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How To Survive Poor Customer Service Without Killing Anyone

Updated on April 23, 2015
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I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. Second, I'm an educator and organizational 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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