A lot of people see interacting with customer service as a tricky experience that could end up being a waste of time. Many more dread having to call a contact center for support. This is because of prior negative experiences such customers have had with brands who do not care much about customer satisfaction. On the flip side, we all have experienced our share of amazing service that leaves you happy and impressed, even if it seems rare.
In this post, I share some secrets on how you (a customer) can increase your chances of receiving quality customer service from anywhere. The great part is that these customer service secrets aren’t so secret, they are things you already know but probably overlook.
Here are 10 Customer Service Secrets that improve your chances of receiving quality service.
#1. Know What You Want
Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before you contact customer service. You’ll get better results if you know what you want up front. Being able to explain your needs clearly to the service rep will make it much easier to get a satisfactory resolution. For instance –
If you are having an issue with a physical product, you need to describe clearly what exactly the issue is.
If you are calling about a bill or charges you’ve received make sure you’ve studied it very carefully.
The more detailed your description of the problem is, the better a solution service reps will propose. Make sure your request is not only reasonable but possible, calling to request that your pizza is delivered in 5 minutes might not be possible even though the request is reasonable.
#2. Use Names
A person’s name is the sweetness word in any language, it is a doorway into their world, try to remember the name of the customer service rep you’re speaking with and use it. Most people don’t realize the power a person’s name has or how It creates a psychological bond that helps put them “on your team”.
The simple act of using the customer service reps name personalizes your interaction and makes the rep feel more accountable for the results they deliver.
#3. Be Calm
Yelling or swearing at a customer service rep will not help you very much, no matter what the problem is, if you get what you want this way, you’d look like a jerk for berating the employees who have no fault in your predicament.
If you have any sort of complaint with a company, try your very best to stay calm while making your complaint. You will get much better results, with more people willing to assist you in finding a resolution if you’re calm and clear when you share your experience.
#4. Escalate If You Have To
If you’re unsatisfied with the results of your interaction with the service rep, you can ask to speak to their manager or supervisor – Do it politely but firmly. Most times, supervisors are empowered to make “exceptions” to company policies. However, it is important to keep an open mind, do not expect this to happen every time, the supervisors might just reach the same conclusion with the prior service rep you spoke with.
#5. Be Polite & Courteous
Be polite and friendly when you interact with people who work in customer service. Why not be the friendly customer who asks how their day has been? What’s the harm in being friendly to people? These employees are in the front line, they know all the tricks and will often do more than is required of them to assist you – if you’re polite and courteous to them.
#6. Use The ‘Magic Question’
To get actual help/advice from customer service reps, try using the ‘Magic Question’ formula. Frame your question this way:
“If you were in my position Jane, what would you do?”
This question makes the rep consider the situation from your point of view, and they will be more likely to empathize with you. Using the service rep’s name makes it even more personal and would inspire the rep to give you candid advice.
#7. Don’t Keep Good Service To Yourself
Whenever you receive unusually good customer service, don’t keep it to yourself. It takes only a few minutes to email feedback to head office or management. A simple message like –
"Hi, I visited XYZ store today, and Mr X did a really good job in assisting me get.....I am glad i made the decision to visit the store because of the way Mr X treated me 🙂 I will definitely be back"
This will work its way down to the employee’s manager and then to the employee, and probably to the personnel file. It might not seem like much but feedback like this could lead to promotions and bonuses, and you’re equally encouraging good customer service, which seems too rare these days.
#8. Contact Call Centers During Off-peak Hours
For the shortest wait time, contact call centers between 7-10 a.m or 11 p.m – 2 a.m. During these hours pressure on the channels is significantly lower because most people are fast asleep or just about to begin the day. That way you wouldn’t have to wait for so long before you’re connected with a service rep.
#9. Don’t Be Shy To Say It on Social Media
If you’re able to get prompt service via any of the traditional service channels, don’t be shy to try social media. Social media has become a viable customer service tool and most businesses have some presence on social media.
Share your experience and your dissatisfaction with the business on their social media page, it important that you do so in a polite way. You might just get a satisfactory resolution because brands are mindful of how they treat complaints on social media – which is in the public eye. Some brands will respond to direct mentions just to show their followers that they are ‘responsive’.
#10. Try Alternatives
Sometimes brands unknowingly commit customer experience mistakes that make it difficult to continue business with them. If there’s a better alternative – you should switch to it. There’s no need doing business with a brand that makes it difficult to do so, especially when there’s alternatives. Perhaps if enough customers do this to customer-hostile businesses, such brands would get the message and change for good.
There’s no guarantee that you’d get great service everytime you apply these tips, but simply doing them will go a long way in improving your odds at receiving great service.
Do you know more tips? Please share in the comments below!