We’ve all been there. You go to a restaurant and the food is cold, overcooked or not what you ordered. Maybe you purchased a new piece of clothing in the mall and it ripped the first time you wore it. Ever bought new furniture and had them deliver the wrong pieces? What do you do when the service you receive is not what you expect from a company? Here are 6 tips for dealing with bad customer service that won’t leave you regretting your words but will hopefully lead to a comfortable resolution for all parties involved.
6 Tips for Dealing with Bad Customer Service
Remember the Golden Rule:
We’ve all grown up hearing that we should ‘do to others as we want them to do to us” but that is really difficult when the order’s not right or the service is horrible. The first thing to remember in bad situations is to remember that it may be you in the other situation tomorrow. This does not mean we have to accept the bad customer service, but we do have to treat them the way we want to be treated.
Be respectful but firm:
It’s not always easy to handle bad situations. Remember that the voice on the other end of the phone or the receptionist in the office is not usually the ‘bad guy’. If we show respect to the other party, they will usually show the same respect back to us.
Think about the next generation:
When I have bad customer service or people don’t treat me right, I try very hard to remember that at the end of the day my kids are watching and learning from my responses. I don’t want them learning that it is ok to be mean, disrespectful, rude or out of control angry because situations aren’t what I want them to be. I would sometimes rather lose the money instead of losing the opportunity to teach my kids the right way to respond.
Go through the Chain of Command:
If you find that you are not getting results from the first level of customer support, then find the next person in the chain of command. Don’t go over someone’s head until you know that you aren’t getting the results you need from that level. Ask for a supervisor or call the main office.
Document your Experience:
Ask for a badge number, name, id number or some sort of identification when you are on the phone with a company. Record the date and incident details so you will be able to refer to it in the future if the situation is not resolved.
Pick your Battles:
If you go to a restaurant and the server gets busy and doesn’t refill your drink on time or brings you the wrong order, then you have to decide if that is sufficient reason to complain. Do you know that you will have to return to that location soon? It may not be worth complaining. Think about which experiences merit full complaints and then make a decision to just live with the rest. Not every bad customer service event deserves to be taken on as a full battle. Since I have a public platform here in the paper and on the blog, I have had to make a decision as to whether I will publicly address bad customer service. Think about which battles you really want to fight.
We are all human and make mistakes. Sometimes we just have bad days when nothing goes right. We can’t control others who give bad service, but we can control our responses. How do you handle bad customer service? Got any tips or experiences? I’d love to hear!