Nobody wakes up in the morning hoping to speak with a customer service rep. In fact, companies don’t want that to happen either, and would prefer that you get any information you need from their website or automated phone system.
But some problems can only be properly explained and addressed through a call with another actual human. Unfortunately, by the time you navigate your way to a person, there’s a good chance you’re already annoyed and frustrated, and may be tempted to take it out on the agent on the other end of the line. Please don’t do that, or make any of these other mistakes while speaking to a customer service rep.
Being rude, impolite, or offensive
This should go without saying, but avoid rude behaviour, foul or hateful language, and insulting the customer service rep. Keep in mind that this is a person with feelings who is just trying to do their job, and isn’t personally responsible for the problem that prompted the call, so don’t blame them for it. At a very minimum, be polite.
Not being prepared
There are certain pieces of information you’ll likely need when speaking with a customer service agent, including account numbers and other identifiers you may not know off the top of your head. Make the process easier for everyone and find what you need before placing the call.
Being completely unwilling to compromise
While there are certain situations when (politely) negotiating with a customer service rep is acceptable — like buying a mattress or renewing your cable and internet plan — that’s not always the case. And even when it is, you’re still probably going to get off the call wishing you were able to get an even lower price, or whatever your desired outcome would be.
Unfortunately, we can’t always get exactly what we want, and, as a result, find ourselves in situations where we have to compromise — including when dealing with customer service agents. We’re not saying that you should always give in and accept their first offer, or overlook a company’s error, but frontline phone reps are limited in what they’re able to authorise.
Instead of refusing any resolutions other than your own, be open to at least hearing the customer service agent out if they suggest a different way of solving your problem — especially if it’s something you hadn’t considered or even knew about before.