You may feel that you have more to be unhappy about these days than you actually do.
Products are becoming more complex which can lead to them malfunctioning in new ways. Many companies are still having difficulty hiring and retaining workers. Customer service representatives may not be able to assist you. After navigating through websites, automated chatbots, and phone systems that appear to be designed to block you at every turn, it’s possible to get through to someone.
“You are searching for the number to call. After you reach the other end, you will yell “agent!” 12 times in the phone, which will send you to the wrong address. Scott M. Broetzmann is the chief executive of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, based in Alexandria, Virginia.
According to the 2020 National Customer Rage Study by the firm, customers had 2.9 contact with companies while trying to resolve problems. The study polled 1,026 consumers over problems with products and services in the last 12 months. 58% of those who complained received nothing, zero, or zilch, as a result. It’s therefore not surprising that 65% experienced consumer rage after having a problem.
These are some tips to help you complain effectively and increase your chances of success.
Broetzmann encourages people to pick their battles, given the amount of effort required to resolve problems and how frequently they happen. According to the 2020 survey, 66% of American households experienced at least one problem with products or services purchased in the last 12 months. This is compared to 56% who were surveyed in 2017.
Broetzmann states that complaining about everything that went wrong will only lead to exhaustion and depression.
Kevin Doyle, a Consumer Reports editor, recommends that people collect all documentation before contacting a company. This could include order confirmation numbers, warranty numbers, and information from past interactions with company representatives. You may have to restart the phone or digital system that you use to complain if you don’t have all the information you need.
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People who complain are just as likely to use digital tools like email, live chats and social media than they are to pick-up the phone , the 2020 research found.
Twitter and Facebook are social media platforms that allow you to post your complaint publicly. This puts pressure on companies to fix the problem. Social media allows you to post your complaint without having to use chatbots, call trees, hold times, or malfunctioning voice recognition software. This makes customer service much easier.
According to the study, almost half of those who used social media to complain of their worst problems didn’t get a reply from the company. If you find yourself tempted to use social media to complain about your worst problem, make sure to have a backup plan. This could include connecting with someone by phone, email, or chat.
Your preparation should include reducing your complaint down to its essentials. This includes what happened, and more importantly, how you want the company fixed it. Broetzmann states that too many customers aren’t clear about what they want from a company.
Doyle advises that you make sure the solution you propose is proportionate to the problem. Doyle suggests that if the seatback TV doesn’t work on your flight, you don’t request a free ticket. Instead, ask for credit to purchase a drink or meal on your next trip.
“Are they going to get it?” It’s hard to know. Doyle says that you won’t get it unless and until you ask.”
Avoid the temptation to recount every detail of your journey or exaggerate your grief for dramatic effect. You might be easier to ignore if you use exaggerations and extraneous details.
Doyle advises, “Stick to facts.” It will diminish your credibility .”
With tired reps who are often subject to aggressive or abusive customers, being civil and even friendly can help you win. Doyle suggests that you build on this connection by asking the rep for their perspective.
Doyle states, “If they are invited to imagine what they would feel like,” Doyle agrees.
If the rep is unable to help, ask for a supervisor. Or simply call back to speak with a different agent. (I had to call three banks before I finally found someone who would help me.
When you are given the runaround, anger is a normal response. Doyle points out that customer service representatives are human beings too, and they didn’t cause the problem.
Doyle states, “You want your cool.” Doyle says, “You want to keep your cool.”
This article is by NerdWallet. It was originally published in The Associated Press.