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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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