The combination of automated calling systems and endless waiting Muzak is downright infuriating. Few things are more frustrating than having to explain your problem to several people and finding that none of them has the power to help you. And unfortunately, whether it’s canceling your internet service, getting help with a tech issue on your laptop, or asking about unexpected charges, most of us have to call the dreaded customer service hotline at some point.

Breathe deeply. It’s going to be OK. We’re here to help with tips on how to call customer service without all the stress, or at least with a little less.


Do you really need to call?

Before you submit to potential torture, ask yourself if there is a better way. Maybe you can find an answer without calling. Visit the company’s website and look for the FAQ or a forum. Try to Google your specific problem to see if there is a simple answer. You can find a way to do it without having to go through the stress of calling the company.

Those live chat windows that appear on most websites can now be more effective than a phone call. With text chat, you can collect your ideas and write them down clearly. You don’t have to hold a phone to your ear, there are no audio issues or accents to decipher, and you have a recording of the conversation at the end. If you’re having trouble finding chat support on the company’s website, try searching Google to see if the company offers it.

How to find the right number

Sometimes the only option is to call, but it’s worth the digging to find the best number. Several directories, such as Compose a human and Contact help, list company numbers, and try to connect with someone. Become human Also offers the best numbers, information on wait times, and helpful tips, though the premium service it offers has received mixed reviews.

Your call will go much easier if you prepare before picking up the phone. Write down your problem, the most important points and the resolution you want. If you’re having a technical issue, include the device model and anything you’ve tried so far. If you are upgrading or looking for a better deal, research the sales and prices. Be clear and concise about your problem and what you expect from customer service. It might even be a good idea to write a short script to help keep you on track during the call.

Always have your account details, credit card, order numbers and any other information you feel is relevant to hand. If you make a warranty claim, review what you need to provide and collect it before you call. Onerous reporting requirements are common, so do your research to avoid having to make multiple calls. It can be helpful to visit the forums for advice from other customers who have made similar calls on what worked and what didn’t.

It seems that all businesses today are experiencing higher than normal call volumes; long wait times are the norm. You can minimize the delay by choosing the right time to call. The best bet is to call early. Wait times are shorter before noon, but 7:00 am is the best time to call depending on Discussion desk, which also reveals that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call, and Mondays are the worst.

Some companies offer a callback option so you don’t have to wait on hold. We hope this will become common practice, but it is not yet universal. If the company doesn’t offer a callback option, consider a third-party app or service to line up for you. We haven’t tried them yet, but Get Human (ios and Android) offers this service, just like Fast customer and Not paying. Just watch out for the extra charges and be aware that these services don’t always work. In UK you might have better luck with WeQ4U (ios and Android).

No one likes to deal with automated systems, but they’re not universally horrible. Sometimes the fastest way to get to where you need to go is to listen to the options and choose the right one, so don’t automatically skip this step. But if you’re having trouble, you can usually press a specific key to communicate with a person – it’s usually 0 or #. If one press doesn’t work, try multiple key presses. Saying “operator”, “customer service” or “representative” will sometimes put a person online.

When you finally reach out to someone, remember to stay calm and polite. They may work for the company you have a problem with, but they are not responsible for your problem. Ask them how they are doing and use their name if they give it. Be clear about your problem, but don’t take too long, as call center workers are strongly encouraged to handle calls promptly. It’s smart to try to build sympathy and get them on your side.

Patiently follow the instructions they give you. Keep in mind that they may have no choice but to follow a specific script or troubleshooting steps.

Always ask for a ticket or reference number to speed up the process if you need to call back. If you contact someone helpful and they can’t resolve your issue right away, get their number or email address so you can deal directly with them in the future. Write down any relevant details or promises. You can even consider call recording, although you should check with local laws before doing this.

The first person you talk to will often have limited power to help you. If you’ve exhausted all of your options and they’re telling you there’s nothing else they can do, maybe it’s time to step up. Rather than asking to speak to a manager or supervisor, it may be better to ask if further escalation is possible.

In some situations, the threat of a cancellation of a service can lead you to the retention service, which usually has the most power to make you offers, but you must be prepared to act on a cancellation before doing so.

If you can’t get anywhere with customer service, you may get better results by going to the top. Start by finding the name of the CEO. It’s probably listed on an About page of the company’s website, or you can search on LinkedIn. You can find the email addresses of many CEOs online, or you can take a chance and try their name @ any company name. If other email addresses are available, then you can determine the correct syntax.

Once you find the CEO’s (or other leader’s) contact details, send them a polite and concise email explaining what happened, why you’re not happy, and what you would like them to do. ‘he does about it. The CEO probably won’t read it, but they often have an assistant or a team that handles issues faster and has more power than standard customer service.

Complain publicly on social media

When you are having difficulty accessing customer support or cannot achieve the desired result, sometimes it is effective to go to Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or another social media platform to publicly complain about the. company in question. Most companies feel pressured to respond quickly to criticism from the public. As always, be polite and concise about the issue. Don’t be rude.

If you’ve tried everything without satisfaction, then you should have a complaint. Most companies have a specific complaints procedure. Sometimes that will trigger an investigation, and maybe even a different resolution, even if you don’t have to hold your breath.

You may prefer to file a complaint with a third party, such as Better Business Bureau, which can help arbitrate and possibly elicit a better response from the company. If your problem is with financial services, try it Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. People in the UK having problems with energy or communications providers can contact the Ombudsman services.

Whatever the outcome of your customer service call, it’s a good idea to leave a review. You can highlight poor customer service, and a negative review will often prompt businesses to take further action. On the other hand, be sure to praise positive experiences to showcase great customer service and encourage businesses to do better.

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