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How To Survive Poor Customer Service Without Killing Anyone

Updated on April 23, 2015
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

How frustrating can poor customer service get?
How frustrating can poor customer service get? | Source

What do you do when you are faced with the grim reality of poor service? Surely, you try to compose yourself and maintain a certain level of civility. Let’s hope that no one out there has already decapitated someone for poor service…I know it’s tempting.

Instead of all the negative vibes, here are things that can help you control the rage that’s boiling inside. This is intended to make the most out of a bad situation, nothing more. You’re already in a dismal state why make it worse?

What’s the problem?

Before going all ballistic at the person in front of you try to consider why you are actually upset. Was it because of the product, the service provided, or the attitude of the employee? I’m sure there is a sound reason for your blood pressure to reach the roof. Sorting through the haze of anger, irritation, anxiety and whatever emotional concoction that is brewing inside of you will do you good. First, it will redirect your attention from badgering the employee to actually doing something more productive. In addition, it will help you calm you down (at least pacify you for a moment). But for those who aren't really contemplative, this may not be helpful. I know you simply want to jab a pen into the employee’s jugular but think of the mess first.

If you have the problem pinpointed the employee or the company can help resolve the issue faster. That’s a better situation than pointlessly raving and ranting while bystanders take a video of you to post on the net.

If product is the problem then make sure you have all the details. Many customer support representatives face a brick wall especially when a client provides incomplete information. Of course they want to help but with little or no information about your purchase, it will take longer. Some of the important information that you need to provide include: Brand and model of the product, receipt information, warranty information and most importantly details of your complaint.

It’s always a good idea to check out the store’s return policy just in case you return items. This way, you’ll have less trouble getting a refund or replacement. Another important reminder is to READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL BEFORE USING THE PRODUCT. Furthermore, it is important to use it as directed. It’s just common sense to do these things. But as I have learned, common sense is not so common nowadays.

On the other hand, if it is the service that’s bugging you, then talk to the right person. It is a good idea to talk to someone higher than the person who is providing the service. Studies have shown that rude employee behavior tops the reasons for customer dissatisfaction. Employee incompetence is also one of the reasons why people get irate. So when this happens, it’s best to find a new face to talk to. You might just do something you might regret if you don’t.

If you can’t help me, tell me who can

It’s actually counter-productive simply raving at a person who is not qualified to answer your concerns or provide you with solutions. Many consumers get into the habit of bombarding the sales person, waiter, customer representative or some poor dude with demands that they can not provide. So instead of wasting your time with them, ask for someone who can.

Usually there’s a customer service desk, hotline, e-mail or even website you can go to. Here, you can air out your concern. But more than just an ear to hear you out, these facilities and personnel are tasked to resolve issues. So don’t waste your time arguing with employees when you can go straight to their customer complaint representative.

Off with their heads attitude

If it’s legal to sanction beheading for poor customer service you might just see head rolling everywhere. But the law clearly states that you can’t. It is understandable that you want blood for whatever offense – however little it may be. It is so easy to blurt out harsh words when you are upset. Likewise, many want employees reprimanded and even fired for the poor service that they provided. But before you go on this road, it is more productive to try to resolve the issues first.

So before you hire the Sopranos to whack someone for poor service or pathetic products, count to ten and sort things out first. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with negative emotions and lose your focus on what is more important – resolving your problem.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 2 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there myfriend csmiravite-blogs

      Recent surveys says that many customer service representatives would give more to the consumers if they behaved themselves. Going ballistic because of poor customer service may prompt action for that particular moment. But lasting relationships with the company requires pleasant behavior.

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image

      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      It is oftentimes hard to control your anger when you get a bum service for your hard earned money. But when you blow your top, you lose. You need to think right, by controlling your fuses, so things don't get out of hand. Nice hub, my friend! :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      HI there dmop. It's really unfortunate that yo have to experience something like that. But I geuss, we all h ave our moments with poor customer service. It's sometmes easier to talk to someone higher because many representatives can not provide the type of resolution we want.

      Poor customer service can really test the patience of people. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experiences. The vote up and other positive clicks are also appreciated. See you around.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      I'm usually very calm, but recently had one of these moments, and have still not gotten a resolution. I bought a cheap Android tablet from a Japanese company, it supposedly had a one year warranty. It was delivered and worked great. My kids checked it out and loved it, so I bought five more, one for each of the older kids for Christmas. They arrived, and one of them didn't work on arrival, I contacted the company and they were closed till after the New Year. By the time they were opened again two more had quit working. They assured me that the problem would be fixed, but now they won't answer any emails and never answer the number given. All but one of them is not working now, and I guess I'm just stuck with them and out about 700 bucks. My ex-wife used to just call whoever the problem was with and say let me speak to a manager because I'm sure you haven't been trained to deal with a customer as dissatisfied as myself. Great Hub voted up, funny, and useful.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Word Pools. Unresoved concerns are problems for both the customer and the srvice provider. Resolving issues quickly decreases customer anxiety and the probability that the client leaves and goes to another company. Thanks for reading and i appreciate the comments.

    • Word Pools profile image

      Word Pools 6 years ago from United States of America

      Love the title! It is good advice. By focusing on the problem, having the facts, and talking to the right person, and calmly stating the issue, you are more likely to get the resolution you are looking for.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's a good idea moonlake. The head office need to know what is happening in their branches.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Good advise. I send emails to companies if the service is bad. It usual doesn't work to complain at the store they seem to stick together.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Credence2. More than 90% of customers are willing to go back to a company even after poor service. The only requirement is for the person or office to admit their fault and apologize. Unfortunately many don't - talk about ego.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      I always like to read at least one hub from new folks that I team up with. This is spot on. As you found out in my 'Opposites Attract" hub, I generally have a cool head and calm nature. Why does upset me though is when an establishment I deal with has a non-cooperative attitude and is indifferent or even hostile to your pointing out shortcomings. We all make mistakes, but when you don't own up to them and become defensive, that gets my dander up. Looking forward to reading more....

      Regards, Credence

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      You're so right about your version wheelinallover. Some sales reps find it easier to ignore customer rather than deal with their concerns and complaints. Thanks for sharing.

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 6 years ago from Central United States

      What got me was the off with their heads attitude. I recently remodeled a bathroom and had nothing but problems getting sales people to help. My main problem was finding parts to fix OLD plumbing. My secondary problem was the only people buying parts for the remodel were women and a wheelchair bound man. Just seems that they were always giving the wrong part or just plain ignoring both the women and I and we were forced to find things on our own. I have my own version of "off with the head" those companies who let their sales people totally ignore us will no longer get our business.