How to Deal with Customer Service Like a Pro

We’ve all been there: on hold with customer service, dreading having to explain a simple issuewondering if it will even help. Dealing with customer service can be incredibly frustrating. But there are things you can do to make calling customer service painless. Here are some customer service tips and tricks for getting the most out of your call — without spending your whole day on the phone.

Be Prepared

Research your issue beforehand. Have you exhausted every option? A key factor in knowing how to deal with customer service is pointing your question in the right direction. Get a general idea of how to fix the problem and exactly what you’re asking for before you make the call.

Once you’re ready to speak to customer service, have everything you need at hand before you dial, especially long numbers. Write down, print out, and gather product information, account numbers, payment, and anything else pertaining to your issue. If you’re calling your wireless carrier, pull up your cell phone plan information.

Prepare hard copies or have everything pulled up onto one screen that you can refer to at a glance. And get out a pen and paper with plenty of room to take notes.

Talk to a Real Person

Those automated phone trees are helpful for weeding out obvious problems. But if you know your problem can’t be solved by a pre-recorded menu option, get through to a real agent as quickly as possible.

Select “other issue” or a similar variant from the automated menu. Or say “representative,” “agent” or “customer service” clearly into the phone. You can also sometimes press “0” to get through to a human voice, though you might have to try it a few times.

Another great way to get to a real person quickly when dealing with customer service is to use the online chat option. Many companies provide a chat service with a representative on the other end, and it can be faster and easier than calling on the phone.

Cut to the Chase

Explain your issue in as few words as possible and stay consistent about your request. Be persistent, but stay calm. Remember that there’s a real person on the other end of the line, and they’re working to give you the best service they can.

If it becomes obvious that your rep can’t help you with your problem, ask politely to speak to a supervisor. You should get sent up the chain without a fuss. Be prepared to explain your issue several times (that’s why it helps to be concise in your initial description).

Take Notes

Note the names of your customer service representative and anyone else you speak to on your call. Write down the date and time of your call and any subsequent contact. Take general notes on what you discuss and what solutions are offered to you. If you get sent up the chain, get disconnected, or need to call back later, your notes will help guide you.

Before you hang up, ask for a ticket number, whether the issue has been resolved or not. That way, both you and the company can easily refer to your inquiry later, allowing you to pick up where you left off.

If you follow these customer service tips and tricks, you can get great customer service every time, without the headache.