Despite the increasing awareness by many companies of the importance of providing great customer service, getting helpful and fast customer service is not always the norm.
Too many customers still find themselves struggling to get their questions answered and their problems solved quickly, an experience that can sometimes be time-consuming and very frustrating.
The good news is, there are a lot of things that we, the customers, can do to improve our experience when dealing with customer service.
1. Use Self-Service
Self-service enables customers to solve problems without any interaction with a customer service representative. The most common types of customer self-service include self-service forms, FAQs, knowledge base, and online discussion forums.
2. Do Some Research
Being familiar with a company’s returns and refund policy, shipping policy, guarantee information, and warranty policy can make it easier for the customers to know and get what they are entitled to.
3. Communicate with a Real Person
Bots and automated systems are becoming more wide-used in service processes, but in most cases – a real person would be better able to solve any issue you might be facing.
This is the reason that many customers still prefer human customer service interactions over digital and automated alternatives.
4. Be Specific
Customer service representatives talk to dozens of customers every day. When you communicate with a customer service representative, try to describe your issue and the needed solution as specifically as you can.
Do you want a refund? Another product? An apology? Being specific makes it easier for the representative to understand your issue and needs and to deliver the right solution.
5. Be Persistent, but Polite and Empathetic
It is easy to forget that the customer service representative is most probably not the cause of your issue.
Communicate your requests in a persistent manner, but don’t forget to remain polite and empathetic. It is usually far more effective to get the service representative to sympathize with your situation than to try and force him to provide a solution, and moreover – never threaten or insult a service representative.
6. Know When to Call
Customer service contact centers tend to be very busy at the beginning of the week (usually Monday) and in the afternoon.
Try calling in the morning, preferably on Wednesdays and Thursdays, in order to enjoy a shorter waiting time (on average).
7. Use Social Media
Social media can be a very powerful tool in the hands of the customer. Posting about an experience with a company on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Instagram can get the needed attention fast, and a rapid solution might follow.
8. Write a Review
Review sites can also be a useful tool for getting attention from a company. Sites like Trustpilot or Sitejabber are great platforms for posting reviews about your experience with a specific company.
9. Ask for a Manager
Sometimes asking to communicate with a manager is the best and fastest way to get a solution, but be sure not to use this method too often, so that you wouldn’t be flagged as a problematic customer.
10. Say Thank you
After you have received the right answer or solution to your issue – don’t forget to show your appreciation – either by giving a positive review or just by saying thank you. It can improve the representative’s day, as well as your own.