Calling customer service or call center of a service provider we patronize to clarify issues, report problems, submit complaints or ask for one form of support or another is one thing we will have to do at one point or another.
When we make such calls, there are few things we can do to ensure that we get a good support from whoever we get to speak with.
Prepare for the call
Sometimes, many of us rush into calling customer service without getting our thoughts and facts together out of anxiety, anger or frustration. If necessary, we need to briefly note or write down the points we want to discuss. Note the date and time you experienced the problem of concern. If you have made previous calls, note the dates of those calls and who you spoke with including the highlights of the conversation. The more prepared you are, the more effectively you would present your case armed with facts and figures; and the better the support you will get.
Be specific in your request
State your issues and ask what you want in as few words as possible. Itemized your issues if they are more than one and make sure you get specific response for each one of them from the agent. In cases where you are placed on hold for a while, keep track of your request and ensure that the agent does not leave you with any uncertainty at the end of your call.
Present facts and figures
Many times it helps a lot to present facts when you discuss with a customer service agent. Use figures, state dates and time, and do not speak in abstract terms. It tells them you are prepared and know what you are talking about. Sound like a lawyer with enough evidence to nail an accuse person or like a patient who provide as much information as possible to his doctor to assist him make a proper diagnosis. Do not make things up, lie or exaggerate just to argue a point.
This will have two effects. It will help the agent understand the issue and solve them and it will also encourage them to be less flippant in their dealing with you.
Try and be nice to the agent you speak with. Do not rant, scream or shout. You will end up either confusing, destabilizing or provoking the agent. And trust me, this may affect how well they respond to you as well as how well they are able to resolve your issues. Remember that the agents are people like you who also deserve some respect. They are not hired to get calls of commendation but of complaints all through their day so they can be under pressure and stressed too.
Use the name
Do not forget the name of the agent when he or she introduces himself or herself. Most times, many of us listen absent-mindedly to this part of their introduction and just want to state our issues and get done with.
Note their name. Use the name frequently as you converse with them. Let them notice that you are deliberately mentioning their names. If you need to make reference to earlier calls, mention the names of those you spoke with. They will realize that you will not forget their own names too if you need to make reference to the call in the future.
Remember what the agent tells you
Please always note what an agent says should in case your issue cannot be resolve there and then. This is important if you have to make follow-up calls or recount an earlier discussion to a different person or in a different forum. You do not want to put yourself across as an untruthful person if you have to narrate what you were told by an agent later. Remember, some of the conversation are recorded too and can always be played back if situation warrants it.
If not satisfied with the response you get, call again
I have found out that in some cases, when you call some of our Mobile Telecom call centers twice or thrice on the same issue and get routed to different agents, they may all have different explanations for why you are experiencing the reported issues as well as different solutions.
In other words, some of them are more knowledgeable and experienced than the others so accepting one unsatisfactory explanation may not be in your best interest. Please note however that this will only make sense in cases where you are sure you will not be speaking to the same agent again.
Bad Agent? Avoid direct confrontation
There are times when call agents turn out to be quite rude, nasty, unhelpful and dismissive. Our first instinct may be to request for opportunity to speak with a supervisor or somebody higher up in the hierarchy if it is possible. It is best however to avoid this especially when still on the same call. It is recommended ending the call and checking thereafter if the company has a formal channel for reporting such experience; and where it does, carefully put our case together and formally explore it.
If doing all of these does not help you to achieve your primary goal which is to get your problem solved – Try the Social Media
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland and the likes work wonders nowadays and are highly effective channels to bring your case to the public domain, especially when they are left unsolved or when you are not treated well. Most companies now have social media pages where you can submit your reports and complaints.
How effective this would be will however depends on how much fact, figure and record you have gathered during your previous interactions with their agents and which can now be presented on their social media pages.