my rules for dealing with customer service

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ted Lee, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    so lately i've been astonished at how poor the customer service i've received is. we've all heard the stories, so i'm not gonna bother typing them again.

    however, i've decided that, to keep my sanity, i'm going to implement a few rules:
    1. the money rule: remember that they probably make less than you. don't hold them to a higher standard...it's not necessary or deserved
    2. the "thank-you" first rule: if they do not say thank you first, then they do not get a thank you from me
    3. the "i appreciate you" rule: if they provide exceptional customer service, i will be sure to let them know i appreciate it[/list=1]oh heck...i know i had a couple others, but can't think of them right now.

      oh yeah, there is one slight exception.
      1. the restaurant rule: you should never be rude to your waiter until after the food arrives. the reason should be fairly obvious[/list=1]any rules you all follow? [​IMG]
     
  2. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    You do realize the attitude you project is the attitude you'll get in return, right?
    If someone calls me for help with an attitude like that you can expect they'll get everything company policy allows, and no more. If someone is polite they'll get anything they need to get them taken care of, plain and simple.
    If the call starts off with "OH MY GOD I've been on hold for twenty MINUTES!" when I can clearly see the queue monitor shows it's more like 3 minutes, it's going to be downhill from there.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Ted- what places have you been receiving poor customer service?
     
  5. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    rule 1 - no matter how annoyed I am I try to make a service associate smile the first time I speak with them.
    Rule 2 - If I get transfered three times or go through voice mail hell I may skip rule 1 - but I will kindly let them know I've gone through hell before speaking with them.
    Rule 3 - I always ask for a name and use it frequently - It makes it cleare if they are rude to me I will remember who they are.
    Rule 4 - The first level of people have no authority. They are low wage phone-robots. Getting mad at them is like getting mad at a traffic light. Ask to be bumped up the chain of command if they are unable to help you. Don't be afraid to keep asking to be bumped. Visit in person if you must. Just don't be loud and rude. Ever. It isn't worth the energy.
    Rule 5 - "You get more flies with honey than vinegar"
    Rule 6 - If a service associate is rude with you (and you don't deserve it) Pay a personal visit to the highest level person you can and share the experience. Remember the name and time. If a personal visit is impossible then write - don't call - management. Don't overshoot - the CEO really does not care but he regional sales manager probably does.

    Here are some lines I use to get a smile
    a) "Can you hold?" Is the music good?
    b) "How are you doing today?" I am annoyed and pissed off at everyone and even though it isnt your fault I'm going to take it all out on you. How are you?
    c) "How can I help you?" Find the person who screwed up on me, take them out back, and pummel them.
    d) "Can you spell that for me?" (regarding my name) T-H-A-T
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm...i kind of meant this in a half-joking fashion, but i can see i'm gonna ruffle some feathers.
     
  7. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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  8. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I was transferred to a lady at a company once and was put on hold. This really great song came on, and I was having a good time.

    The lady I wanted to talk to came on in the middle of it, so I said, - No, put me back on hold.
    She said, What?
    me I want to hear the rest of that song!
    She Ok.
    She came back a few minute later, and I thanked her!

    Ted - I took your higher/lower standard to mean that since they don't make a whole lot, they might not know a lot about the merchandise they are selling. WS vs. FS came to my mind first, and then specs on receivers and such. If they have a receiver on display, you should be able to look at the manual to get your answer if they don't know it. It is more of just having the foresight not to talk over their heads, or to put them down because they didn't know it.

    I would personally take the time to educate them if it came to looking over manual specs. You'll havve a friend when you go in there to buy something else.

    Glenn
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    god I just got a great email from a gentleman I spoke with last night complaining that the (correct) answer I gave him was not to his satisfaction. His whole problem he created for himself, and I've offered to give him free product to resolve it if he simply calls customer service, I'd LOVE to post it here but it wouldn't be ethical. I could call it "how not to get help 101"


     
  11. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  12. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    I had a recent encounter with Overstock.com customer service. My Scarface pre-order never shipped as part of my $100 order. I sent them a very polite email inquiring why it was not sent.

    I received an email response in about 36 hrs that stated that the cost of the DVD would be credited to my VISA, a $5 coupon would be placed on my account for my next order, and the DVD is in the mail.

    I was extremely surprised by this level of service.
     
  13. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    I work in telecommunications and my first job in my company was in the repair department. Your phone line is dead, you called me. We were given "commitment" times as to when the outside technicians would be dispatched on your trouble. Sometimes those "commitments" were less than desireable. Most times, actually. I could deviate from the those times maybe twice a day out of the 100+ calls I took. If you did it too much, it bring attention to you. I'm not counting medical emergency, domestic violence issues, etc. Those woould get priority no matter what. I did love the children of Elderly customers who claimed their parent's phone needed immediate medical priority even though they lived in a nursing home. Anyway, I would save those few chances to bump up a customers repair dispatch for those who were polite and didnt treat me as if I was a piece of trash. I wouldn't push anyones dispatch time out, but I certainly would not go the extra step to help out a rude customer. Usually they were doctors from Newton, MA who had six landlines (pre broadband days)and one line that was out was the line patient used to call them at home, or so they said.

     
  14. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I sorta work in customer service now but I generally deal with technicians and not the general public but this still applies.

    Don't get angry or raise your voice to a representative. If they get mad or vice versa, they will calm down. IF you act level headed while still being mad you will still end up getting your way.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
  16. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to chime in here, as I worked in customer service positions in college and through a large portion of graduate school. I was very, very good at providing top-notch customer service and received continual praise from most customers and members of management all the time. However, I despised my job more and more each day. For example, I worked in various positions at a high-end home theater store for about three years (in the service department, sales support, and install). I would have never anticipated being treated so rudely as we were on a daily basis (although nowhere near as rudely as during my tenure at Sam's Club). Sure, there were some people who were very nice to us, but overall, the "bad ones" outnumbered the "good ones" by far. Two types of customers that was usually hard to deal with were lawyers and doctors. When asking for a name when talking with them, for example, they always insisted that we call them "doctor" and never by anything else. That bugged me- I was about a year and a half away from recieving my PhD and I was always talked to like I was some high school kid who knew nothing. Now that I am one, I don't have the barista at Starbucks call me doctor when taking my name for a drink order. The lawyers were even better- they usually had their secretaries call regarding the problems they were having with their a/v equipment. Of course, when we started to ask for more specific information the secretary had no clue what to say and we reinforced the notion that we really needed to speak to the primary user of the system to solve anything. I always asked if the client was simply too busy at their jobs to speak with us (after all, they could be) but our anwser was usually, "No, he just doesn't feel like he should have to talk to you." You can pretty much guess where that type of customer ranked on my daily list of people to help.

    Please note that these remarks are not intended as "pot shots" towards members of either profession. I am just simply trying to say that after working in customer service positions I can sometimes (not always) understand why the service they render is so bad. Whenever I am out shopping or eating at a restaurant, I cannot help but notice how customers treat the employees. More often than not, they do not treat them very well.

    One more example: On a early August flight on ATA from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, we had a scheduled layover in Chicago. Our short flight to Midway was delayed because there were tornadoes in the Chicago area. Every single person in front of me yelled at the person behind the counter saying that they were going to get to L.A. late because of they wouldn't fly planes in TORNADOES. I was the only one who was sympathetic to the guy and because of it, he offered me a free upgraded first-class flight the next day. Sometimes (but not all the time) it pays to try and see things through the eyes of the person behind the counter.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  18. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  20. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    Always get their extension and name. When escalated to a manager always get their name and extension. If I had a nickel for every time some a-hole CSR hung up on me I would never have to call them again.....I'd hire someone to do it for me. I have seen this increase as years go by. Now before you jump on my back I have had plenty of tech savy CSRs help me out without ever hanging up. It's real easy to do....just don't hit the release key. These contracts the service departments sign is more than likely the source of the increase as CSRs feel pressure to keep their call time down. REALLY, REALLY couterproductive as I see it because the customer is going to have to call back anyway.

    Another thing I tend to do, especially with any computer relatd call, is to tell them that I'm computer savy. That way they can talk to you like an adult rather than a ten year old. Makes things much quicker and doesn't waste the CSRs time.

    Just my 2 cents.
     

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