Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

file2891267308689Do you complain about customer service people? If you were brought up to avoid causing problems, you may keep your mouth shut about bad service or defective products, and complain to friends. Reaching a person instead of an automated voice can be exasperating and put you in a bad mood. Irritability attracts poor service! Instead, force a smile, even if they can’t see it, since it sets a better mood. Then nicely seek resolution.

I get phenomenal service—refunds few get, courtesy, direct phone numbers for future problems, replacement products and apologies—all because they appreciate me being nice. I got poor service when I was scared of offending someone whose job was to help me or when I let my anger guide my communication. But resentment built and my emotions and frustrations made me rant and whine, making them less helpful. Such anxiety for what you’re entitled to! Nice approaches get much better service.

•    Know you’re entitled to assistance for what you pay for. If you order a steak rare and it’s well done, you’r entitled to send it back. If you don’t get the advertised discount, you’re entitled to get it get it. Show that in your attitude

•    Be friendly. Calm down before calling. Rudeness relieves momentary tension but won’t create an ally for solving your problem. Friendly and polite makes the person try harder for you.

•    Don’t share personal problems or sob stories. Just nicely state the facts and what you’d like.

•    Explain that your patience is thin and you’re upset. Admit it’s hard to not get angry but you’re trying not to.

•    Acknowledge the person didn’t cause your problem. If your statement is wrong, your phone is dead or other typical problems, the customer service person didn’t cause it. Don’t take anger out on her or scold him. I open with a version of, “I know you didn’t break my phone and are trying to help me. I’ll try not to take my anger out on you and appreciate your help.” They greatly appreciate that!
•    Do you complain about customer service people? If you were brought up to avoid causing problems, you may keep your mouth shut about bad service or defective products, and complain to friends. Reaching a person instead of an automated voice can be exasperating and put you in a bad mood. Irritability attracts poor service! Instead, force a smile, even if they can’t see it, since it sets a better mood. Then nicely seek resolution.

•    Whether verbal or written, don’t jump into a complaint. Begin with a kind word to set a positive tone and

•    Use clear, unemotional words about why you need resolution. “I get crazy when my phone is out” brings out violins. “I’m losing business without phone service” is taken more seriously.

•    Let the person know it’s in the company’s best interest to correct the problem. Explain that action you may take isn’t worth them ignoring your situation.

•    Respond firmly to lines used to get rid of you. “It’s not our policy to…” I reply, “It’s not my policy to accept faulty service or a customer service department that tries to brush me off.” Sweetly, with a smile.

•     . Use humor, such as, “I’m trying to stay calm. How am I doing?” That gets the person on your side to see you as human, instead of another complainer.

•    Acknowledge that the person didn’t cause your problem. If your statement is wrong, your phone is dead or other typical problems, the customer service person didn’t cause it. Don’t take anger out on her or scold him. I open with a version of, “I know you didn’t break my phone and are trying to help me. I’ll try not to take my anger

•    Use clear, unemotional words about why you need resolution. “I get crazy when my phone is out” brings out violins. “I’m losing business without phone service” is taken more seriously.

•    Let the person know it’s in the company’s best interest to correct the problem. Explain that action you may take isn’t worth them ignoring your situation.

•    Respond firmly to lines used to get rid of you. “It’s not our policy to…” I reply, “It’s not my policy to accept faulty service or a customer service department that tries to brush me off.” Sweetly, with a smile.
Sometimes you may need to BUILD your courage to ask for what you SHOULD get. You’re a customer they make money from! Get into the driver’s seat. Being tough is unnecessary. Service people hear many rants and threats. Friendliness, with humor, makes them like you more and go the distance. I chat and joke, while reminding them how important it is to get resolution. A snail mail letter works better than an email complaint. Keep it short and sweet, literally—a few paragraphs using my tips. Be polite and don’t accuse. Just state the problem and ask how they can fix it.

I get phenomenal service—refunds few get, courtesy, direct phone numbers for future problems, replacement products and apologies—all because they appreciate me being nice. I got poor service when I was scared of offending someone whose job was to help me or when I let my anger guide my communication. But resentment built and my emotions and frustrations made me rant and whine, making them less helpful. Such anxiety for what you’re entitled to! Nice approaches get much better service.
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