#1 Posted: 28 Nov 2011 07:11
So, you want great customer service? You want to be treated with respect. You want your complaint resolved. You just want what is right — a good customer service experience.
For this short article let's take a different approach. Rather than writing about how to deliver great customer service, I'm going to write about how to get great customer service.
Some companies are great at delivering an amazing customer experience. For others, it is an effort. For those tough and challenging times, getting a better customer service experience may take a little more effort and sometimes even a little restraint on your part. When things aren't going your way, it can be frustrating. So, how can you turn a customer service problem around? (By the way, even if a company is very customer focused, you can make that great experience even better by the way you treat the customer service representative.)
Let's start with a confrontational situation to illustrate the point. There is an old story that goes something like this:
A passenger approached an airline representative about his lost luggage. Obviously upset, he more than complained. He yelled and made derogatory remarks about the airline. The airline employee's response was simple. "Sir, I can see you're upset. Right now there are only two people who care about your lost luggage and you are starting to make one of them upset."
The moral of the story is that as a customer, you can't get what you want by being unreasonable. If there is a problem, a level headed approach with reasonable suggestions will always win over confrontational arguments, negative attitudes and insulting remarks. The old expression that comes to mind is that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
So, my suggestion to get what you want in almost any situation, be it a complaint or just a typical everyday business transaction, is to:
* Be nice. People like to be treated with respect and dignity.
* Be polite. Say "please" and "thank you."
* Smile. Even over the phone, a customer service rep can sense the smile. A smile will go a long way in setting the tone of your interaction and helping you get what you want.
* Don't yell, regardless of how upset you might be. It can only make an already tenuous situation worse.
* Don't interrupt. It's rude and you wouldn't like it if the employee interrupted you.
* Ask the person's name, and use it. Just as you, the customer, might enjoy when a customer service rep uses your name, the employee may enjoy the same.
* Be patient. It is a virtue.
* Be reasonable. If you were working for the company, would you find what you are asking for to be a reasonable request?
Think about the Golden Rule that we learned as kids. Are you acting like you would want to be treated? The Customer Golden Rule might be this:
"Treat the company that you are doing business with the way you, as the customer, want to be treated."