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Dealing with bad customer service

Updated on March 21, 2009
If we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us.
If we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us.

When we receive bad customer service why do we tolerate it? You hear stories of bad customer service but rarely do hear about anyone doing something about it. I always tell folks they should inform a manager or write a complaint letter. I notice that as soon as I mention this option I can see all the fire and vinegar die down. It’s like watching a balloon being deflated. I think it’s disgusting that employees can give such poor customer service and get away with it. We know that when an employee goes through orientation that they aren’t trained to give bad service. I don’t think some companies realize how much business they loose on account of bad customer service.

Because I’ve been both a customer and an employee I don’t agree with the old motto that “The customer is always right”but I do believe that the customer should be treated at least with civility if not respect. I always remember what my mother use to tell me as a child, treat others as you expect to be treated. I believe in complaining when it’s appropriate.

So here are some tips on handling bad/poor customer service.

  • Speak to a manager or supervisor. Do not be afraid to speak to a manager and let them know that you received poor service. By bringing the situation to their attention they’re able to offer a resolution immediately. Remember to stay calm because when you start to yell and become belligerent your complaint isn’t heard.
  • Fill out a customer comment cardor call the customer service line. Believe it or not companies do actually pay attention to the complaints that are received. Most times they will offer the customer some type of compensation (i.e. gift card) to show they appreciate your patronage and want you to continue being a customer.
  • File a written complaint with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB acts as a mediator between the business and the consumer. When filing a complaint with the BBB it needs to be in writing because the complaints are kept on file. Once the situation has been resolved and depending on the outcome the business will receive a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating. So in future whenever a consumer inquires about that particular business they’ll know what type of rating they have and why.

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