Getting good customer service can sometimes feel like a crapshoot, but weblog Consumerism Commentary offers a few suggestions for improving your experience, including "sandwiching" your criticism between two positive statements.
Image: Emily Hildebrand.
Most of their suggestions we've covered in our step-by-step guide to getting better customer service, but they add a clever way to keep the conversation positive and make reps more likely to hear you out:
Offer a "complaint sandwich". This is a psychological manipulation tactic -- and it works. If you start your discussion with a positive comment, move to a discussion of the issue you'd like to resolve and end again with a positive comment, you're more likely to receive the results you want. In my experience, this strategy is called praise-suggestion-praise.
You could start a discussion by saying how much you love being a customer of the company. It's important to be sincere and genuine and to quickly get to the core of the matter so you don't waste the representative's time. After explaining your issue, offer praise again, thanking the representative and remaining positive that the two parties can agree about a resolution.
It isn't a guarantee, of course, but it's certainly easy enough that it's worth a shot. We've mentioned a similar technique before when giving constructive criticism to your co-workers, but it's a good tip for customer service-specific situations. Hit the link to read more.