Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

BBB: Customer Service: How to Improve It from Both Sides

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

BBB: Customer Service: How to Improve It from Both Sides

Article excerpt

Customer service in today's marketplace is very much a two-sided coin: There's the business side and the consumer side. This week your Better Business Bureau has tips on how to make customer service a win-win transaction for both parties.

For the consumer

As the "customer" part of the equation, there are things that the consumer can do to make the interaction go more smoothly, especially with online transactions.

Most of us would rather deal with a real person instead of the automated recorded voices that are many companies' first line of defense. Here are some suggestions for getting through to a real person:

- Instead of waiting on hold, an online service like LucyPhone will wait for you so you can hang up until a customer service rep picks up on the other end. LucyPhone will call you back and connect you when that happens. There are iPhone and Android apps also available for smartphone users that can speed things up in a similar way.

- When given the phone tree directory, wait until the end of the list for the "all other questions" option. That's where the connection will be made to a live person. A "tech support" option can also connect you. Use these options even if it sounds like your question could be covered by one of the earlier menu choices. A live person always beats a robot.

- If prompted to say words, say "agent", "representative" or "customer service." (Speaking unintelligible gibberish can also prompt the phone system to connect you to a person.)

Once you are talking to someone at the business, it's your duty to be prepared for that conversation by having done some research. These tips can help:

- Use a search engine to check whether others have had the same problem that you are calling about. Often that is the case and their posting about their experience can help you. …

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