Tuesday 25 Oct 2016

Customer Service Tips
Matt Seinberg

I have been in retail sales and management for longer than I care to remember, and I'm very sensitive to good and poor customer service, in person and on the phone. I strive to give the best service I can every day, but let's face facts, there are some people you just can't help, and some you don't want to help because they are "difficult" and will complain about every little item.

In the past two days, I had to make a bunch of phone calls to a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to ask a question because I got a phone call, had a question about a bill or had to change service. These are my stories.

Primemail sends all my meds, directly to my door.

The first call I had to make yesterday was to Primemail, my benefits provider for all my medications. My physician had renewed three prescriptions this past Tuesday, electronically, because I had just received the last refills on those prescriptions.

On one of them, he changed the dose from 3 pills a day to 4; Primemail has to confirm that with him. They already said they reached out twice, but got no response. Well, when and who are they calling? I guess I'll call Nurse Debbie on Monday or Tuesday and tell her what's going on, and let her straighten it out with the physician.

For some reason, Primemail was ready to send out two of the three prescriptions. I told them I just got the prescriptions and didn't need them again. The Customer Service Rep was very nice and helpful, calling the pharmacy while I waited. She was able to cancel the refill since I didn't need it.

I got another phone message today and made the same phone call, again to find out about the dosage change. See the above paragraph.

Call number two was to Verizon Fios.

Call number two was to Verizon Fios. I was playing around on the television. I wanted to find out if I was eligible for a new remote, since one of ours wasn't working properly. I got the last screen and didn't complete the order.

Imagine my surprise when I received notification that I was getting a package from Verizon. I had a feeling it was the remote, but couldn't figure out why, since I didn't finish the order.

When the package arrived, I of course called Verizon and explained the mistake. I certainly didn't want to pay the $14.99 charge for new remote.

As I was about to hang up, Elaine, the CSR, asked if I wanted to get HBO and Showtime back, for the same price I was paying now. I was intrigued and she explained that I had the "old" HD Extreme Package; the "new" package had some channels taken out and new ones put in.

I wanted to make sure we didn't lose some of our favorite channels, including Discovery, Travel, Smithsonian, History, the sports channels as well as Marcy's favourites, Cooking and Food.

They were still there, so let's make the change. I have no idea what I lost, but I got HBO and Showtime back, along with six months free of Epix. That’s cool! Elaine did a great job.

Tonight I had to call USAA, as I couldn’t access my account. I had to reset my password. I also had to find out some information about my credit card. The CSR there, Becky was awesome. Not only did she help me log in, she answered all my questions about the credit card, and even got the interest charge waived, since no one could figure out where it actually came from.

The easiest and best way to get what you want over the phone with a CSR is simple; be courteous, be friendly and explain your problem clearly and simply. Do not yell, scream or curse. Those will get you nowhere and the outcome will not be what you want.

Be nice, be calm and get what you want, maybe more.

Just be nice on the phone and you will get what you want or close to it.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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