Thursday, February 20, 2014

I know the Magic Words

I know everyone posted their "Valentine's Recaps" on Monday, but I am not one of the cool kids so I am just mentioning it now.  My Valentine's day started with a quick newborn photo shoot before I headed to work (I work half days on Fridays - yes you can be jealous).

Post Valentine's photo

It's a tradition that Dean sends me flowers to work on Valentine's day.  He always orders the same bouquet from the same company and they are usually always beautiful. Except, this year they were not.  The delivery was late, the roses were half dead, and I was missing a bloom.  Eventually we did get the refund, but we had to sweet talk the customer service agent, who was set on just sending replacements.

I could have gotten nicer flowers from Wegmans!
Since I have worked in one form of customer service or another since I was 17, I have learned exactly what to say to get what I want.  And since I am a nice person, I will share some of that knowledge with you.

ONE Make sure you have a legitimate complaint.  
If you are calling your internet provider because you don't have enough bandwidth to stream Netflix, you have a good case.  If you are mad that you have to pay extra for HBO when there are hundreds of other channels you don't watch, well, you are tough outta luck.

TWO  Have a solution in mind that is actually attainable.
Expecting free flower delivery for a year is a little bit over board.  However, it is perfectly reasonable to get a refund for the dead flowers I did receive.

This is probably the most important piece of advice I could give you.  Let's be honest, no one ever calls an 800 number when things are peachy.  So, unless you are the first call of the customer service rep's day, they have been verbally abused by a few other people before talking to you.   If you become your CSR's friend, they are more likely to help you out.

FOUR  Only ask for a supervisor if your new friend really can't help you.
What I mean by that is, don't jump the gun and ask for a supervisor as "punishment".  Often times, CSR's say no off the bat because that is what they are told to do.  If you explain the situation calmly, and ask again, they may be able to give you what you want after all.  If they can't, then it's time to ask for the supervisor.  But remember, the CSR controls what supervisor you get transferred to.  So it is in your best interest to be nice, because they will send you to the person that will fix the problem.

99% of the time those simple steps work.  Hopefully you won't need to use that info, but if you ever do, it's good to have a guide.

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