How to Make a Customer Service Phone Call

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  • How to make a Customer Service Phone Call

  • Customer Service phone calls can be frustrating endeavors. Using the following tips will help you get a more efficient and effective service.

  • Materials Needed: Pen or Pencil, Scratch Pad, Watch

  • Steps

    1. Prepare for the call ahead of time
  • Before contacting a company, take out all the necessary documents, i.e. bills, receipts, warranty cards, model and serial numbers, any previous communication records, etc. Having these documents readily available will enable you to handle the call as efficiently as possible. It will also help you organize your thoughts and allow you to articulate your problem better.

  • Define the resolution. Know what you expect from the call and what will make you a happy customer again.

    1. Document the call.
  • Keep a written record of all communications taken place with a company. Arrange your notepad so that you can clearly document the following information:

  •  Time and Date of Call: Look at your watch at the beginning of the call and write down the time and date. This allows you to track how long your first contact lasts, and it gives you a point of reference for later calls.

  •  Name of Representative: Many Companies have several Janes or Johns working for them. Record the representative's full name or their employee ID number.

  •  Location of Call Center: Make sure you know which office you called. Companies often have multiple call center locations.

  •  Amount of Time Spent on Hold: Record the amount of time you were on hold before your initial contact and record the amounts of time spent waiting during the call. Time is money and if the company is wasting your time, you should be able to let them know exactly how much time they owe you.

    1. Speaking with the representative.
  • Remember that the Consumer is always right. The preparations you have made before placing the call will help you articulate your problems and what you want to accomplish from the phone call. Do not let the representative bully you. As a Consumer, you are entitled to be heard and if you have received bad service or a defective product, you are entitled to reimbursement.

  • When speaking to the representative make sure the following issues are presented:

  •  The product or service you are calling about.

  •  Date of purchase, transaction, or service occurred.

  •  Location: Where did you buy the product or receive the service?

  •  Problem with the item: Why are you calling? What is broken? What service was bad? What transaction got bungled?

  • Get the problem out on the table as efficiently and effectively as possible. Do not waste your time with a representative if they are not the person who can help you. A brief description of the problem will let you and the representative know if you are dealing with the right person.

  • As soon as you have identified the problem and confirmed that the person you are speaking to is authorized to help, tell them your expectation. Representatives are limited in what they can do. If the person on the other end sounds like they cannot help, go directly to Step 4.

    1. Move on to the next authority.
  • If you have spent more than five minutes talking to a representative and see no sign of resolution, it is time to move up the ladder. Either that representative does not understand your needs, or they are not qualified or authorized to help you resolve them.

  • When you have been moved to another representative begin steps 1-3 again. The document you created recording your call will be part of your power.

    1. Follow up.
  • After you have gone through all of the necessary channels and resolved your problem, you should always follow up and let the company know what you think of their service.

  • The great thing about follow up is that it often leads to further resolution. It also helps you identify companies that care about their Customers. If the company responds and offers further resolution in the form of company coupons or an invitation to try their service again, then you at least know that you are valuable to them. If they do not respond, then you know that they are only out for their own interest and that Customer Service is not their priority.

  • Tips

    1. If you are lost in the maze of the automated response system and would like to speak to a live representative, try pressing 0# several times.
    1. If the hold time is too long and the resolution is not urgent, try to use alternative communication channels, i.e. e-mail.

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