Customer Service Reps: How Can People Get Better Service From You?

Customer Service Reps: How Can People Get Better Service From You?

It can be a pain to deal with customer service, but it’s probably more painful for them to deal with unruly customers all day long. If you work in customer service, tell us how people can get better, more efficient service from you.

Photo by CWCS Managed Hosting

You’ve probably dealt with all sorts of situations and complaints. We’d like to know the fastest, easiest way to get those situations and complaints resolved when talking to someone in customer service. If part of your job includes negotiating with customers over rates, we’d like to know your tips for negotiating effectively, too. Customer service reps, how can people get better service?


  • 1. Shutup, Listen to what I have to say instead of assuming I’m your enemy.
    2. Appreciate that I’m more than willing to help you. In fact, I actually enjoy it if you go away happy.
    3. Don’t get shitty when I decline to replace something that you broke on your own accord. Going swimming with your electronics device is no ones fault but your own. Depending on how you react, I might be about to offer you a refurbished unit for free (or very cheap).

  • Don’t make assumptions about your service.
    – If you have a question, ask. It’s what they’re there for, don’t dig yourself a hole.

    Don’t try to get technical with jargon when you have no idea what you’re talking about.
    – If you don’t know the terms, be upfront about it – it’s confusing otherwise.

    Get to the point
    – Hi – My problem/I need help with x y z. Nobody cares what your brother had for breakfast, how many times you’ve had to contact, etc.

    Don’t complain about hold times, it’s not “broken” and won’t be “fixed”
    – Those 2-3 minutes every other customer complains about hold times add up and result in hours more hold time for everyone else.

    Arguing semantics does not improve your case
    – If they’re already denying you a refund, chances are they will continue to do so
    > if they have referred you for callback/escalation/investigation witout your prompting it means they’re doing something for you and believe you, not fobbing you off

    If they ask you to do something, do it
    – Don’t argue, just do it, there’s a reason for it.

    If you’re called out for something, it’s because you’re blatantly wrong. Don’t argue, just go with it. Remember that cs reps know everything about your service include the myriad locations you’re informed about things. “It’s no where on the website” is a lie.

    Everybody is assumed to be a liar, or stupid, or both. There’s a reason for this – most of them are. For every 100 hundred people that are like “oh i’ll just click this and do what i need to do myself” there are 10,000,000 whose question is “how do i click? better call customer service” or “i can’t click, fuck you and everything you stand for, you fucking fuck”

    Do you need a refund? Be reasonable. Don’t say “I didn’t know x would happen, i demand you refund y” because that company has an obligation to make you aware of x in paper mailouts when you start your service, in email, and in about a billion locations on their websites. A much better option is “Hi, I was going to stop x from being charged but my dog ate my computer and then my second cousin died, so there was no way I actually could at the time. I know it’s a hassle but is there a chance I can get a refund?”

    A lot of it comes down to – don’t be a dick. Don’t be a dick and they’ll bend over backwards for you. Even if this is the 700th time you’ve called about the same issue; take a breath, and don’t be a dick.

    I know what my password is, I’m not entering it wrong
    – Yes. No, yes, you really are.

    • Spot on!

      If they ask you to do something, do it
      – Don’t argue, just do it, there’s a reason for it.

      I’ve never understood why people would call a Customer Service line, ask how they can fix something, then argue with you when you tell them the answer.

      I’d also add saying “but I didn’t read the terms and conditions before I signed so how was I to know” means literally nothing to a customer service rep. We know that a lot of people don’t read them, but the rules aren’t going to stop applying to you because didn’t read them.

      Related to that, when you sign up for something, research what you want or ask about how things work. Oh and LISTEN to the information the rep gives you, thats normally a verbal, “plain english” version of the rules.

      And lastly, threatening to switch to a competitor over not getting your way on something is extremely counter productive to getting something fixed.

      In a lot of places this will mean that we think you’re either saying that just to try and get your way or you’re going to leave anyway, in either case, the rep will now be much more unlikely to bend rules or make exceptions for you. Instead, if you’re upset with something after the rep has explained everything, you can try something like “I understand now, thank you for your help. I’m still a bit upset about this though, is there anything else that can be done?”. This will normally be enough that if there is any leeway on your problem, the rep will take it. If they say no here though, that means there really is nothing else you can do, just let it go.

  • Let me deal with one problem at a time, dumping 4 years of annoyances, issues and emotional baggage does not help me sort things. Also set your expectations – do you just want it fixed? A refund? Cancellation?

  • Be nice.
    Ask appropriate questions.
    Keep on topic.
    Be nice.
    Be polite.
    Understand that I do not make the rules, I only inform you of them and enforce them. Everyone has had to wait the same amount of time as you have, get over it or contact us at a time you know no-one else will be contacting us (i.e don’t call or come in at lunch then get the shits it takes too long).
    Don’t eat when talking to me, especially when on the phone. I will shut you down and shut you out quicker than light if that happens. I cannot stand hearing you slurping and chewing. Fucking hell.
    BE BLOODY NICE. IT’S NOT MY FAULT YOU BROKE IT/CAN’T ACCESS IT/CAN’T READ. If it is my or my organisatio’s fault and you’re nice about it, I will pull all of the strings I can find for you.

  • Don’t use your customers service lines as marketing tools.
    Hi I’m having an issue understanding some charges on my bill….. no I don’t want Netflix. I’m having an issue understanding some charges on my bill…. I don’t care how many channels I will get I’m having some trouble understanding some charges on my bill.

  • I am always courteous on the phone to these guys as no one likes someone who is a dick. But please, no scripts.

    I was helping out someone and all I wanted to know was some setting to put in their new modem. Would not budge until I had given them all the customer information etc and ‘verified’ who I was.

  • A big one for me was always:
    My service hasn’t been working for weeks. Why haven’t you fixed it yet?

    If your service stops working, THAT’s when you should call, don’t get angrier and angrier week after week and THEN call demanding immediate answers. We can’t fix an issue that we don’t know about.

    Also, seconded on the don’t argue about doing things that might fix your problem. If I ask you to restart your modem, it’s because 99% of the time, that will fix your issue, not because I like to hear you fumbling for the button. If it doesn’t work, THEN I will try something different.

  • So what happens when the rep just takes your word for it, tells you the setting, you put it in and it doesn’t work because their service is actually disconnected for some reason or there’s an outage or something? Next thing you know you’ve rated that rep bad and the whole company as bad because you’re an idiot. And don’t say “hohoho i know it’s not disconnected” because you clearly don’t if you need a ‘new setting’ for a modem.

    be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

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