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.
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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.