You are in the middle of your third customer service call to figure out a bill discrepancy. It is the fourth person you’ve been transferred to. It all starts to sounds like talking in circles, but you can’t exactly remember what was said in the last phone call. If only you had known it would get so complicated.
Unfortunately, every phone call for customer service has this potential. And even if the company has a good record, it can be helpful to everyone if you have clear facts at your finger tips. The only way to facilitate this is to begin every phone call with a plan.
Often, when you find you need customer service, it is urgent or time sensitive, and a long term plan is the last thing on your mind. Your hard earned money or important plans are at stake. You feel a legitimate concern that it be imminently resolved. You need to have the mentality that that may not happen and you may need to remember what does happen.
A few small preliminary steps at the beginning of any future customer service calls will make your life immensely easier:
- Make sure you have a separate file folder for the company that you do business with.
- If you are calling about an order to a company you do not have an ongoing connection with, you might just need to make notes inside your banking register, on the blank page opposite the payment for the order.
- Write the customer service number on the outside of the folder or highlight it on a distinct piece of business literature that came with the account.
- Have a couple pieces of blank full sized paper available.
- Put the date and time at the beginning of each entry to record a service call before you even make the call.
- Make sure you have a copy of any bill, receipt, order information, or product warranty that is relevant.
- Write down a specific description of the problem, questions, and concerns if it is more than a one issue call. One call issue – no electrical power. Description helpful – newly arrived phone isn’t working.
Now, you can go ahead and make your phone call
- Record if you are put on hold.
- Note how long it takes to get a real person.
- Make sure to write down each person’s name that you have contact with.
- Take notes about the explanation offered, the solution proposed, the time frame involved.
- Write down when the call ends and general impressions of results.
This will take very little extra time. It will aide in processing the information and help you ask better questions during the interaction. Next time you have to call the company, you will have those notes to remind you and give you a better basis for the current call.
I have been thankful many times that I have had notes from previous calls, from the beginning of a problem. But it wasn’t always that way. I have felt the frustration of not having them, being at the mercy of impatient personnel or technicians that tell me the same thing every time I call. I don’t want to be in that position again.