MilSpouse Life Hack: How to Get What You Want from Customer Service

657350_0211a74934_zDo you dread calling customer service to renegotiate your bill or get something repaired?  Have you found yourself hanging up the phone in total disgust, nowhere closer to lowering your monthly service cost or having an item fixed or replaced?  I don’t want to brag or anything, but I have (almost) always gotten what I want from customer service.  I bet you want to know how I do it.  Well,  you’re in luck.  Battling with customer service is my specialty and I’m about to give you the keys you need to get what you want the next time you call customer service.

1. Know what you want

First of all, you need to know what you want out of this call.  Do you want a bill lowered?  Is something broken and you want it replaced?  Also, going in with the attitude that “this will happen” is really important.  Be confident!

2. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is extremely important.

Did you just get in contact with an old southern lady?  Well , Sugar, better lay on that charm!

Did your call just get outsourced?  Take your time.  If you get the hunch that the representative may not speak English as their first language, don’t talk a mile a minute!  Take the time to speak clearly and be polite.  Not only will you understand them better, chances are they will probably take the time to make sure they are being clear, so you can understand them, too.

3. Keep your emotions in check

I find it very important to not get overly emotional, whether it’s anger or happiness. Why, you ask?  I’ll give you two reasons:

–  When you get angry, someone might not want to help you, or

–  If you are already excited about what you are being offered, you might not get offered more.

Once upon a time, in my earlier years, I  had a horrible experience booking a flight that ultimately ended up with my flight being cancelled.  I flipped my lid at both a customer service representative and a manager.  Granted, it was their fault, but my bad attitude made them not want to help me.  My mother ended up having to call and sort things out for me.  Very embarrassing.

On the flip side sharing some personal details can sometimes work in your favor. When my husband was deployed last year I was having issues with my internet, I let the customer service representative know that my husband was deployed and we were mostly relying on the internet for communication. With that little bit of personal information the internet service provider gave me faster internet and a tech out to my house the next day, free of charge.

4.  Know when to take it to the next level

If the customer service rep gets rude, doesn’t know or tells you no, ask for a supervisor or manager. It can never hurt to ask for a manager, and you may find that a supervisor can override whatever rule is in place that doesn’t allow the employee to solve your problem.

5. Threaten to take your business elsewhere, and mean it

Remind the company that you are a loyal customer, but if need be, you will use another service. But don’t make that threat unless you plan to follow through.

Do your research, if a competing company has a better deal going on, tell your current company about it, and tell them you are thinking of switching for the better deal at company b. I have often been able to lower my cable and internet bills using this tactic, and I’ve also been able to upgrade my internet speed and get more premium channels for the same price.

6.  Take it to “the Twitter”

Is my mom the only one who calls it “the Twitter”?  Regardless of what you call it, Twitter is an awesome tool if you are not getting the help you need via the phone or email.  Companies typically respond fairly quickly to tweets.

I had an issue getting in contact with someone for an issue with my washing machine and I got hung up on no less than 3 times trying to schedule a repair.  4 TIMES!  I took it to “the Twitter”….now you’re going to call it that, too…and sent an angry tweet to the company.  Wouldn’t you believe that that tweet resulted in a big wig from headquarters calling me, and magically, the problem got resolved (and I got a great deal on an extended warranty).

Obviously you won’t always get what you want, but hopefully some of these tips will help you next time you want to save a bit of money or need something fixed.  Keep in mind, these tips don’t only work for phone based customer service…you can totally apply them  in person, too!

What’s the sweetest deal you ever scored when dealing customer service?  Do you have any horrible customer service experiences?  Share your own tips and stories below!

 

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