s supervisor. If you are unsatisfied with the service you receive, consider these options:

  • Write a letter to the president or CEO of the company. Be specific about your complaint and the poor service you received.
  • Register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau® (BBB). Visit www.bbb.org to locate your local BBB or to make an online complaint.
  • Complain publicly using Twitter feeds or company Facebook sites. Many companies monitor social-media outlets for complaints in order to resolve them quickly and thereby protect their brand reputation.
  • Report the company to the local, state or federal agency that monitors the industry or can take action, such as the Federal Communications Commission (www.fcc.gov/consumers), your local zoning and licensing offices, or state attorney general’s office.
  • Get help. Consumer Action provides free, nonlegal advice to help consumers resolve complaints. (www.consumer-action.org)

Don’t give in to poor customer service. You are more likely to have a complaint resolved in a way that satisfies you if you are confident, pleasant and polite. You also can avoid unnecessary headaches and hassles if you shop and do business with companies that are known for great customer service.

By Christine P. Martin
Source: "What's Wrong With Customer Service?" Consumer Reports Magazine, July 2011, www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/july/shopping/customer-service/overview/index.htm; Consumer Action. How to Complain. Consumer Action, 2011, www.consumer-action.org/english/articles/how_to_complain; Mangla IS. (2011) "7 Secrets to Super Customer Service." CNNMoney.com, December:105-110.

Summary

  • You are more likely to get good service and complaints resolved if you are pleasant, polite, organized and assertive.
  • Unsatisfied customers have options.

Have you ever walked out of a store because of poor customer service? If you have, you’re not alone. A 2011 Consumer Reports survey of nearly 1,000 consumers nationwide found that two-thirds have done exactly that. Although many companies say they value their customers, employees often don’t receive training to provide the level of service you expect or need, whether in person or over the phone. Moreover, more companies make reaching a human by phone difficult, if not impossible.

Poor customer service can sour your mood and waste your time and money. But you can improve your odds at getting your problem resolved with these tips:

  • Be pleasant and polite. Set the tone by being friendly and respectful. Call the service representative by name. Doing so makes your interaction more personal. Call back if the first person you reach is disagreeable and unpleasant. You might have better luck with somebody else.
  • Compliment before you complain. Mention how much you like the product or service or how long you have been a customer before you bring up your complaint. Doing so may help to win over the representative and increase his desire to help.
  • Be prepared. Be ready to describe the problem in clear and specific terms. Gather product serial numbers and know your date of purchase, for example. You also should have an acceptable solution in mind before making your complaint, such as a refund, replacement or upgrade.
  • Give the service representative a chance to help you. You likely want and expect your problem to be resolved as soon as possible, especially if you have been waiting on hold or in line for an unreasonable amount of time. Give the agent time to solve your problem. In some cases, the agent may not be authorized to correct the problem in a way that will satisfy you without a supervisor’s OK.
  • Take notes. Complicated issues may take many complaints to get resolved. Jot down the date and time of your call, the name of the person who helped you, and the promised solution and expected turnaround. Also note how many times you were placed on hold and for how long.
  • Acknowledge good service when you get it. Thank customer service representatives who are friendly, courteous and helpful. You may be able to express your satisfaction by completing an online or phone survey. Saying “Thank you for your friendly assistance” also works.
  • Try an in-person visit. If you feel you are getting nowhere over the phone, make a visit to the store or business. Remember to greet the service representative with a smile and keep your cool.

If things get ugly ...

If you are getting the runaround or are treated rudely, keep your cool. Don’t escalate the situation by bullying or becoming overly emotional. Ask for a supervisor or even the supervisor’s supervisor. If you are unsatisfied with the service you receive, consider these options:

  • Write a letter to the president or CEO of the company. Be specific about your complaint and the poor service you received.
  • Register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau® (BBB). Visit www.bbb.org to locate your local BBB or to make an online complaint.
  • Complain publicly using Twitter feeds or company Facebook sites. Many companies monitor social-media outlets for complaints in order to resolve them quickly and thereby protect their brand reputation.
  • Report the company to the local, state or federal agency that monitors the industry or can take action, such as the Federal Communications Commission (www.fcc.gov/consumers), your local zoning and licensing offices, or state attorney general’s office.
  • Get help. Consumer Action provides free, nonlegal advice to help consumers resolve complaints. (www.consumer-action.org)

Don’t give in to poor customer service. You are more likely to have a complaint resolved in a way that satisfies you if you are confident, pleasant and polite. You also can avoid unnecessary headaches and hassles if you shop and do business with companies that are known for great customer service.

By Christine P. Martin
Source: "What's Wrong With Customer Service?" Consumer Reports Magazine, July 2011, www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/july/shopping/customer-service/overview/index.htm; Consumer Action. How to Complain. Consumer Action, 2011, www.consumer-action.org/english/articles/how_to_complain; Mangla IS. (2011) "7 Secrets to Super Customer Service." CNNMoney.com, December:105-110.

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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