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Ezine Queen International

How to get better results from your Customer Service Department

Do you get frustrated when calling a big company customer service department? Get caught up in the voice mail vortex when you want to talk to a live person? Can't get the answers you want from the customer service rep? Here are a couple of things they don't tell you.

Often you get a recording telling you to press a certain prompt and you don't hear the one you need. When you're going through the voice mail prompts you can usually bypass them by pressing "zero" - that will often take you to a live representative. Sometimes you have to go through a couple of layers before you get to the level where that will work, so keep trying - eventually you'll get there.

When you finally do get to talk to a live person, you sometimes can't get the resolution you need. After a few tries with the rep, you need to move to the next level. There's no need to spend a lot of time with the person who can't or won't help you. Just ask to escalate your call to that rep's supervisor. No need to get upset or angry - just move to the next level. Then if that person can't help, ask for his or her manager. You can keep doing that as long as you need to if you're not getting the right information. Who knows, maybe you'll eventually be talking to the CEO. But you should get your problem solved way before that happens.

And here's their secret - the longer you stay on the line with their customer service department, the more it's costing them. Their statistics show that their expenses keep going higher and higher with each escalation. Eventually they'll need to cut their losses and find some kind of resolution for you. Again, there's usually not a lot of value in demonstrating anger or being uncooperative. That will only make your life more stressful. Just keep your cool, and keep escalating.

Another thing that may confuse and frustrate you is what often happens when you want to cancel your service. You may get transferred to their "Customer Relations" department, or something similar, which is actually the company's Retention Department. Their purpose in life is to keep you as a customer. Maybe they can make you an offer you won't want to refuse - often they have plans or services that aren't normally available. For instance, a cell phone company might have a text only plan, or a really low cost plan with just a few minutes. Don't be dismayed if they give it all they've got to keep you - they're just doing their jobs. You can listen if you'd like, or just let them know you're cancelling. Again, there's never much reason to get upset - it's just a business transaction.

Good luck with your customer service transactions, and be sure to let a rep's supervisor know if he or she did a good job. Just ask to be transferred to their manager so you can give some glowing feedback!