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Complain Like a Pro: Tips for Effective Communication with Customer Service

The results of 2015 Customer Rage Study show that consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with customer service in spite of the investments companies are making to improve customer satisfaction. Over 60% of the consumers interviewed for the study felt that they got “nothing” in response to their complaints about a problem with a product or service. Over 65% of customers experienced rage when interacting with customer service. There are tactics and best practices that can reduce frustration and rage when dealing with bad customer service. Please join Ruth O’Brien and me at the upcoming ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference to learn more about the Rage survey and discuss how to complain like a pro. These communication tips will help you save time and will significantly improve your chances for a favorable customer service resolution. Two of the five top tips are provided here to help you start thinking about it. Bring your great ideas to the session and let's discuss!

Complain like a pro

1.    Ask for the representative’s name – make sure that you do it nicely, so the company representative doesn’t think you are out to get them. A way to do this: After briefly (in one short sentence) describing the issue (eg, a billing problem, technical issue, etc), ask: “Are you the right person to help me with this issue?” No use going into detail if they are not, and then getting frustrated when they transfer you to another department, and you have to start all over again. Next, ask for their name. Use their name through out your conversation – you want them on your side. Pay them compliments on how clearly they are explaining the process, etc., and thank them along the way for helping you. Often these employees are paid relatively little for taking a lot of customer frustration and abuse.

2.    Keep calm – the representative can make it easy or hard for you. Loud voices and abuse simply do not work……it is interesting how a call can accidentally get disconnected under these situations.

Communication. It is important. It is how things get done – and yet it is not a mandatory, or often not even an elective course in high school or college. Both companies and customers need to do a better job of communicating in order to avoid rage. Some people have mastered the art of communication, and are more at peace with resolving issues. We all have the choice to be one of them.

Join Ruth and me at the Rage Session Wednesday afternoon, May 24 to learn more and share your ideas with other contact center leaders.