Even nice customers get angry. It can happen to any organization, and figuring out the best ways to respond and satisfy your customers can mean loyalty and continued business. One of the common problems however, is getting a complaint satisfactorily resolved with the least amount of frustration, anger, and time.
Traditionally large companies do not pay their first line of customer service representatives high salaries. Many new employees read from scripts and seldom deviate from the question and answer page. Where the run-of-the-mill problems might be easy to solve according to the prepared customer service "cliff notes," what happens when a customer's problem or service complaint isn't in the "one-size-fits-all" category?
Let's begin with having all of the pertinent information on hand before making any inquiries to the company. Be prepared with receipts, names of service representatives called, a narrative of what was discussed, and a reliable time line showing when emails were exchanged, phone calls were made and any other points of contact. For those of us who have figured out the 1-800 number rarely gets us where we want to go when our complaint hasn't been addressed properly, it might be time to escalate our sphere of influence and climb higher onto the help needed elevator.
Once you have passed from the floor person to a supervisor, head in a positive tone. It's more than likely the supervisor has no idea why you are angry and frustrated, so why not put a positive spin on your conversation and build a rapport based on a person now with more authority to be able to step out of the box and make amends? Also, try to make a point not to insult the original customer service representatives. Often their behaviors and responses are required and thus considered appropriate answers to customer inquiries and concerns.
It's my experience the earlier in the day you call with a complaint, the more likely you will get an answer and a resolution. Have a positive solution in mind. For instance, do you want a replacement of the product, a different product with a better track record, a refund, or free products or perks to make up for all the trouble and time you have had to endure? Again try to be positive and pleasant; human nature always responds better to a smile and a few kind words over snarls and insults. Don't expect however, a supervisor to give away the store; make your requests reasonable.
If by this time you have not progressed to a satisfactory solution, you still have a few viable options. Facebook and Twitter bring a lot of attention - both good and bad. Many times social media representatives are quicker to act than working one's way through the maze of automated telephone responses and customer service representatives. Then there is always the option of calling a company's sales department. You might not get your refund yet, but often the sales representatives can point you to someone in the know.
Still can't get anywhere? Google the CEO of the company and send them a respectful letter or call. Chances are you will attract someone's attention and may very well find yourself working your way up to an executive who is interested in why you were not satisfied with customer service. By the time you make your way to corporate, chances are these are the people who want to keep you as a customer and will make sure your needs are properly met.
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