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11 Ways To Get Better Customer Service

11 Ways  To Get Better Customer Service

According to a study, nearly 45% of customers can’t remember having a recent, successful customer service experience. Receiving poor treatment in a restaurant or buying a new product only to have it turn out defective can really sour your day. Fortunately, customers have more power than ever at our fingertips thanks to the internet. Here are 11 ways to get your voice heard and receive a higher level of customer service.

1. Research

Awareness of the company’s refund policy and guarantee information makes it easier to find out what exactly you’re entitled to. Read the fine print before you make a purchase. For example, some stores only issue store credit and don’t provide refunds. Be familiar with the company’s guarantee and warranty policy. You may be entitled to a free replacement or repair services depending on the defect.

2. Be Empathetic

Kill em’ with kindness. Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, stresses the importance of being able to see things from another person’s perspective. Try to get the salesperson to sympathize with your cause by treating them like a friend. Instead of lashing out try saying : ”I realize that it isn’t your fault but it’s disappointing to spend $200 on this purse and have the seams fall apart. I was hoping if you could give me a refund or at least store credit?”

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3.Be Specific

Specifying exactly what you want makes it easier for the business to make it up to you. Some customers get angry and rant and rave without telling the person on the other end how they can make things better. Don’t be that person. Do you want a discount? A refund? An apology? Be clear and specific when stating your demands.

4. Contact Customer Service

If you’re unable to resolve the issue in person, you may want to contact the company’s 1-800 number. Directories like Dial A Human, Flaptor and Yellow Pages make it easy to obtain contact information for any business. You can increase your chances of getting to a live person by dialing “0.”

If that doesn’t work, try to connect with the sales, billing or tech departments, which are more likely to be staffed. Once you get through, ask them to transfer you to the department you really want. Once you do get a live rep on the line, you have the option of escalating the call further by asking to speak to a supervisor. If that doesn’t work you can escalate it even further up the chain of command. Managers and executives have the power to make decisions that customer service reps don’t.

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5. The Power Of The Chargeback

If there’s one thing businesses despise it’s chargebacks. This is when a consumer contacts their credit card company in order to reverse charges and get their funds back. Reasons for a chargeback may include receiving substandard service or being charged without receiving what you ordered. It’s ultimately up to your credit card’s issuing bank to determine if the chargeback is valid or not.

6. Harness The Power of Social Media

Some large companies, such as Ford Motors, actually employ people to comb through social media for mentions of their brand with the purpose of resolving complaints. You can exercise your right to free speech by posting about your experience on Facebook and Twitter. You can also tweet to the offending company directly and mention their brand in a hashag.

7. Utilize The Company’s Online Community

Many big companies like Verizon or Dell, have an online forum or community where members can register and engage with fellow customers. Companies are more likely to address concerns posted on a forum in a timely manner since it’s public.

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8. Write An Online Review

More customers than ever are reading online reviews before frequenting a new restaurant or business.

Online review sites like Yelp, Google Places and Angie’s List are taken very seriously by business owners since even one negative review can severely impact their business. Businesses who have claimed their Yelp listing get notified immediately after every new review. Some businesses will also respond publicly to reviews.

RipoffReport is another site that allows consumers to air grievances publicly. These complaints tend to rank high in the search engines when potential customers search for the company’s business name in Google. As a result, companies are more likely to respond in a timely manner in order to protect their reputation.

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9. Write A Letter

Write a letter detailing your experience and grievances and address it to the highest ranking individual at the company; this can be the CEO or owner. Make sure to include details such as the date and time of incident and the name of the employee you interacted with. Send the letter via certified mail in order to confirm receipt. If you send it via email you can use an e-mail tracking system which notifies you when the email has been opened.

10. Contact The Better Business Bureau

What’s great about complaining to the Better Business Bureau is that they will contact the offending company on your behalf. If the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau they will have to respond. Companies that are members have to maintain certain standards in order to keep their membership active.

Give Praise When It’s Due

Acknowledge the company if they resolved the issue, especially if you made a complaint on social media or Yelp. No one is perfect and it’s fair to give a business a second chance if they’ve shown good faith in making things better.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jacqueline Cao

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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