Monday, September 08, 2008

10 notes on customer phone ettiquette

Follow these simple customer etiquette rules for a happier life. (well, happier for me anyway)

1. Never be rude to a customer service rep. It's not fair, it's unnecessary and it makes you look bad- and they will probably talk about you later using an unflattering nickname.

2. The Customer Service Rep rarely cares about your vacation, your cold, or your mountain of unread mail. We all have vacations, colds, and unread mail. You are probably special in some way, but if these are your selling points you will have few buyers.

3. Companies rarely send out threatening letters without having them reviewed first by a team of paranoid lawyers. When you receive "legal notice" it is in fact legal (ok 98% of the time) and usually concerns something that is easily fixed (ok, 98% of the time). You can usually avoid "legal notice" by reading your mail in a timely manor (see #2).

4. Telling the Customer Service Rep that your issue is "very important and must be fixed immediately" does not actually grant them a magic wand and a spell book. The problem, what ever it's origin actually has to be fixed, you know, by humans.

5. Do not ask the Customer Service Rep "Is this a guessing game?" when she gives you the name of her employer. The question makes no sense and should be avoided at all costs.

6. Kindly allow the Customer Service Rep the time to input your information and call up your account in the computer. t-1 lines are fast, but they are not instantaneous lighting rods of the internet. This is especially true since they are bogged down with a bunch of stupid security crap to screen out stupid face viruses and other such interweb nonsense. It's best to accept the fact that the internet in an office is slower than the internet at home.

7. Allow the Customer Service Rep to talk. Talking over her will not make you right, it will just take longer.

8. Voice all serious complaints in a letter. No seriously, do it. Voice your concern on paper and send it to a manager's attention. Feel free to ask the Customer Service Rep for a name and address. The written word is stronger than a nagging time waster phone call. Management hates to see negativity and criticism in print. You may actually get results. Venting to the Customer Service Rep will get you nothing. She has no power and usually she thinks you're wrong.

9. Call once. If you don't like the answer you receive don't call back expecting to get a different answer. Is your cubicle soundproof?

10. Be polite. Be genuine. Be human. You may have had to talk to a computer first but don't be confused, Customer Service Reps are actually people. Just remember that.

1 comment:

Spanky and Family said...

Loved the post, I worked at USAA as a Insurance Adjuster for 48 states. That was brilliant.