It’s that time of year when we start searching for that perfect holiday present. It also means it’s that time of year when the local mall or galleria is packed with shoppers doing the same thing as you. If you decide to shop online, here are few tips to get great customer service.
By Robin Southworth
A year ago, I was one of those telephone people you spoke to when your online order went astray. My employer was an international clothing purveyor that you all know and probably shop at regularly. It was my job to take care of you. If your package was lost, I replaced it (and probably overnighted it to make up for your inconvenience). If you couldn’t find an item on our websites, I would search for you. Question about an item, you talked to me. Did you feel like yelling at someone because you didn’t read the fine print? You yelled at me.
In an effort to smooth your shopping experience, I offer a few tips from the trade:
When you pick up the phone, be prepared to wait. I promise you, the retailer has hired and trained enough seasonal employees. Your wait time is more about the number of people calling than a lack of employees. At my employer, if the phone queue is backing up, supervisors actually get on the phones. In fact, anyone trained on the phones is pulled to lessen the wait time. Have a little patience and you will be rewarded.
Yellers don’t go far
When you finally get a person on the phone, don’t yell at them. They’ve already been yelled at on the phones more times than you can count that day. I am always happy to help the nice people; the yellers still get good customer service, but I don’t go above and beyond. If you want ‘above and beyond’, don’t yell.
Sometimes there really is only so much we can do. At my employer, there are time limits that have to be met before we could reship an order. A lot of customers don’t understand that. I usually overnight the new order and send a percentage-off coupon for all the inconvenience (although if you are yelling at me, that coupon is probably not going to be coming).
If your package is late in arriving, it may not be our fault. Once we hand off your package to a transportation company, it is their property. This time of year, they are overwhelmed with packages, and sometimes packages get lost. We are happy to reship, once deadlines are past.
Finally, place your order in plenty of time to make it to your destination. I’d give it a good two weeks at least.
Customer service folks are there to help, if they can. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated. Courtesy, respect, and civility go a long way, not only in our everyday lives, but also in customer service.
Thank you for calling. Have a great rest of your day!
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