How to Deal With "Customer Service" by Phone.
Some tips that can help you to easy the pain dealing with Customer Service thru the Phone. Acetaminophen and Aspirin are not included. (06/27/2005)
Every time when I have to take care of an issue (Bills, medical information, services, etc), I have to call the customer service by phone. I really don't like to call, so I started looking for another ways to make it painless. Here is some ideas how to deal with the beast called "Customer Service".
First, Always try to contact the "Customer Care Center" (CCC) online or get the information thru the company's web page.
Second, If the information or assistance is not available online, consider to call the CCC. Write a list exactly why are you calling for. Many times the person at the phone have to answer a lot of calls each day and you have not enough time to call again and again.
Here are some helpful tips if you are calling by phone:
Try not to call on Monday. For some reason, looks like all the entire world is trying to call the same company that you are trying to. So Call on Thursday or Friday.
If the phone menu is confusing, do not press any option. Usually, the phone menu connects your call to a Human if you doesn't select an option or press zero. (YES ! A HUMAN!)
Never trust a company if you are not able to contact a human.
If you are waiting one minute to get someone on the line, forget it, hang up and try the call 2 hours later. The average time waiting in the phone is 45 seconds.
If you get a human at the phone, pay attention to his/her name and write it. Keep a log of the call, for example: "June 23 - Caroline - She indicates to send a copy of the check by fax and they will refund the money." Usually, the calls center keeps notes about why are you calling and the resolution on that call, so is a good idea to do the same.
Explain to the agent at the phone why you are calling and what you want to get. For example: "I'm calling because my car is broken, I have an extended warranty and I would like to get it fixed under warranty".
Do not try to narrate the story of your life. If you mention non-relevant facts, the representative on the phone will miss the important facts about why are you calling for.
Don't waste your time asking for a supervisor. The supervisor will tell you exactly the same thing. If you don't agree or you are not getting what you want, hang up, and call again. Try to call at least twice (three times may work). If you call again and get the same answer, is probably you can't get what you want. If the answer is different, call AGAIN !
If you can't get what you want, don't fight, don't yell. I mean, don't waste your time making a soap opera drama. You get better resolution calling again and again.
Don't ask for miracles! Be realistic. If you are calling (for example) to get your 5-years-old refrigerator replaced just because the icemaker is broken, or your 5-years-old TV just because it shows Je-Lo (Jennifer Lopez) with a green face, it doesn't mean you will get another one for free.
If you are not able to get any resoution:
Write letters and keep copies. Sending letter is kind of slow but effective. Usually, letters receive more attention than just one phone call. Also, the letter explains exactly what are you asking for.
Send Faxes. A fax can reach the company in just a few minutes, also you can fax the original again and again, and again...
Write your address, phone number and your number (claim number, file number, policy number, etc) on your letter. Don't think they will know you are Juan Camaney.
After you get exactly what you want, be nice! send a thank you letter to the company and mention the name of the representative indicating how good or bad was the customer service.
If you don't get what you want and you know that is not right, check another options, maybe the BBB (Better Bureau of Business) can help.
Please remember: Customer service helps you if you let them help. If you are calling and you don't want to provide any information, or you are calling just because you are angry and need someone to yell, there is no reason to call.