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How to make successful customer service calls – get what you want

Updated on November 29, 2011

You work hard for your money, or have or receive money and do not work at all. Either way, it is your money and when you spend it on products or services that are unsatisfactory, it is time to make a call (or calls) to (1) get your money refunded, (2) have your product or service replaced, or (3) get something better.

Here are my recommendation for steps you need to take in order to be compensated for a bad product or service. Do not let your money go to waste.

Steps for a successful call to Customer Service

  1. First, look up the Customer Service phone number on your sales contract, product label, phone book, or the Internet.
  2. Call the company and start out by pressing the right option to speak with Customer Service.
  3. Once you have a Customer Service Representative (Rep) on the line, explain your situation and be nice and as patient as you possibly can.
  4. If you are not getting what you want, or the Rep is mean, rude, ignorant, or cannot speak clearly in English (or Spanish if you are calling Spain or Mexico), ask for a Supervisor or Manager.


  • Explain how long you have been a customer.
  • Mention your awareness of their competitors.


Attitude and demeanor of the Customer Service Rep

You can instantly tell if a Customer Service Rep is going to help your situation or not. If they say something like “Do you want to continue with this conversation?” or “Hold on for a moment.” (and put you on hold for 10 minutes), suffice it to say that the conversation will probably not have a favorable outcome.

If needed, do not hesitate to ask for a Supervisor or Manager

If the Customer Service Rep is being rude, and seemingly ignorant to your plight, stop wasting your time and ask for a Supervisor or Manager. Before the Customer Service Rep transfers you, ask for a their name, customer ID, office location, phone number, and ticket number or tracking number (which would reference your call in any future correspondence you make to that company).

I have had Customer Service Rep's hang up on me after asking for a Supervisor or Manager. Ooops, their bad.

A Supervisor or Manager has more training and should know how to keep you as a customer, and handle your customer service situation so you remain a customer. Like I previously suggested for the Customer Service Rep, remember to ask for the Supervisor or Manager's name, customer ID, office location, phone number, and ticket number that logs your call as well.

Do's and Don'ts during phone calls with Customer Service


  1. Try very hard to be polite.
  2. Tell the Customer Service Rep that “I know it not your fault, but your company....”
  3. Get right to the point.
  4. Ask for what you want.
  5. Negotiate more if their offer is not enough to satisfy you.

Do not:

  1. Yell “You are an idiot” into the phone. I do not think you will get very far in the conversation.
  2. Tell the Customer Service Rep your life story or how bad your week has been.
  3. Threaten to reach in the phone and strangle them.
  4. Cry too much.

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Example positive Customer Service phone calls

Example #1 - Office Depot:

In another Hub, I mentioned Office Depot's bad customer service, and since I wrote that Hub, Office Depot commented on my Hub, we exchanged emails, and Office Depot sent me replacement products that exceed the value of my initial and defective merchandise.

I appreciate their handling of my situation, and feel that I did not waste my money. Yes, it took me a lot of time to resolve with Office Depot, but I am financially satisfied with the end result and feel that my money was not wasted on defective Office Depot brand printer ink.

Example #2 - Liquid Downy Fabric Softener:

I bought some overly smelly liquid Downy Fabric Softener. I could not breathe and kept sneezing around any clothes, blankets, or sheets I had used this stuff on. I called Downy and complained, and after they had me answer a serious of allergy and health questions (which was kind of a pain to answer), they sent me a FREE coupon good for any size product.

Considering I had originally bought the 51 FL OZ size, I got the 90 FL OZ size – which was almost twice the size. (I got the scent-free variety which was much better!)



If you start out a conversation with Customer Service in a positive way, take a few deep breaths along with way, and try to be polite, speak clearly and ask for what you want, listen to their offer, and counteroffer with something more pleasing to you, I guarantee you will get what you want.

If you are not satisfied with a Customer Service Rep due to the following:

  1. Their supervisor or manager is “busy” or “has stepped away”.
  2. You were put on hold and no one came back on the line.
  3. You were about to be transferred and the call disconnected, then

please get the Rep's information, hang up, and call back and try again!

Do you have what is takes? Willpower.

Most likely, you will succeed if you are persistent. Be strong, you can do it.

© Copyright 2011 - MarloByDesign.


I welcome your comments

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    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I always try to be nice and patient with customer service, you will usually get farther being nice than being hateful with them. Good advice here!

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 4 years ago from United States

      kal30314, I would try to contact the Company's Customer Service number that is usually found on the website and ask them how you can further escalate the issue. Alternatively, I would try Googling the Company's Corporate Phone Number (that is usually how I find most Corporate Phone Numbers). I hope this helps!

    • kal30314 profile image

      kal30314 4 years ago

      Great Hub! Question what to do when the Supervisor or Manager don't help & you can't find information about where or how to get into touch with someone in corporate offices?

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      stephaniedas, excellent point about customer service jobs being difficult. I just realized that as I read your point. So I am glad I try to be pleasant on the phone when making a call to a Customer Service Department.

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 6 years ago from Miami, US

      People who work in customer service have very difficult jobs, and I try to keep that in mind when dealing with them. Usually they are happy to help me when I follow your advice and they realize that I'm not going to be rude to them. Good hub, voted up!