Use Politeness To Recruit Customer Service Reps To Your Side

When you call customer service — whether for your bank or a replacement part for your computer — you're but one of thousands of mostly anonymous people in a call queue. Use politeness to recruit your customer service rep to your side.

Photo by len-ka-a.

Being polite to the customer service rep seems like it wouldn't be a magic bullet for solving your problems, after all shouldn't everyone be polite? Alas most people are extremely rude to the customer service reps and being not just neutral but actually polite will go miles towards getting your needs taken care of. Over at the personal finance blog Consumerism Commentary, they highlight some ways you can recruit customer service reps with politeness:

  • Write down (or just temporarily learn) his/her name. Use it conversationally, but especially near the end just before whatever changes that need to be made are about to be made.
  • Acknowledge that he/she is an independent, intelligent human being with feelings. They will reciprocate that point of view on you, too.
  • Remember their position: they've been talking to people with problems like yours for hours. Believe it or not, they like it when they're able to help. Give them a chance to help you.

For those of you who have never had the joy of working with the public, especially a public made even more belligerent by the semi-anonymity of a phone, you have no idea just how ill-informed and ignorant the callers a customer service rep has to deal with all day usually are. If you're caller number 294 that day and the only person who has asked how the rep was doing, if it was busy in the call centre that day, or otherwise engaged them like a human being instead of like an annoying obstacle between what you want to have happen and what isn't happening, you'll be amazed how quickly your problem gets resolved.

Check out the full article at the link below for more tips on winning over customer service reps with politeness versus demands. While you're at it, make sure to check out how to get better customer service by communicating exactly what you need and want. Have a tip of your own, from either side of the headset? Let's hear about it in the comments.

Customer Service: Politeness vs. Demands [Consumerism Commentary via The Simple Dollar]


Comments

    There's another thing you can do to give Customer Service people a good day other than simply thanking them and that's to acknowledge when you've had genuinely good service.

    It is incredibly rare to get someone who actually thinks to thank you for a job well done and even rarer to get acknoledgement. I got a few acknowledgements in the time I worked at a Call Centre, but the overwhelming negativity burned me out completely. The other bonus is if you ever need something adjusted again, you can always just ask for that person or the specific manager who took your praise on the basis they gave you excellent service last time. Most call centres will oblige you on this and you know you'll get someone who will do what they can to deal with your problem.

    The majority of Call Centre staff actually do want to solve problems and it's the artificial time constraints and general attitude from abusive customers that make it difficult. Personally, I ignored the 3 minutes or whatever it was supposed to be per call and was allowed to get away with it because my managers knew every time I took a ten minute plus call it was something they would have had to deal with which they didn't have to worry about.

    I did eventually quit because I was so worn out by abuse and went to a job in a pathology Lab where it turns out Doctors are even worse, until they find out you have a relevant degree and can explain things to them much better than they realise.

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