Skip To Content

    The Secrets To Getting Exactly What You Want From Customer Service

    "Your call is very important to us ..."

    While the internet can be a wonderful place to vent, one of the most cringeworthy corners of Twitter belongs to the “Where’s my refund?!” crowd. You’ve probably witnessed numerous tweets of this nature aimed at airlines or hotels. You know, people who hurl demands at brands — most of which go unanswered — not realizing their attempt to be “heard” is, in fact, futile.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    And it’s not just on Twitter. Wherever there’s a social network, it seems like there will always be someone yell-typing at a company expecting to get their problem resolved.

    Perhaps it’s a result of the rise in phone phobia, or maybe it just feels good to direct stress-induced anger at someone publicly, but here’s an idea: Why not contact customer service directly? Sure, getting in touch with a customer service rep isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s still a humble art that can yield results in real time.

    Before you begrudgingly reach for your phone, may we suggest the live online service chat first? The preferred method of millennials, online customer service chats connect you with a real person in a low-pressure setting, which is great if you’re multitasking or work in an open office because you can connect when it’s most convenient for you and without making a peep. Most major companies offer live chat services nowadays, and whether you’re dealing with banking inquiries, technical help, or refunds and credits, you might be surprised by how easy and effective it is.

    Whatever method you choose, we’re here to coach you through a winning customer service exchange. Below, a couple of tips to help you get what you want from the person on the other end.

    Kill 'em with kindness.

    Nickelodeon

    If you think of this conversation as an opportunity to collaborate instead of to correct, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to get what you want. So you impulse-bought a package of oversized hair barrettes because you saw yet another cool influencer wearing them, but velvet scrunchies arrived at your door instead. It’s an irritating shipping snafu, but before you blow up on someone, put things into perspective: You’re speaking to another human who deserves the same amount of respect as you do. Give it to them by addressing them by the name they’ve provided and using “please” and “thank you” when applicable.

    Get the point and make your intentions clear.

    FX

    Skip the tedious narrative that includes every minute detail of your life up to this moment. The person on the other end of the line truly does not care, even if they’re paid to say they do. When working with a customer service representative to resolve your issue, you only need to cover the relevant details. Sarcasm? Also not helpful. We get that you feel inconvenienced, but that’s not a free pass to mess up someone else’s day. Stop the cycle of unrest and be clear about what you want. There’s no reason to obscure the pertinent info with a meandering account of your complaint.

    Keep track of it all.

    Nickelodeon

    Whether you use an old pen and pad or a note-taking app like Evernote, make it a priority to record your case number, which you’ll want to reference for any subsequent interactions. Just as important is jotting down the name of representative who responds to your complaint. And while customer service chats usually include an automated receipt, that isn’t always clear until the end, so treat them the same way you would a phone call. Better safe than sorry! As for the standard “We’ll look into it and get back to you” response, clarify the timeline so you can avoid the brush-off and follow up if necessary. It’s also an excellent time to employ tip one and remember to keep the tone positive and not accusatory.

    If all else fails, try someone else.

    YouTube

    If you don’t get the resolution you were hoping for, take out that case number and try again. To get what you want, sometimes all it requires is catching someone on a good day. But also ask yourself how much work you’re willing to put into resolving your complaint — and make sure the time spent to get there is proportionate to your desired result. A flight voucher, for example, is worth more time and effort than a shipping refund, and could warrant escalating the discussion to higher-ups if necessary. Just remember: The customer is always right.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form