Small Business

Has Telling Customers How To Defeat

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

Recently, it appears that most customer care agents either don’t have the authority to help you or are specifically told not to. Getting a business to provide the service you deserve has become not just difficult, but virtually a competitive activity in and of itself. Everyone knows how to become angry or ask for a manager, but what if you want to really wow your customers?

Here are five recent examples of firms giving me a straight “no” when I asked for assistance. I was able to get their attention and cooperation after I discovered the perfect nerve to strike. 

The desired outcome was achieved, plus I picked up some useful skills in dealing with difficult customer service situations as a bonus. Here are five tips I picked up to help you win against customer support agents.

What would you do, ask the representative?

I had recently planned a vacation to see my parents alongside my kid. One ticket was paid for using miles from my Delta account, while the other was paid for with miles from a partner airline of Delta’s. Right away, I called the airline to make sure that we would be sitting next to each other.

Incredible as it may sound, the agent assured me that no adjoining seats were available. We talked back and forth, but it appeared like she couldn’t see past the predetermined choices presented to her by the machine. She insisted that I was begging for the moon every time I spoke with her.

Finally, I asked her what she would do, because I knew that leaving my kid on the other side of the plane would be terrible parenting, if not criminal. She gave it a moment’s consideration, placed me on wait, and found us two seats together, by some miracle.

Achieving success requires tearing down the wall that separates you from the work and the person. Find a technique to make the representative feel like they know you, and they’ll be more likely to go the extra mile to meet your needs.

Participate in Social Media

Despite my misgivings about Comcast’s overall dependability, I decided to go with them, and so I was surprised to get an 18% price hike from them just now. That’s why I decided to try out a new company. As soon as I was set up with my new Internet service provider, I terminated my connection with Comcast.

It came as a surprise when, even after canceling my service, they kept charging my card for 10 days after I told them to stop. A representative of the firm told me that issuing a rapid refund was not a possibility. They could easily charge my credit card for a service I never received, but I was informed that, unlike every other company in the world, they would not be able to issue a refund. Their management, if anybody, kept on message.

So, I got into Twitter immediately to vent my frustration at the unexpected fee. They responded to my tweet very instantly. That night, I received a refund of my first deposit.

Promoting one’s products or services via social media platforms has become more important for companies. This change has given the client more control over the transaction. It’s possible that hundreds or perhaps thousands of people will see a customer service problem unfold. This is exactly the sort of unfavorable publicity that no company seeks. In addition, if you aren’t careful, social networking might end up hurting your career.

Bidding the Contract

The screen on my microwave gradually became unreadable as the brightness decreased. I was able to track out the problem’s origin and the replacement part I would need thanks to some digging on the internet; however, the latter was going for a whopping $200.

I was lucky in that my microwave was still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. To get the replacement component, I called Jenn-Air. They insisted there was no way to ship the component to me individually. A certified technician had to take a look, place an order for the necessary component, and come back later to put it all together.

Obviously, their guarantee only applied to the component and not the work involved. The guy said that liability was the reason why I couldn’t install the item myself. If that were the case, I reasoned, they wouldn’t be selling the role to me. Still, she wouldn’t budge from her position.

As a final resort, I respectfully reread the warranty conditions to her. As such, I inquired as to where in the warranty it specifically states that servicing must be performed by a factory-authorized service center in order to maintain warranty coverage. Actually, all she could say in response was to ask for my shipping information.

When it comes to contracts and guarantees, you should never take a salesperson at their word. Make sure you have the papers in front of you, and read and comprehend it properly. It is difficult for a firm to dispute the terms of a contract they themselves drafted.

Make a Chargeback Threat

United Airlines provided me a coupon for $100 off my future flight as compensation for an error in customer service. It required me to make a reservation over the phone and send in a certificate to be redeemed. The agreed upon sum was deducted from my credit card upon booking, and I was provided with an electronic ticket confirmation code. And then I mailed in the coupon.

But in addition to the tickets themselves, my credit card was charged a “ticket by mail” cost, for which I never received nor gave my consent. My credit card was unexpectedly charged more than I had expected, so I called the airline to let them know. Despite their agreement, all they could do was issue me another voucher. Instead of just crediting me the money, they insisted on writing a check.

It was then that I told the supervisor that his firm had charged my credit card unlawfully and that I would be contacting my credit card provider to obtain a chargeback. After much arguing, they agreed to give me a refund.

Many businesses will take extreme measures to prevent a credit card chargeback, even if the customer has a valid claim.

Contact Executive Customer Service for assistance.

I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a new smartphone through my carrier. The following step was for me to get in touch with them and request the unlock codes. Whether I’m simply traveling and need to utilize another carrier’s service or I’m looking to make a permanent change, these codes will get me set up with any network.

Existing customers who buy new phones from a cell phone company are entitled to these codes. That was the issue; I kept getting the runaround. Emails reassuring me that their “unlock team” was on the case were all I got in response to my inquiries. Unfortunately, no one was available to take my call when I placed it. They just told me that the “unlock team” had the case and that I would not be able to contact them.

Fortunately, I remember reading somewhere that most businesses have something called Executive Customer Service. If high-ranking workers and their pals require assistance rather than simply being told to leave, I assume they turn to this department. I typed it into Google and found an email address. The agent who answered my call was able to bypass bureaucratic hoops and provide me the codes to which I was legally entitled.

Bottom Line

It might feel like a game when trying to persuade a corporation to do the right thing. Perhaps the bulk of consumers would give up if a business was too obstinate, but not me. For what it’s worth, I think everyone should be prepared with a strategy for when they encounter rejection.

If you remember just a handful of the things I’ve written about here, you should have no trouble coming out on top in any customer service battle you could encounter, whether it’s over the phone or in a live chat.

In your experience with customer service, what have you discovered? If you have any helpful hints, please feel free to post them here.

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