getting what you want en-US How to NOT Get What You Want From Customer Service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-not-get-what-you-want-from-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="angry" title="angry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has a bad customer service experience to tell. Whether it's poor service at a restaurant, a rude salesperson, or a product that has broken only days after purchase, chances are a transaction or two hasn't gone as well as you would have liked.</p> <p>But how to solve the problem? The simple solution is to stop doing business with the company. One Seattle blogger stopped going to a restaurant when it <a target="_blank" href="">started charging for butter</a>. He hasn't returned, despite the restaurant having changed its policy.</p> <p>Walking away is easy for you, but it leaves the business not knowing why you're no longer a customer.</p> <p>If you want to help the business improve &mdash; or more likely &mdash; you want your service improved or the error fixed, then complaining is how to do it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">How to Get What You Want on Customer Service Calls</a>)</p> <h2>Complaints Improve Customer Service</h2> <p>Businesses that respond well to customer complaints can see their profits rise, according to a 2011 study of consumer rage that found that more than 50 million Americans had a problem with a product or service they bought in 2010, with more than $58 billion in transactions at risk for the businesses that sold them.</p> <p>&quot;The good news is that, if a company handles your complaint well, it will enhance your brand loyalty and can even add to its profitability,&quot; said Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the <a target="_blank" href="">Center for Services Leadership at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University</a>, in a press release. &quot;The bad news is that ineffective customer-complaint handling may be even worse than not responding to the complaints at all.&quot;</p> <p>The study by the business school and the firm <a href="">Customer Care Measurement and Consulting</a> found that cable and satellite TV service gave consumers the most problems. The biggest pet peeve was losing time in dealing with the problem, which was more upsetting than the monetary or other wrongs suffered. Being &quot;ping-ponged&quot; from one customer service person to another was especially aggravating, with an average of 4.4 contacts needed to resolve complaints.</p> <p>Calling is one way to try to solve a complaint, though yelling may not get you far. Here are some other terrible ways to try to get what you want from a business, followed by suggestions on how to be a better complainer.</p> <h2>1. Set a Christmas Tree on Fire</h2> <p>In December, police in San Antonio told news outlets there that a man <a target="_blank" href="">set fire</a> to a Christmas tree at Denny's because he was annoyed by waiting for the check to arrive. The fire was put out and no one was injured, and the man was being sought by police after causing $150,000 in damage.</p> <p>That's an extreme case of not being patient. Better solutions would be to get up and go to the front counter to pay the bill, or take a few breaths, relax, and think about the consequences of your actions before doing something stupid like lighting a fire in a restaurant.</p> <h2>2. Yell at an Employee</h2> <p>It may feel better to <a href="">scream at someone</a>, but they're probably not listening too well over all the noise. And bad language may just shut down their hearing entirely.</p> <p>A better solution is to realize you're mad and walk away for a minute to compose yourself before returning to discuss the issue, says writer Neven Gibbs. Venting your anger will only get the staff to do enough to get rid of you.</p> <p>&quot;Generally, courtesy and friendliness has gotten better customer service than rude unwarranted behaviors,&quot; Gibbs wrote in an email. &quot;Ask and be civil.&quot; If you still aren't satisfied after stepping outside to calm down and returning to complain, take your money somewhere else, he recommends.</p> <h2>3. Complain Without Knowing What You Want in Return</h2> <p>Yelling may help you get the frustration off of your chest, but it won't solve the problem if you don't provide an idea of how you want the problem solved. Offering a solution can help a business improve and see problems it didn't notice before.</p> <p>&quot;A complaint without a potential solution will often be ignored,&quot; says Volney Douglas, who has complained to a smoothie shop owner after a drink tasted bad and he noticed poor reviews on Yelp. The owner gave him a refund and a coupon after he suggested she use fresh ingredients instead of frozen fruit.</p> <p>&quot;I always explain to a business that I am complaining only to give them an opportunity to fix their issue,&quot; Douglas wrote in an email. &quot;For each customer that complains, at least 10 notice and will stop doing business in the future.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Complaint Private</h2> <p>If you're not getting satisfaction from a company, sometimes alerting the world to your problem will get results, or at least a faster response, by making it public on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or other social media sites. Not everyone has more than 230,000 Twitter followers, as comedian <a target="_blank" href="">Dan Nainan</a> does, but the threat of putting a complaint out on Twitter can solve problems if it's used wisely and in extreme cases, Nainan says.</p> <h2>5. Write an Incoherent Letter</h2> <p>If you do take the time to sit down and <a href="">write a letter</a> &mdash; which is always better than quickly sending off an email &mdash; then writing a rambling one where you go on and on about how wronged you feel without detailing what action you want taken won't get you far.</p> <p>Letters may seem old-fashioned, but many companies require written proof before they can solve a problem. These include disputing a credit charge, address changes at financial institutions, and demand for payment to initiate claims, according to Robert Farrington, who <a target="_blank" href="">wrote</a> about how to write a letter to a business.</p> <h2>6. Forget Who You Talk to and When</h2> <p>If you're calling a customer representative, get their name and any other identifying information they'll give you, such as a direct phone line to call back. You may get disconnected or they may be rude, and having this information will help report the problem.</p> <p>Scott Bielicki, an attorney who regularly advises consumers dealing with businesses, has a simple checklist to assist in the complaint process. Bielicki suggests having all of your documents at hand when calling; getting the name and identification number of the person you're speaking to; keeping a log of all of your contacts with the company, including the date of the contact, the people you spoke with, and the length of the contact; and asking for the supervisor, or the supervisor's supervisor, if you're not getting the answer you're looking for.</p> <h2>7. Gripe to the Wrong People</h2> <p>Complaining to customer service representatives and other &quot;minimum wage chimps,&quot; as comedian Dan Nainan describes them, is a waste of time. They don't often have the authority to give you the solution you want, so either ask for their supervisor or go straight to the top.</p> <p>Nainan says he has recorded phone calls with some customer reps (which is illegal in some states unless you first tell them you're recording the call), and then at the end of the call he says, &quot;I'm really dissatisfied with the service you provided &mdash; I'm going to call the president of your company and complain.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Then I'll take the tape of that call and then send it to the CEO,&quot; Nainan wrote in an email interview. &quot;You'd be surprised how effective that can be. I've always believed in complaining from the top of the pyramid down, instead of the bottom up. Too many people complain from the bottom up, and that gets them nowhere.&quot;</p> <p>In extreme cases where he's getting lousy customer service, Nainan has a way to get someone at the top of the corporate ladder, or at least near the top, on the phone &mdash; he calls them at home. Using a website that he pays $3 a month so he can look up anyone's home address and phone number, Nainan once called the vice president of the laptop division of a computer he owned.</p> <p>Nainan left a message, and the VP got back to him, fixed his problem and extended his computer's warranty by a year for free. Now Nainan just emails him directly if he ever has a problem.</p> <p>That's the ultimate customer service connection to have in your pocket.</p> <p><em>What customer service strategies have you tried that ultimately failed? What strategies work best?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to complain and get a good result.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">9 Times You Should Demand a Refund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Great idea for Papa Murphy’s – make the pizzas in order.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs complaining customer service getting what you want Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:48:40 +0000 Aaron Crowe 965630 at What you need to know about getting what you want at work <p><img height="240" width="180" title="Forward?" alt="Forward?" src="" /></p> <p>Yesterday, I had a one-on-one with my boss. The first time I had one of these (and the last, until yesterday), I was, quite frankly, intimidated. Then, I didn't know what to expect and I knew that I was getting my yearly review, so I basically nodded and smiled at everything my boss said. Now, it was almost all positive so it wasn't like I was letting him run me over. But I wasn't proactive in getting what I wanted, either.</p> <p>Yesterday was different. I knew the meeting was coming up, and I also knew that my job had changed recently and <a href="http://Somewhere, sometime in life, everyone has a job they hate. Whether the hours are terrible, the pay is awful, the coworkers are wretched, or the boss is horrid, hated jobs are very much a thing of the present. We work them for different reasons, for different lengths of time, and with different levels of satisfaction, but almost all of us work them at some point. For many people, these jobs are a drag that make them feel like hollow shells of their former selves. However, there are a few people who manage to survive and thrive in jobs they really don't like. Here are a few of their secrets for making that hated job easier." title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">I wasn't thrilled</a> with those changes. So I did some thinking and wrote out a list of things I wanted to say, in an order that made sense to me, and took that list to the meeting. When he asked me how it was going, I started in.</p> <p>I told him that I feel under-utilized, that I was brought in to make some changes and now was supposed to simply function within the processes I'd set up. That's when the conversation changed. He started talking about this new position that he's creating, and how people had told him to merge it with mine but he wasn't sure, and what did I think about doing it. I was astonished. The new position is managerial, making it a huge promotion from where I've been. It involves a lot more responsibility and decision-making. It involves working with people instead of mostly with machines. I was flattered, but also able to give him some good feedback as to what it would take for that to be possible.</p> <p>Now, I don't have the new job yet. The job description isn't even written. But his willingness to address my concerns on that level makes me confident that it will be something i'll be interested in when it does come out. Now, I chose my company, and my department within my company, as carefully as possible. <a title="10 Things" href="/10-important-signs-your-job-might-be-worth-staying-at">That list I made yesterday?</a> All things that I have in my job. But, unless your company <a title="10 More things" href="/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">is as bad as some of Troy's former employers,</a> here are some things that worked for me and should work for you.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Be intentional</strong>. Sit down and think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Dress in a way that will impress your boss and not make him wonder exactly how much you care. </li> <li><strong>Be specific</strong>. While I didn't get through my entire list (his openness to what I did say generated such a discussion that our meeting went almost an hour over and I ran out of time), it included specific items that I would like changed. When I told him I felt under-utilized, I had a list of things I thought I could do for our department that would help. I was going to ask about working from home, and I had a list of the tasks I would do there and what would have to be taken care of for the plan to work.</li> <li><strong>Don't be afraid to share how something makes you feel</strong>. This one can be dangerous. DO NOT emote all over your boss. DO NOT give him your feelings and make him do something with them. But, after you've processed your feelings somewhere else, do give him your emotional feedback. &quot;I know that my job doesn't require a laptop, but I feel awkward sitting in meetings where I'm the only woman and the only person not issued one because it makes people tend to look to me as the secretary and not for what my job really is&quot; is better than &quot;I felt like crying last week when Mr. X asked me to make copies in the middle of the meeting because he thought I was your secretary and not your colleague...please give me a laptop so things like that don't happen!&quot; While this issue is quite possibly specific to my company, such things do come up and it's ok to share them.h</li> <li><strong>Have in mind what is realistic for now</strong>. I was going to talk to my boss about working from home, but I didn't expect him to approve it in this meeting. I wanted to bring it to his attention and talk specifically about it as something I think is realistic, so that someday I will get to work from home. A boss isn't going to change the department in one fell swoop over something you ask for, but bringing it up over and over, in non-threatening ways, can open him gradually to a new idea.</li> <li><strong>Visualize what you want from the meeting</strong>. I tend to chicken out in situations like this. I get all ready, and then I freeze up and don't ask for anything. So yesterday, I took a few minutes and talked through my points in my head. I saw myself looking confident and sure, ready for his response. I visualized him responding positively and negatively, and me not losing my cool or getting intimidated, but proceeding down my list calmly and professionally. Though the actual meeting was very different, I went in ready to say what I wanted to say.</li> <li><strong>Don't be afraid of wanting something unusual</strong>. Will a tea kettle in your cube cause you to make fewer trips to the water cooler and get less distracted? Ask for it. Would it be easier to work if the people counting change next door did it somewhere else, as the noise interferes with your creative processes? See if it's possible for them to move (extra credit if you find another place where they could work!). You usually know what will make a good work environment for you, and it doesn't hurt to ask.</li> <li><strong>Know when to stop</strong>. I had a lot more to say than I got to say, and I was ready to say it. But the conversation went somewhere else and that ended up being very, very good for me. When we'd gone an hour over and my boss mentioned how hungry he was, I knew that it wasn't the time to ask for anything else. I didn't get everything I wanted and I didn't even get to say it all, but I feel like the meeting was a success. Why? Because we had constructive conversation that made both of us excited about the future. What more could I ask?</li> </ul> <p>These tips won't work for everyone. Some jobs just suck, and that's the truth. But if you're not sure, or you just want to try anyway, give it a go. Using these ideas will mean, at least, that your presentation is good, even if your boss's reaction isn't.</p> <p>Photo by <a title="CrouchingBadger" href="">crouchingbadger</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Earn More Money by Demanding It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building dream job entry level first job getting what you want job work Wed, 02 May 2007 17:44:18 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 588 at