Each and everyone of us at one time or another have either personally experienced or know people that have lived the horror stories of bad customer service. Unfortunately even I have had my share of the bad experiences. In looking back there were things I could have done to possibly make the experience a better one, and the tips I’ll share applies to everyone.
As simple as it is to remedy, it is the most common problem I see,
not having the original purchase receipt or invoice in hand when calling by phone or returning to the store. This is used to quickly and effectively identify everything about that purchase. Even in this day of high tech computers, it is not always possible to find the information needed to properly identify a purchase or service order and everything it included. Costly software and time consuming data of course can be entered into a computer system, but is not always feasible for businesses of any size. Many business owners are not tech savvy enough to run such elaborate service control systems and just as it applies to big companies, there is a big cost of money to businesses and ultimately the customer to have such detailed information at hand. Without a date of purchase, a sku number or manufacturer name getting specifics on how to handle warranty, service, or even the simplest of questions can be nearly impossible for the company staff. To make matters worse people don’t understand these complicated matters and could easily resolve the biggest service issue of them all by simply hanging on to their original receipt or invoice.
This is truly a bad way to start off the process…
and without the key vital item information the business and service help are often operating blindly. If you have lost your proof of purchase copy then many times providing a credit card receipt or canceled check will give the retailer a starting point to begin the research to your service question, warranty problem, or return. Remember the receipt is like a products’ Social Security Number it identifies it.
Next be explicit about the problem you are calling about. Time and again people call our business inquiring about warranty on any number of items. The problem is we offer nearly 1000 different items supplied by 20 different manufacturers and the conversation unfortunately starts by talking about the product not being the perfect color, firmness, or thickness of the mattress they wanted. In other words a lot of unrelated discussion to the real problem at hand that being a bad body impression, broken spring, or bad box spring etc. It is not uncommon to have people call and talk for 15 minutes and I still don’t know what their problem is. It’s not that we don’t care, but rambling on about ones illness, money issues, and talk about the grandchildren is irrelevant to the service issue at hand. It always makes me recall the times I have been put on hold for 10 minutes, and it makes me wonder if it was because people are unprepared and don’t get the point of the call.
Last but not least, do not call loaded for bear no matter how frustrated you may be. If you call expecting bad service it may be exactly what you get. We encourage everyone to be respectful and talk in a calm manor. Do not attack the representative after all he or she is there to help, not to stand behind a counter and get yelled at and defend his or herself. Extend them the same courtesy you’d expect of them after all in most cases they really are human beings.