Dealing With Customer Service as a Shopper
When you're a shopper, no matter what you're shopping for, there will be times when you are dissatisfied and will need to know how to deal with customer service. Drawing from years of retail experience, there are essential practices to follow when faced with shopping-related issues.
10 Customer Service Tips To Use
Whenever customer service issues arise, remaining calm, honest, and professional in your approach is key to achieving satisfactory results. Follow these guidelines and top ten tips for dealing with customer service and getting customer satisfaction.
Clearly State Your Needs and Desires
Know what it is you need or want to be satisfied! As simple as that sounds, too often, someone will angrily vent their problem and never say exactly what will resolve it. Sometimes, it's just an apology! If you state your issue calmly and clearly, you can achieve your desired result. Don't give up when you deserve a proper resolution.
Understand Return Policies
Always know and follow the store or vendor's return policy before purchasing. By law, they must be posted and/or default to a generous standard period, which can vary by state.
Speak with a decision-maker. Simply ask the person with whom you are talking, “Who makes the decision regarding my complaint?” and seek them out.
Leverage Customer Loyalty
Use your customer loyalty as leverage. Keeping a loyal customer is far less expensive than getting new ones for a business or service.
Secure Your Purchases
When making large purchases, never pay cash before you are completely satisfied. Down payments give you control if a problem arises, and credit cards enable you to obtain full refunds when legitimately contested.
Report Issues on Smaller Purchases
On smaller purchases, don't tolerate problems because of the low cost. Letting the store or manufacturer know about an issue is a help to them as they try to correct the problem. Usually, you will be thanked and rewarded in some way with complimentary items or coupons for free products with a simple phone call to a toll-free number.
When you buy something, always save your receipts, boxes, and packaging until you are sure the item(s) is what you want. Returning a purchase for full credit is much simpler when you have everything so the store can return or repackage/sell the item.
Complete Warranty Information
Always complete the warranty information so you are protected and can obtain service and/or replacement.
Document Agreements and Contracts
Put all agreements and contracts in writing, even if that's by e-mail. Keep copies in a safe location to refer to the agreement if problems occur. Take before and/or after photos with your phone or camera when applicable.
Start With a Friendly Disposition
Remember to start with a friendly disposition and give the store or vendor an opportunity to correct the problem. The old saying “you get more flies with honey than vinegar” applies in these cases.
Dealing With Unexpected Customer Service Challenges
Navigating the world of customer service can sometimes prove challenging, even when diligently applying recommended best practices. Unforeseen issues can arise, testing your patience and adaptability. Despite your best efforts, you might encounter miscommunication, discrepancies, or varying interpretations of policies. This can be the result of diverse businesses with their own unique procedures or even a service provider prioritizing profit over customer loyalty. In these moments, it's crucial to remain composed and professional, ready to assert yourself firmly when necessary, all while striving to maintain a positive customer experience.
Nurturing Customer Relationships: The Power of Effective Issue Resolution
Handling customer service issues effectively can be challenging, even when armed with the best practices. As demonstrated in real-life scenarios, staying persistent and firm while maintaining a respectful tone can sometimes be the key to resolving problems and ensuring a positive customer experience. While not every situation will end perfectly, your approach can make a significant difference in the outcome. Sharing your experiences, both positive and negative, can also play a role in shaping the reputation of the businesses you encounter.