Why don't people tell us when they have a problem? Maybe it's because they think we'll be offended, or that they might get us "in trouble." Maybe it goes back to the old model of a "Complaint Department" at businesses and stores, and people don't want to be perceived as complainers. For whatever reason, the percentage of people who do let us know they are unhappy is often compared to the "tip of the iceberg" with the other 90 to 95% of dissatisfied customers remaining silent. This creates a big problem for those of us who care about and deal with customer service (CS) issues. How can we improve if we don't know that we're doing something wrong, what we're doing wrong, and maybe the customers' ideas on how we might improve?
You don't have to be angry about bad service you received—but you might be—in order to contact a customer service representative at a business. A business that's interested in having a future will work with you to find a resolution. Here are some steps you can take to get the right kind of attention on a service issue:
- Get relevant details ready for your call, chat or submission
- Find out what to do if your first contact does not go well
- Tell your story as simply as possible
- Get attention on the details that created your dissatisfaction or problem
- Be prepared to escalate your case to the next level
- Try hard not to be overly confrontational; making the CS representative defensive doesn't help
- Be realistic - you won't get a house in Malibu because your dryer doesn't work
- Don't sell yourself short - have some idea of what will make you happy, and stick to that
- Be prepared to go to the competition on your next opportunity, and let that be known
Let us know how we are doing. Focus your feedback. In the long run, you'll get better service all around.
Give it some thought.