How to get the best Customer Service this Holiday season
I have worked in customer service and account management for a long time. The Holiday season, is not my favorite. People are most certainly not jolly this time of year, and I can say I have taken some of the worst calls of my career in the days leading up to and after December 25th.
In the spirit of making life alittle easier for those who are still answering those calls, and for you. I thought that I would offer up some tips on how you can get what you need without losing your cool with the trained professional on the other end of the line, whose job it is to know more about the product you bought than you.
1. This is the worst. The phone rings and you answer in your best Customer Service voice and say "How can I help you?" and you are meant with, "I hope you can help me." Stop right there. That is demeaning to say to the agent on the phone. Realize this, it is their whole job, I mean the way they feed their kids, to help you. That is a sure fire way to make sure the agent will not go out of their way for you. That call is by the book all the way. So please stop doing that.
2. Read the instruction manual. It will save you so much time. It will also stop you from feeling like a idiot when the agent asks you what step you are on. Literally we trained agents to work off the instruction manual that came with the product and it solved 95% of problems customers had.
3. Keep your receipt. If you do need a part or a replacement you will need your receipt. Even if your Momma's cousin's neighbor gave you it, you will need the receipt.
**As a side note, unless you have purchased directly from the manufacturer, there is a 75% chance the agent cannot 'look it up' - especially if you have purchased from Amazon.**
4. Know your warranty. Alot of times there is nothing an agent can do if you call in 120 days into a 60 day warranty, even if you say "we just put it together" - how do we know that?
**How to avoid this - even if you are not going to use it right away, open the box, make sure all the parts are there, plug in it, and makes sure everything works and is not damaged. This is worth it on high ticket items.**
5. Send an email. This is a much faster and easier way to resolve issues, that waiting on hold for an agent. In the email describe the problem, include a copy of your receipt, pictures of any issues (if possible) and your address in case they need to send you any parts. Most requests that come in like this will be resolved in one interaction. Using the chat function on the web site will also work.
6. Work with the agent. Most companies will not overnight to you a part on Christmas Eve. It's not going to happen. Spare us the my kids are going to be some disappointed you are not going to have UPS delivery to our house on Christmas morning speech. This is how this works. How much you paid vs. the estimated cost of expediated delivery. They will get it to you as soon as they can. If it is that important of a gift, open it right away and put in together, just in case.
7. I will write a bad review about your company on line. Don't be this person. Don't. Because the retailer will call the manufacturer about it, they will pull the tape of your un-responsible request and then the retailer will remove your post. That is the beauty of the recorded for training purposes message. So don't waste people's time.
8. I will return it. That only really works for items over $100. That is the number that matters. Most likely you will get a "I'm sorry you feel that way, please let us know what we can do to help you in the future."
9. Do not accept deliveries that are damaged. If you come home to it damaged, take pictures and contact the manufacturer. More than likely they are going to have you contact the carrier and open a claim, because once it leaves their dock, there is not much they can do about it.
10. Request Signature Required. Especially for high ticket items. Most retailers will replace some items, but again, is it about the dollar value. These policies keep changing so if you have any concerns, request a signature. It is easier to stand in line at Fedex to get your package than try and get it replaced.
Remember these are my experiences, and I do not speak for all agents or companies, some are alittle better, so are alittle worse. The biggest thing I want to communicate is this. Be Nice, and be prepared. Remember the agent, doesn't make the policies, they just enforce it.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Wishing you a fun and safe Holiday season!