New Year’s Resolutions Come in two Forms.
Ones That Don’t Work, and tho Ones You Navigate Over the Customer Service Line.
We all pay for customer service with our own money, directly or not. Thinking Now says make it pay. Let’s go all L.A., up to Elite Service. No hidden charges, cause it’s all mindset, and smarts.
Receiving outstanding customer service is in part about relationships, or at least being human. However, only the few are capable of providing top-flight service. Picking one of those service providers is your best start..
P e o p l e sense it yet refuse to believe. Yes, all customer service is now located on the lunar surface–the dark side. Few cell towers inhabit the gap in between. We’re not talking here about the Philippines or the subcontinent. We;re referring to that feeling we get when mired in our issue, and no one seems to hear us. Thinking Now tells us to “expect to be heard. Expect to have your problem resolved.” Going in to anything it always helps to be confident, and prepared. Here’s precisely how. Now your status says “Elite Service.” No? Try it and see.
“No. Hook me up to real Customer Service–the one in L.A. like Matt Damon.”
“Call, chat, or text. We here to help, and we understand.”
O.K. But don’t go live with empty hands. Bring your prepared solution, responses to anticipated come-backs, cool wits, and finally, a smokin’ serve.
Dealin’ the Death Pill…Your power play–in case they stiff-arm. Killer shoes.
S e r v i n g up the Death Pill is no way to begin a service contact. Threats almost never work. Even when they do, result is unpleasant and limiting. Burning bridges only leave people stranded. Nice and gentle works better. Keep the Death Pill close, but hidden. if you need it, serve it smoothly, and in full possession of your wits.
Threats simply create discomfort for all. They may cause action, but not what you hope. Threats burn bridges, on occasion leaving you both stranded, and unsatisfied.
Your vexing time-sucking problem may just put you on a more painful path. Seeking support. That’s the grinding sense we can often feel, once connected to the “problem-solving” customer service rep–yeah, the one you waited for who now seems to actually know nothing. Can you hear the glass breaking? Are they even listening? Or maybe they’re laughing, silently, at you the mad lout on the line?
It’s your hand–um, phone, so take it easy during your customer service rodeo.
Kroger(NYSE: KR), yes the grocery store chain, may be the the standard to beat in responsive hassle-free customer service. We’d have our cars serviced there, if they did that.
The pace of our days beats in our heads. The complexity of general tasks grows while we sleep. We can depend on the screen sequence on our favorite ATM will be different by the time we return. And when we glance both ways looking for a reason? Forget reasons, and sentence fragments. Sweating the simple yet occasionslly confusing small things in no way to roll. That’s just trench warfare.
Bring your prepared position with you when you reach out. Make it shape and tell it nicely. You’re connecting with a person,not an enterprise. Usually.
People like those who carry themselves with some decorum and bearing. Simply stated, naturally expect to be treated well. You are the big factor when seeking great service.
Before you light up the service line.
Bringing Your “Cool” Energy.
Calm and clear before you contact.
1. Know exactly what you want. Know why your reasoning is fair, right, and justifiable now. Think. Predict. How do you think customer service will respond? And then? Depending on circumstances, consider creative solutions. The service reps are not paid to think creatively, and your issue may call for just such a response.
2. Know the policy. That info’s at your fingertips. Customer Service will not want ot explain it all. They post that stuff so you can know. So, know.
3. Role play the contact, repeatedly, before reaching out. What are you going to say–exactly, and How? What is your approach? Angry demanding customer wins no hearts. The begging, helpless, often read as simply weak. What do you think they will come back with? Know you nex move, and the next after that.
Are women better at getting good service? If so, it’s because they talk to people, not policies.
-Dos and Don’ts-
4. Do not carry frustration into the contact. We’re all emotional tuning forks. The person on the other end of the call or chat will not warm to you for jangling adrenaline shots. Richard Nixon had a rule, one beyond keeping the tapes. Never get angry while exchanging. “The one who gets mad loses.” The bent dead president was right on that one.
5. If your on-ramp comments with the service rep go badly, on any level, consider ending that contact. Call and speak with another rep. When dealing with a smaller firm, one with few employees, simply say “I’ll call you back.” Regroup. Consider your approach in light of what you just learned.
6. Do not rant. Keep comments as simple and clear as possible. Both unfocused and focused bolts of verbiage only eat time, exhaust, and confuse. Been there.
7. Be relaxed and quietly confident. People love those they perceive as smart and in control. Such people have no need for upset. They own their powers and everybody strives for such presence. Dumb and ugly callers are doomed to bottom rung treatment.
8. Proceed from the assumption that the issue will be resolved, in the end. Most customer concerns are reasonably resolved. Most are simply routine. Act likewise, with that expectation, and it probably will. People who expect to do well, create their own good results. Besides, alternative solutions exist. We simply need to continue working toward such.
9. When resolutions are offered really consider them–unless patiently ridiculous. If unsure, clear the line and think about it.
The indispensable intangible about customer service is attitude. Being taken seriously is a set of skills. First comes “pleasant.” People like pleasant. We like pleasant.
10. Ask questions to ensure understanding.
11. Realize that the rep on the opposite end is operating within hard-set guidelines. Further, remember that they are attempting to function inside a pressure cooker, one featuring mad raving fools and yet another ignoramus waiting on hold.
People working the service tug love anyone who offers some relief, and more so cheerful humor. Be that caller. Better yet, make them feel like a superhero, in an honest way. Your honest sweetness may just create a human moment, one even more important than your problem.
Superheros are everywhere. They’re called people, and Customer Service, if you’re nice. Better if you’re funny.
–A Golden Rule–
If even Nixon could do it, we can. Ultimatums place you on top of your own trap-door. Avoid.
Ultimatums are a fools’ game. Shoving people into a corner only produces push-back. All collaboration and unity fly out the window. It’s a stand-off and now totally personal. Backing up is the last thing either party wants to do.
Remember, you are the one calling for assistance. Now you’re a hot-head, regardless of how your foolhardy ultimatum is voiced. When dealing with a call center the person on the other end usually doesn’t care what you do. On every recorded line you are the one looking stupid, and unreasonable.
Companies are made of people. People at work loath top-blowing hotheads. They mostly just want you to go away. And they will not put in a good word for you,with the people who count. Resolution is what you seek, not emotional indulgence. Just be cool. Oh, and never, never, cuss–in anger that is.
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