Get Better Customer Service by Being a Better Customer

Get Better Customer Service by Being a Better CustomerWe’re entering a time of year when there’s a lot to do, prepare and repair, and that means plenty of contact with customer service representatives. Whether they’re on the other end of the phone line at the utility company or making an in-person service call at your home, the quality of the interaction and the results you get depend just as much on you as on them.

Before you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of fall projects and holiday hosting, consider your approach to customer service situations. The following five pointers can help lower your stress—not to mention that of customer service reps—and bring success, satisfaction and results.

  1. Be gracious:  Begin every interaction with a gracious greeting and advance thanks for the help the representative is about to give. Politeness is key to setting the tone of the conversation and can even improve the mood of the person on the other end of the line.
  2. Be prepared: Have all the necessary information organized and ready, and provide it in the sequence requested by the customer service rep. They’ll usually have a script, program or procedure they need to follow in order to give you the best help, so a disorganized brain dump won’t do either of you any favors.
  3. Be upbeat: If you stop to think about how it would feel to spend all day handling other people’s problems, you’ll realize what a difference a positive interaction can make. So bring a positive attitude to the call—it’s contagious.
  4. Be proactive: As the call winds up, take a moment to review what the service provider has promised to do, along with next steps required from you. Confirm times, charges and other details now, and you’ll prevent misunderstandings and conflicts later.
  5. Be appreciative: Always finish with a sincere “thank you,” and if you feel the representative has gone the extra mile for you, do the same for them. Respond to the survey, fill out the comment card, or ask the rep if there’s another way to pass along a glowing review. It could make their day or even their career. Plus, the person you praise today may be serving you again in the future!

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