How to Get the Best Results when Talking to a Customer Service Representative
Calling customer service is sometimes frustrating. But we also play a part in makings sure we get the best results from our call.
Whether you’re stuck with a lost parcel or clueless about the sudden charges on your credit card, everyone’s experienced panicking while they’re trying to get in touch with a customer service representative (CSR).
While most companies guarantee quick and excellent customer service, it isn’t always easy. Even if you do get hold of the friendliest CS representative, the calls don’t always end with a quick solution.
But conversations with CS representatives shouldn’t be fruitless or frustrating. There are ways to get it done right and get the results you expect.
Why Customer Service Calls Fail to Get Results
Customer service communication mishaps can happen because of the following reasons:
- Lack of details. You know the problem, but you don’t have all the details (e.g. shipping details, reference number, etc.). As a result, you spend a chunk of time arguing with the representative who can’t move forward with your complaints if you don’t provide the details they need to resolve your issue.
- Emotions. It’s easy to feel agitated or frustrated when talking with the CS rep, especially if they don’t understand your problem or the solutions they offer don’t work. However, this keeps them from providing more solutions because you’re either dismissive or continuously expressing your frustration.
- Distractions. When you’re not focused on the conversation, you can easily ask the wrong questions or miss important details. While customer service representatives are responsible for providing good service, we also have a part in the conversation. If we want a fruitful discussion, we should be responsible customers as well.
How To Experience Good Service from Your CS
To receive good service when talking to a CS representative, keep the following things in mind.
Before the Call
Prepare All the Details
Save yourself (and the CSR) time by jotting down the important details. If you’re disputing a charge, make sure you’ve gone over the billing and have a good reason for thinking there’s been a mistake.
If you’re experiencing a technical issue with a service or platform, clearly state the problem. Technical support needs information so they can help you. If you’re reporting a lost parcel, have the tracking details and the receipt with you.
Plan the Time and Place
Call during business hours so you have a higher chance of getting connected to a customer service representative. Otherwise, you might be put on hold longer or have no one to answer your call.
Also, pick a quiet place to make your call. If you call in the middle of a noisy crowd, you’ll most likely mishear or misinterpret the other person on the line. Find a quiet spot so you and the representative can easily hear each other.
Manage Your Expectations
Chances are, dealing with a CS rep will consume a huge chunk of your time. Expect that you might do plenty of waiting. If you call during a busy time of the day, your session might take longer than expected.
Also, recognize the limitation of the CS reps if they can’t resolve your problem immediately. It’s not their fault. A lot of times they’ll need to create a ticket because another unit will look into your issue.
Understand that there are processes and protocols that they need to follow.
During the Call
Be Polite, Respectful and Positive
Even if you’re dealing with a frustrating issue, refrain from becoming belligerent or abusive. The agent you’re talking to is human, too. It’s extremely frustrating for CSRs to talk with clients who scream, swear or yell at them. If you treat them badly, they might reciprocate the feeling.
Maintain a professional tone of voice and attitude, no matter how frustrated you are. Also, always say “please” and “thank you” when necessary. If you don’t like what the agent is saying, avoid snapping or saying hurtful things. Instead, keep calm and state your thoughts.
While you must be nice, you should also be firm. Be assertive and confident when stating your dissatisfaction. Articulate your thoughts properly and communicate that you want the best service. Ask for assurance that they will make sure your concerns are addressed.
Be Concise, Complete and Honest
This is the most important part of your call. If you fail to explain your concern, it can’t be resolved. In a concise and clear way, explain the issue to your customer service representative. Remember to talk slowly and clearly and always include specific details about your problem.
Also, avoid making assumptions that they know or don’t know something.
Once you’re done, politely ask the agent to recap your conversation to make sure they didn’t miss anything.
Ask for a Reference Number
This should be SOP, but in case the CS agent didn’t provide you with a ticket or reference number, ask for one. This number will make it easier to check for updates on your issue when you make a follow-up.
If necessary, also ask them for the name of a point person that you can talk to the next time you call.
“Recognize the limitation of the CS reps if they can’t resolve your problem immediately…there are processes and protocols that they need to follow.”
Many people aren’t big fans of conversations with customer service representatives, thinking of it as a fruitless endeavor.
On the contrary, if you communicate with the right mindset (plus all the details), a lot of patience and managed expectations, you can enjoy a pleasant CSR experience.
Along with couriers and delivery riders, customer service representatives are our unsung heroes during the pandemic, assisting customers and making sure the goods are moving and being delivered safely.
They are, and will always be, your partners in resolving your problem. So help them help you get the results you need.