You have a BIG problem, you’re frustrated, and you feel like the only way to be helped is to act like an entitled Royal Queen Bee. Frustration is brewing like Old Faithful and you are ready to erupt. How you act as a customer will largely determine how you will be treated and ultimately the type of resolution you will receive.
Any good customer service representative will treat you with dignity regardless of your attitude. However, your problem doesn’t provide merit to treat innocent bystanders (CSRs) with disrespect. I have learned countless valuable lessons on how to be a better customer as a result of serving customers.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
Don’t begin with guns blazing
Word to the wise: blowing off steam at the first warm body who assists you will most likely not benefit your case. In fact, many times the more direct and aggressive you are right off the bat, the less likely you are to receive the best possible support. Although it may feel good to unload with guns blazing, it is certainly not advised.
Start the interaction with a brief explanation of your situation and the problem at hand. Remain as calm as possible and understand that the person speaking with you is a human being deserving of respect. Being direct and honest is perfectly acceptable. No one expects you to be hunky dory happy if you have a valid problem. If necessary, take a moment to collect your emotions and think through what you would like to say before you regret acting like a fool.
‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ go a long way
Frustration, anger, and disappointment are just a few emotions customer service professionals understand their customers feel when facing a problem. Again, problems don’t produce warm fuzzy feelings- we get that. A simple ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ go a long way when presenting a problem. If a representative helped you, thank them. It’s that simple.
I recently helped solve a customer’s problem. I bent over backwards to reach a resolution. The customer mustered up a half-hearted ‘Thank You’ more out of obligation than sincerity. I was quite honestly shocked given the extent to which we went to for this individual. Be grateful for the help you do receive, for crying out loud!
When given an inch, don’t take a mile
Are you grateful when a resolution is reached and your problem is solved? Or do you take advantage of the assistance and ask for me? You know the saying: “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll come back for milk.” Don’t be take a mile when given an inch, especially just because you could.
For example, we’ve all dined out and had a server order our meal incorrectly. It happens. Just because a simple mistake was made doesn’t mean you are entitled to a free meal (for the rest of your life). Have them correct it and enjoy your food. Or just because the wrong size was delivered doesn’t mean you should get to keep it and the replacement.
It’s honestly simple: be the kind of customer you would want to work with. Being kind and courteous doesn’t mean you can’t be straightforward and direct. It means that regardless of how bad your problem, employees are still real people who have bad days, too! If you are unable to get your problem resolved with the first CSR, ask to speak with a supervisor, manager, etc.
PC: Ryan McGuire